"Ever since university my weight has been up and down. Over the years I'd join slimming clubs and gyms and I'd lose a bit, but it always came back."
My wake-up call
"I was diagnosed with asthma in my mid-20s - I'd have good and bad periods with varying symptoms but last year I had a run of chest infections and then whooping cough. Barely a month later, I ended up in hospital with chicken pox. A test showed that my liver function wasn't good and the doctor told me the best thing I could do was overhaul my diet. It was such a wake-up call."
The changes I made
"The first change I made was to stop drinking completely. I didn't consider myself a heavy drinker, but I'd been having a bottle of wine with dinner perhaps twice a week plus a couple of drinks after work occasionally and it all adds up. Giving up wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, even at my birthday party when I just told people that I had the car and didn't fancy drinking."
"I also cut out all the rubbish - crisps, bars of chocolate, burgers, sweeties and got into healthy cooking. A friend sent me a brilliant cook book, The Medicinal Chef: Healthy Every Day by Dale Pinnock, which I found brilliant for ideas. I used to think I didn't have time, but now I've realised that making something from scratch - kale pancakes for example - is quicker than waiting for a pizza delivery."
"Exercise-wise I'm making an effort to walk more to the post office, to the bank instead of taking the car. I live in a third floor flat so I take the stairs at least once a day. I've got a little set of handweights and a wobble board so I do 15 minutes of stretching and core strength work every morning."
A health transformation
"I was 15 stone 3 at my heaviest and now I'm 12 stone 12. My waist is also smaller 33 inches compared to 41 before. What's been a huge revelation is how much better I feel on a day to day basis. I'm sleeping better. I have more energy. My liver function is almost back to normal. And my asthma is so much better. I have very few symptoms and I'm down to two puffs of my inhaler a day - much less than before. I hardly ever need my blue inhaler now, although I still carry it everywhere just in case."
"When I went on diets to lose weight it was always about denying myself treats and a struggle. Now I'm learning to love healthy food, the weight has gradually just fallen off and I don't even feel like I'm on a diet."
Last updated August 2015