Diana Ennett, 28, is an optical coating technician. She lives on the Isle
of Man with her husband Ian, 32.
“Trying to find my ‘happy weight’ has been a constant battle. For years I
thought it was 8st 7lb, but now I’ve come to terms with the fact that aiming
for it was making my life unbearable.
It all started because that was how much I weighed as an 18 year old and at
5ft 5in and a size 8, I thought it was the perfect weight to be.
Then I began to have huge mood swings and in October 2004, aged 22, a doctor
diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. I was put on antidepressants and
tranquillisers and almost instantly suffered a common side-effect – constant
hunger. In just a few months I ballooned to a size 18 and 14st.
I tried to convince myself I wasn’t that fat. I’d suck in my belly in front of
the mirror and squeeze myself into leggings a couple of sizes too small.
But then, one day I was in a clothes shop and caught a glimpse of a fat woman
heading straight for me. I apologised and stepped aside, but then realised I
was facing a mirror. The fat woman was me. I raced out of the shop and burst
into tears. I felt mortified.
From then on, I couldn’t hide from the truth and I began to hate going out. I
was so ashamed of my size.
Unable to cope any longer, in summer 2005, I went back to my doctor, who
changed my medication. My appetite waned and in just a month I lost nearly
2st. I was a size 14! I felt so much better – finally, I was getting my old
However, my joy soon turned to disappointment when I realised I wasn’t
reaching my golden 8st 7lb target. During the day I ate healthy jacket
potatoes and salads to try to shift those stubborn pounds. But when I didn’t
lose any weight, I’d get upset and end up consoling myself with cakes or
After these binges, I’d feel disgusted with myself and vow to start again.
In October 2007, I met my husband Ian at a fancy-dress party. I was 10st and a
size 12 and even though I probably looked great in a tight green catsuit, I
still felt self-conscious – I’d have loved to have been thinner. But, Ian
didn’t seem to notice and when he approached me, I felt flattered.
We soon became a couple and fell into the trap of cuddling up on the sofa with
a takeaway. Within a few months, I’d gone back up to 11st and a size 14. I
felt bigger, but knew that Ian loved me whatever my size.
We married less than a year later, which meant I didn’t have much time to diet
for my big day. Wearing a size-14 dress, I certainly wasn’t my ideal weight,
but on that one day I felt so beautiful.
Soon, though, I was heading for a size 16, burying my head in the sand and
avoiding the scales.
I’d wonder: ‘Am I just meant to be fat?’ But then last December, while I was
looking for diet ideas on Beautyjudge.com, I came across a herbal appetite
suppressant called Zotrim. Willing to try anything, I gave it a go. Since
then, I’ve lost nearly a stone. I now weigh 10st 9lb.
I’m still not the magic 8st 7lb, but for the first time in years I’m happy
with my weight. I don’t know what changed – maybe I’m just so tired of
fighting to be a weight I may never get to. Now, I look in the mirror and
smile rather than cringe.”
Diana’s weight story
March 2002, size 8 “I was 20 in this photo and dressed up as a fairy
for a fancy- dress party. I never dieted, but still stayed around the 8st
mark as I was a yoga addict. I loved being this size – that’s why I’ve
always tried to get back there.”
January 2005, size 16 “This was taken while I was on holiday in Prague.
It was three months after I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the
medication I was prescribed for it increased my appetite. I seriously
couldn’t stop eating and I’d quickly ballooned to 12st 7lb. I remember being
glad it was cold and I could hide my body under a big coat.”
March 2005, size 18 “This was at my cousin’s wedding and I weighed 14st
at the time. I’d bought a nice outfit for the occasion and thought I looked
OK, even though my hold-ups were digging into my thighs. But when I saw the
pictures a couple of months later, I was so ashamed – I looked awful. My
thigh was bulging out from my skirt – how had I thought I could pull off
hold-ups? What was I thinking?!”
January 2007, size 10 “Once my GP changed my medication my weight
plummeted drastically in just a couple of months. I was no longer ravenously
munching on crisps and biscuits all day, and what a difference it made! In
this picture, I’m 10st 7lb and so happy that I can wear tight clothes
without looking a mess.”
July 2008, size 14 “Ian and I had quite a whirlwind romance and married
within 10 months of meeting. By now, I’d gone up to 11st, thanks to romantic
dinners out and takeaways on the sofa. This was a size-14 dress that had to
be taken in a little, making me feel slightly happier about my body. But as
it was my wedding day, I’d have felt gorgeous whatever my size.”
