Losing 4st 3lbs has given a Linlithgow woman a new lease of life - and a second career after becoming a mother-of-two.
Rachel Waugh told how she piled on weight while looking after her sons Adam and Fergus.
But instead of returning to nursing as a career after her youngest son turned four she has become a Slimming World consultant after shedding the pounds with the weight loss organistion.
The 40-year-old said: “I thought I was destined to struggle with my weight for the rest of my life. I thought it was just who I was and I had to accept that.
“When I joined Slimming World as a member, I never dreamed that I would end up helping other people to lose weight.
“I became a nurse so I could help people at a time when they were perhaps in pain or discomfort and not at their best. I wanted to promote health and assist with health promotion to improve quality of life. This is all a huge part of being a consultant.”
She said it had been “incredibly liberating” to discover the best ways to healthy eating.
The mother-of-two said: “Despite being a nurse and having a good understanding of nutrition and education at my finger tips, plus seeing first hand the effects of obesity, I genuinely did not apply any of my knowledge to my own self. I gave no thought to the consequences and genuinely considered myself to be healthy.”
Rachel said she had struggled with her weight most of her life and realised she was a typical comfort eater with “bad habits”.
She said: “I had a real shake up when I became a mum and it wasn’t just about me any more. I was low in mood, anxious and irritable. I did not enjoy pregnancy. I had no energy and this was frightening.
“I became breathless quickly on exertion and couldn’t even walk a mile without becoming sore and breathless. It became so much worse during the third trimester. I put myself on near bed rest and stopped doing any physical activity.
“I had gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy but my blood sugars returned to normal after giving birth. This should have been the scare I needed and I did try to become more active, but I refused to alter my eating habits.”
Having found herself weighing 14st 1lb, Rachel decided to take action and joined Slimming World. She was stunned to find it did not mean that foods she liked were banned. She said: “Like a lot of slimmers, I tried to lose weight so many times by following numerous diets but they were never sustainable because I’d always get tired of restricting what I ate.
“Now, I will never feel like I am ‘on a diet’, as it’s just healthy eating for life. I couldn’t believe I’d found a way to lose weight without starving myself.”
Rachel has gone from rarely exercising when starting at Slimming World last February to running regularly. She now puts her own experience to good use at the classes she runs in South Queensferry.