An obese woman who was inspired to lose weight after being told she would have to shed the pounds to conceive a second child now has the family of her dreams.
Catherine Halsall, 41, says having her daughter acts as a reminder of how far she has come after dropping a staggering five dress sizes.
The former high-flying Head of HR often found herself gorging on ‘convenience foods’ like meal deals, cakes and chocolates because of the fast-paced demands of the job.
At her heaviest, she weighed 15st, would wear dark, baggy size 20 clothing and was even embarrassed to take her son to swimming lessons.
But she had always dreamed of having another child with husband Graham, 42, following the birth of their son Will almost eight years ago.
Catherine spent more than 12 months trying for a second baby only to be warned by a GP in 2016 that to increase her chances she would need to slim down.
GP’s have previously advised women to make sure their BMI is in a healthy range to improve fertility – Catherine’s was over thirty which meant she was classed as obese.
She incredibly lost three stone thanks to the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan before falling pregnant naturally with her now 15-month-old daughter, Kaitlin who was born in September 2017.
After putting on extra pounds during her pregnancy, Catherine has since remarkably lost five stone in six months from December last year and now wears size 10 clothing.
Catherine, from Widnes, Cheshire., said: “We were trying for a second baby for quite a long time and when you get to a certain age it’s harder to get pregnant.
“We were looking to start the fertility treatments, however, the GP recommended I needed to reduce my BMI before I would be considered.
“I think any GP would advise you to get your BMI in a healthy range because you’ve got your best chance of getting pregnant.
“The first time around when I got pregnant I didn’t have any issues. It’s not like I had any fertility problems, I think one of the reasons was because I was overweight, and stressed in the job.
“Our whole family has changed, now I’ve got my daughter and I’ve lost the weight. I’ve found myself again.
“To get from the point where I thought I would never have a second child to losing the weight and falling pregnant, I feel so lucky.”
Catherine struggled with her weight for many years while working 14-hour days as a Head of HR and spending two nights a week away from home in hotels.
By the time Catherine reached her thirties, she no longer felt confident enough to try on high-street size clothes and instead stuck to online shopping.
“My lifestyle at the time was because I was in a corporate job in HR I was doing a lot of travelling and staying away from home,” she added.
“I just didn’t have time to prepare healthy food or focus on healthy eating.
“I would grab convenience foods like ready meals, meal deals from services, cakes and chocolates on the way home. I was rewarding myself with food because I was working so hard.
“I was stowed away in hotels and would have a glass of wine with my meals. My lifestyle was very fast-paced and I wasn’t doing any exercise.”
Catherine tried every diet before she stumbled across 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan which re-educates people on portion size and carbohydrate control.
She started dieting again following the birth of her daughter last year and lost five stone between December 2017 and May this year.
Catherine will be opening her first weight loss clinic on Saturday, January 12 at Optimum House Business Park in Widnes following her own life-changing weight loss.
“The biggest thing I have learned with my own journey is you just never give up,” she added. “You just need to keep working towards your goal because you will get there.”