The doctor sat in front of me, his face stern. "You need to lose two stone in six months to have this operation" he explained. You're overweight, and that will increase the risks involved with anesthetic.

I looked at him in amazement. I knew I wasn't thin, but it had never crossed my mind that I was obese.
It was December 2002 and I was trying to get a date for a varicose vein operation. The problem was, without losing the weight, it was far too dangerous.
I'd never had a problem with my weight until I had my first baby, Benjamin, now 10, with my engineer husband David, 34.
My size was the last thing on my mind as I started to care for a baby, and I quickly slipped into bad eating habits. By the time my second baby, Jake, now three, came along, I'd gone from a size 12 to a size 26.
I didn't even know how much I weighed and, back then, I don't think I even really cared. `I'd look silly thinner,' I'd argue with myself. At 5ft 11ins, I was tall and I thought I carried my weight well.
The only time I worried about my size was on special occasions or nights out with my friends. They'd wear skimpy tops and short skirts, while I'd throw on wide-leg trousers and a huge blouse over my 42F boobs. I thought it was flattering, but I should have realized that it just made me look bigger.
It wasn't that I ate a lot, but what I did eat was pure rubbish. I'd always skip breakfast, then I'd grab a sausage roll or pie for lunch. When I went on the school run, I'd take some chocolate and crisps to snack on. Then back at home in Tipton, West Midlands, I'd nibble on biscuits while I cooked the family dinner - usually, a roast smothered in gravy. It wasn't the meals I was interested in, I just loved to snack.