Crunching through another packet, the flavours zinging across my tongue and for a minute I had not a care in the world.
But before I knew it my fingers were rustling around in the bottom of the wrapper desperately swiping at the last of the cheese and oniony crumbs.
Checking the time, 11pm, I slipped out from under the duvet to tiptoe downstairs.
Grabbing the last two packets of crisps from the kitchen cupboard I hurried off upstairs again – hoping not to bump into my mum or stepdad.
I wolfed the last two packs down, before quickly hiding the evidence under some papers in my bin.
And then it hit me – that slow creeping guilt I would get after a binge.
The problem was that eating a multipack bag of crisps wasn’t an uncommon event.
Not only was I unable to resist crisps, but also biscuits and chocolate too.
‘But we’ve just finished dinner…’ my mum, Rachel Liney, 45, support care worker, said gently when she found me ordering a pizza delivery one evening.
I knew she didn’t want to be cruel and that I was eating excessively but I just couldn’t stop.
Desperate to cover my tracks, I became a secret eater and would hoard food in my room or sneak about to raid the fridge late at night.
‘Why can I not stop eating?’ I would ask myself over and over.
Squeezing into my huge size 22 clothes always haunted me, but I tried to shrug the negative thoughts aside.
I knew I was an emotional eater as I would binge more during times of stress, but I didn’t know how to stop myself.
I’d always been big throughout school, but had hidden any insecurities with my larger than life personality.
But on the surface my life was good… I was a happy, bubbly, young woman.
I had a place studying Animal Management at Riseholme College, Lincoln, and had a fantastic group of friends.
It wasn’t until I went to the doctor in June 2018 that I got a hard taste of reality.
‘It’s just a very sore throat, it keeps coming and going, I’m worried it’s tonsillitis,’ I explained to my GP one day.
After being examined and pocketing a prescription for some mild antibiotics the doctor looked at me awkwardly.
‘I think we should also discuss your weight. You’re 20st 2lbs which makes you morbidly obese judging by your BMI scores. I would suggest trying to address that before it becomes a serious threat to your health,’ they sad bluntly.
Too shocked to say anything, I felt stinging tears gathering around my eyelids.
Desperate not to cry I rushed out of the appointment muttering a hurried ‘thank you’.
Rushing home I collapsed into my mum’s arms.
After explaining what happened she gave me a huge hug.
‘I know it’s hard to hear, but this might be a turning point for you? Perhaps it is time to take a look at your weight?’ she said very gently.
The next week, after buying some gym gear online, I drove to my local gym, Energy Fitness Gym, Lincoln.
‘You can do this, you can do this,’ I told myself over and over again as I sat outside, too scared to go in.
In the end I drove back home in tears.
All the people coming in and out had looked so sporty and fit and I felt sure they’d laugh as soon as they saw my bulky frame coming through the doors.
But after a chat with a close friend she agreed to come with me and the very next week I finally set foot in the gym for the first time in my life.
‘So I’d recommend just starting with some really light cardio and working yourself up to more at your own pace. And welcome!’ the instructors who’d shown me round said kindly before busying off.
Although I felt self conscious at first, before too long I wasn’t even thinking about what others thought of me.
I was loving getting that rush of endorphins after a workout and could feel myself getting stronger by the day.
‘Now I’ve got to tackle my diet!’ I told mum after a few weeks of going to the gym regularly.
‘There’s a good Slimming World meeting not far from here, it’s supposed to be super helpful,’ she suggested.
And so I found myself nervously being introduced to a group full of slimmers just a few days later.
‘Would you like a cuppa? Come and sit next to me!’ one of the members said, taking me under her wing right away.
I found the structure of the group really helped me to stick to healthy eating and I entirely cut out the junk – especially my beloved cheese and onion crisps.
Instead I ate lots more veg, drank tonnes of water and devoured healthy lean proteins.
‘My sugar cravings are definitely getting easier to manage,’ I explained to my mum over a healthy stir fry one night.
With all the effort I was putting in I started to see my body changing for the better.
Suddenly my clothes were feeling looser, and everyday tasks felt like less of a struggle.
My face had more definition too which made me feel really pretty.
I even stepped things up a gear at the gym and started going to weights classes, circuit training, kettlebells, Pilates, and pump.
To my delight, I found that in just six months I’d already lost five stone, smashing the target I had set myself.
Losing so much really spurred me on and I kept up my regime over the next year.
In the end I lost 9st in just 18 months – ending up a slender dress size 10 and weighing 11st.
It’s been such a life changing experience, I look back and feel so grateful to my GP who addressed the elephant in the room and finally spurred me on to get healthy.
I do still have the occasional treat but I just make sure that it’s once a week not all day everyday.
Having said that I am careful I steer clear of crisps as I know I can’t be trusted to eat just one packet!
My life is so much more fun now, I can wear what I like and no longer have to turn down invitations to do things due to my size.
I’m much more in tune with my body now so much more confident – I don’t ever want to go back to being that couch potato again.