Here goes...

26 years old and on my final weightloss journey. I've been overweight for as long as I can remember (I was even a mammoth baby at over 10lbs!) and have been dieting since I was about 8 years old. I have a horrendous relationship with food. My Dad was always very (loudly) critical of my eating habits as I was growing up and I learnt to avoid confrontation and criticism by hiding everything I ate and binging late at night when everyone had gone to bed. I know now that he was worried about me, but clearly had no idea of how to approach the issue with sensitivity..! Unfortunately, old habits die hard and I still have problems with late night binging and concealing my food intake. I have horrendous anxiety about eating infront of people I don't know well, convinced that they are judging me for eating.

Around 8 years ago I was at my heaviest of 16st 7lb and was desperately unhappy - I was drinking around 6 pints of cider a day to numb myself to just how unhappy I was. It was around this time that I became allergic to dairy through overconsumption (who knew that could happen!?) Until my diagnosis, however, I was unaware to what was making me horrendously ill every time I ate and I lost a huge amount of weight because I couldn't stomach more than a forkful of food at each meal without becoming sick. I stopped drinking alcohol because, quite frankly, I was a mess and it was embarrassing. I just didn't enjoy it anymore. As the weight started falling off, my confidence returned and I stopped hating myself quite so much. I became vegan and slimmed down to 10st 7lb and finally got on track with my life. I had lots of friends and a fantastic social life. I went to university and trained to be a teacher. I travelled lots and worked with overseas charities. Unfortunately, I got into the mindset that because I was now thin, I could eat what I wanted. Slowly, but surely, the weight started to creep back on. I knew I was getting bigger and bigger, but I avoided the scales. September 2012 saw me start my first teaching post, in an incredibly high pressure school. I spent at least 12 hours a day in school and consumed huge amounts of Pepsi and junk food to give me energy to stay awake and get my work done - which I often took home to work on in the evenings. I was exhausted all the time, my social life disappeared and I stopped seeing my friends at all towards the end of the year. This past year I moved school and it was less stressful, but the bad habits were back and a convenience store next door did not help - lunch of junk food was an almost daily occurrence.

I finally stepped on the scales about a month ago and was devastated to find that I was back up to 16st. I knew something had to be done, and had seen people had lost lots of weight with slimming world, so signed up online as I couldn't face going to group alone. I have one or two friends from work that I sometimes socialise with, but other than that I have no friends, which I find very hard because I used to be out every night with different people and love socialising. I think about getting in touch with old friends, but I am so embarrassed to be seen how I am now.

I have been working really hard at staying on the plan for the past two weeks and have lost 6lb so far (4lb and then 2lb today). I was hoping for bigger losses at the beginning because I had heard about people having huge losses at the start, but I am pleased that the scales are going down and I know I need to get into the mindset of this being a slow and steady path to a lifelong change.

I know this is going to take commitment and time, but I am determined not to live my life just wishing I was healthy.