So, who is a happy, nay, slimline bunny? Yep, me, that's who. This is my everyday tale of fighting fat and finally winning.

I was a scrawny child and my mother was forever trying to build me up and after 45 years she finally got her wishes, I became fat! Thanks mum x. I don't actually hold her responsible for my weight gain but she, or her genes, certainly gave me the distinctive apple shape which I inherited and subsequently turned into an apple dumpling. All the women in our family are apples, as opposed to pears, and we all have flat bums and fat tums, I have NEVER asked 'does my bum look big in this?' as I know for a fact that my bum has never looked big in anything. Other parts of my anatomy however are another story. I realised that you cannot change your shape, you can only change your size and all the diets in the world will never give me a cute button nose or fabulous knees. Life is full of constants and variables, my big nose and knock knees are constants whilst my flab is infinitely variable. Dieting is all about mind over matter but for many years I seemed to have more matter than mind, something had to give, other than the elastic in my 50 shades of grey knickers.

Most of my adult life I weighed a svelte 8st 7lbs give or take a little bit, at 5'5”with stick like arms and legs, smallish feet and slim hands this was not too difficult to maintain. A day drinking just black coffee quickly got rid of any unwanted pounds that had the nerve to raise their ugly heads, easy peasy. Fast forward to the menopause when I went to bed one night looking my usual slim self and awoke the size of a barrage balloon. I've never worked out what happened that night but I was never 8st 7lbs again and it was a constant struggle to keep below 11stone. Mother nature is a cruel mistress, my hair got thinner whilst my waist got thicker but the compensation was that my eyes got so bad that I thought I still looked O.K. WRONG! What to do? Diet, but which one? Nutkins? Shape Shifters? Eat Yourself to Death World? Why not all of them and at the same time, that will work. Or just give in and embrace the new you, something your other half now finds impossible as there is just too much of the new you.

Last summer we were at my relatives villa in the South of France for a month, we do this every June and don't you just hate us for it, and as usual we both lost some weight due to swimming every day in their pool, don't you just hate us a bit more now, and eating a super healthy diet. We always put the weight back on when we get home, not so envious now are you, but this year we decided that we'd try and eat as though we were still lounging around a pool eating wonderful Mediterranean salads etc. We stopped having bread and potatoes in the house and instead had loads of vegetables etc. It was a very slow show but we were determined to keep going, well, I was determined, the man of the house got rather bored but we stuck with it. Then I watched the television programme that was presented by the thinking woman's crumpet, aka Dr Mosley and 'bingo' that was it for me. I had heard, and read about, fasting and alternate day eating over the years and always meant to give it a go but the gorgeous Dr Mosley made it seem manageable so I thought I'd jump in, small feet first.

I'd not weighed myself for years, well, not since I disliked what the scales said, so when I started out on the fast diet I assumed that I was around 10 st having struggled for years to dump some of the unwelcome ballast which dogged my every move. My waist was a magnificent 36” and I knew it had been bigger as clothes were not quite as tight as they had been. After a few weeks my not insignificant other half watched the Dr Dream Boat programme on youtube and decided that he would join me. My husband is a lark and I am an owl and this has led to some conflict about eating times. He cannot do without breakfast whereas I do better if I don't break my fast till well into the day. Breakfast may be a male thing as the lovely Dr Mosley cannot get by without it but it was just not working for me so I stopped doing that. After some trial and error I settled into a routine which suits me. My target waist measurement for Christmas was just below 30” i.e. 29.9” would do the trick and, hey presto, it worked and it was the best Christmas present I've ever had. I had originally thought that my target waist should be 28” but I reviewed that and thought that at this rate 27” would be a breeze. Wrong! I hit a plateau with a resounding thud. January came and went but still I was 29.9”. I almost gave up at that point convinced I was a failure but I just felt so well, full of energy and for goodness sake, I had lost over 6” from my waist, SIX full fat inches, no less, none of your reduced calorie inches here. This was an achievement and if I never lost any more then I would be, should be, happy so I carried on. February was almost gone when suddenly 'the incredible shrinking woman' reappeared in my life. Last week when my waist measured 28.5” I decided to go cold turkey and get on the scales having decided that I must now weigh under 9 st, I just must. I got on, I got off, on again, off again. Exercise is good, this was stupid, just look at the blooming thing, it's only a number, just LOOK! I jumped off, then on, oh, for goodness sake, wow! 8st 11lbs. This set off the on/off nonsense again as I could not believe my eyes, 8st 11lbs. I felt as though I had won the lottery! Two days ago I was more confident and weighed myself for the second time in years but this time without all the on/off palaver and there it was, the magic number, 8st 7lbs. I had done it, I had reached my target weight. I never thought I'd ever be this weight again so I treated myself to some new clothes, happy that the days when the only thing I could fit into were the changing rooms, were finally over. All my fat was behind me, well, not with my flat bum it's not but life, unlike my weight is is on the up.

Where to now? A good question as I hope to maintain this weight and way of eating for the rest of my life. I now have an eating window every day of no more than 8 hours and it is not as draconian as it sounds, I just skip breakfast and don't nibble late in the evening, otherwise I eat as much as I want in between, see, how easy was that? I shall still do the odd fast day with my husband to support his on going efforts as he has more to lose than me and I know, I know, fasting and eating seem contradictory but if I continue with my 8hour eating window I can adjust the amount I eat to maintain my weight whilst still getting the long term health benefits of fasting, did that make sense?

The moral of all this is that this works, it will vary from person to person, as this is not an exact science and there is still a lot of research being done on it. You have to experiment and find the way that suits you, not your other half or your best friend, but YOU. If you stick with this you will totally transform how you feel, how you look and how you approach food. You will be much more aware of your body's needs and much more attuned about how to meet those needs healthily. I now walk briskly every day for at least an hour, I have to do something with all this energy, and I feel I have done my body a huge favour so good luck to everyone who is doing this, don't give up, you will get there and you will feel wonderful. Oh, and by the way, my hair is getting thicker again and my waist is still 28.5” I never got to 27” but who cares, not me!

Ballerina x