April Jeffery, 33, a business support analyst from Doncaster, has been with
her partner Jamie Smith, 32, for eight years. She has a son Ben, 10, from a
“I used to hate my body so much, I wanted to cut the blubber off with a knife.
It sounds shocking, but it’s true.
In my teens, being called ‘Fat Jeffers’ by school bullies made me think I was
huge, even though I was only a size 14.
Their taunts affected my confidence so badly that at 15, after reading an
article about an anorexic girl, I tried to copy her, living on an apple a
day. But after three days I was so famished, I gorged on whatever I could
I was soon trapped in a cycle of starving and bingeing. By the time I was 18,
I was a size 18 and at 5ft must have looked like a huge blob. One day, I was
so upset by my reflection that I forced myself to join a slimming group. I
lost 4lb in the first week. But then, stupidly, I’d reward myself with
Friends tried to reassure me I wasn’t that big, saying it was my boobs that
made me look large. As a teenager, they were a size 34D, but they slowly
grew as I ate more. At my heaviest, in 2008 and aged 31, I wore a size 44K
In 2000, when I was 23, I’d managed to slim down to 11st and a size 14 by
going to the gym five days a week. But then I found out I was pregnant, and
took it as an excuse to eat what I liked.
My son Ben was born on June 16 2000, and that first year was so hectic, I gave
up dieting and picked at leftovers instead to get me through the day.
Then, in 2001, my partner Chris and I split up. Life as a single mum was so
chaotic, I just didn’t have time to focus on my waistline. But then after
seeing a photo from a holiday in Skegness that Ben and I went on in August
2002, I was stunned. I was a size 20, 14st and was huge. I’d always tried to
look nice with my hair and make-up, but that couldn’t hide my bingo wings
and tummy. I ripped that photo to shreds.
From then on I tried every diet going. I’d lose a few pounds, but eventually
it would creep back on.
Then one day in 2008, when Ben was seven, he came home from school crying: ‘My
friend said my mum’s a fatty.’ I had to fight back tears until he’d gone to
bed. I’d been bullied for my size, I couldn’t do it to him, too. I had to
find a diet that would work.
A friend mentioned Rosemary Conley, so I signed up – and after a week of
following the healthy-eating plan I’d lost 10lb from my size 26, 16st 3lb
Within a year I’d dropped to 9st 3lb and was a size 8-10 for the first time
ever. A year later, I’m the same. I can go out knowing I look great. I’ve
also got more energy. I’ve never felt this good – that’s how I know this is
my happy weight.”
April’s weight story
June 2001, size 22-24 “With Ben on his first birthday – I must have
weighed nearly 15st. I hated buying plus-size clothes so often ended up
wearing Chris’ tops and tracksuit bottoms, as I’ve done here.”
April 2003, size 14-16 “I’d dieted my way to 12st. It was my 26th
birthday and my friends bought me this outfit. A few weeks later I met my
current partner Jamie. Being this slim gave me the courage to chat him up!”
August 2008, size 22 “I was in Cyprus for a friend’s wedding. I must
have weighed around 15st here. Although I smiled for the cameras I hated
having my picture taken. I knew I’d be disappointed when I saw how big I
December 2008, size 26 “Crunch time – I realised I had to lose weight
to stop Ben being bullied at school. I weighed 16st 3lb and my boobs were a
massive 44K. I was so big, I was miserable.”
November 2009, Size 8-10 “I’d just reached my goal weight of 9st 3lb
and was so proud. This is the slimmest I’d ever been. I was all dressed up
as Jamie was taking me out for a (healthy!) dinner.”
DIANA WEARS: DRESS WITH BELT, JESIRÉ, VEST, PRIMARK, NECKLACE, JOHN LEWIS,
TIGHTS, PRETY POLLY, SHOES, PRIMARK APRIL WEARS: JACKET, NEW LOOK, DRESS,
PRIMARK, BELT, URBAN OUTFITTERS, CUFF, APRIL’S OWN, TIGHTS, PRETTY POLLY,
SHOES, MATALAN PHOTOGRAPHY: LANCTON HAIR & MAKE-UP: ALYSE ALEXANDER
USING CLINIQUE AND L’ORÉAL TECHNI ART FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT