New-look Claire Bateman has changed her life around - and now she wants to do the same for others in Hartlepool.
The mum-of-two piled on weight after having her children and hit rock bottom when she tipped the scales at 15st 10lb.
But now, she’s trimmed more than 4st off her figure and she has started as a Slimming World consultant in town.
Claire, 28, said: “I have always struggled with my weight from childhood. I was always the bigger one and just accepted that the way it was.
“My friends could always get nice clothes, where I wasn’t comfortable unless I was in in my jeans and a baggy top.
“My confidence was never great and I was terrible for comfort eating when I felt down.
I feel so honoured to have the opportunity to help and support others strive towards their goals as I know how hard it is to walk through those doors! But on the other side of that door – a warm welcome to Slimming World awaitsClaire Bateman
“It was almost like my weight was my shield, and my eating habits just went around in circles as I pretended I didn’t care and ‘I am who I am’. “
From being a size 16 at secondary school, Claire crept up to a size 18, and two children later was heading into a size 22.
Claire, from Billingham, knew from then she had to take control!
“My size 20 jeans were getting on the tight side and after Christmas I kept saying I am going to Slimming World, but I just couldn’t pluck up the courage to walk through the door.
“Then March came and a leaflet came through the door, it was like Slimming World was personally inviting me to group knowing I was struggling.
“I went the following week and instantly knew I needn’t have been afraid. It was so welcoming and there were lots of people there to help.”
In 2014 Claire set out to lose a stone for her partner’s sister’s wedding – she lost a stone in five weeks!
Claire says: “I couldn’t believe how easy and family-orientated the meals were, even for my youngest who had just began weaning.
“He has weaned onto fresh fruit and vegetables from being introduced to food, and both my boys are thriving.
“My boys are now nine and three and our family favourites are spaghetti bolognese, chilli, diet coke, chicken and pulled pork.”
Claire went on to lose four and a half stone, dropping from 15st 10lb to 11st 4lb.
She also has found the confidence to pursue other things, achieved a BA honours degree, and last month got married to husband Matthew Bateman.
“We couldn’t be a happier,” Claire said.
“I feel like Slimming World has chipped away the old me and I am now confident, healthy and happy - a totally new me!”
Claire is now taking on a new challenge having been made a Slimming World consultant in Hartlepool.
She said: “I feel so honoured to have the opportunity to help and support others strive towards their goals as I know how hard it is to walk through those doors!
“But on the other side of that door a warm welcome to Slimming World awaits.”
You can join Claire on Thursdays at 9.30am at the Staincliffe Hotel, Seaton Carew, Hartlepool. Call Claire on 07899 994374.