Catherine Martin  

I am truly grateful to these people for the support they have provided

have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I have tried every diet going from Atkins to Weight Watchers and Detox to Slimming World and nothing has really worked. Diagnosed with Juvenile Degenerate Disc Disease in 1995 at the age of 15, I was always fearful of any kind of exercise as I did not want my condition to deteriorate and over the years, the weight piled on.

In 2002 we set a date for our wedding. No wanting to be a fat bride, I joined Slimming World and vowed to stick to it but after 6 long months of staying true to the plan I actually gained weight. Rather than feeling a million dollars on my wedding day I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious.

After our wedding, the weight continued to pile on so in April 2003 I went to see my GP. He said that he would refer me to a dietician as my size was probably due to diet but would also take a blood sample, just in case there were any underlying issues. Would you believe it, I had an underactive thyroid!

I was prescribed medication and my weight became more manageable but I was still overweight and very unhappy.

In 2004 I gave birth to my eldest daughter. I vowed not to be a fat mum and this time, I joined Weight Watchers. I did manage to lose some weight and I took up swimming before I fell pregnant with my second child. Over the years the weight piled back on, my back began to hurt again and the thyroxine didn’t seem to be having any effect.

I became a bit of a recluse, not wanting to go out with my friends because I was the fat one and I didn’t feel nice in my clothes. My relationship with my husband suffered, I couldn’t bear him to touch me or see me naked. I was huge. I felt uncomfortable and very self-conscious. I was a fat mum and a fat wife. I did what I always did when I felt like this and turned to food. It was a vicious circle and I was truly unhappy.

I have always known that I am a big girl but don’t think I was aware of exactly how big I was. To my horror, I have been asked if I was pregnant (when I definitely wasn’t), this obviously upset me but not enough to address the situation! I have never liked to look at myself and the lack of photos of me proves this, I am always the one to take the pictures. My children have said things like ‘mummy your tummy is all wobbly’, ‘mummy you have a really big bum’, ‘why are you so fat mummy?’ or ‘will I be fat when I’m a grown up?’ Their words really hit home and made me feel so ashamed of myself. What a poor example I have been setting for my children. Enough had to be enough and I needed to do something. I re-joined Weight Watchers and after about 5 months and losing only a few pounds decided it wasn’t working. I’d seen Booticamp Babes on Facebook and having tried just about everything else, decided to give it a go. I contacted Sarah and asked if I could go that same night, if I left it any longer I would’ve talked myself out of it.

I joined Booticamp Babes in August 2013 and participated in the sessions. I took part in my first challenge in March 2014 and haven’t looked back since; I am not on a diet, I just have a clean diet. I am a long way from reaching my goal but I know it is achievable. I still have an underactive thyroid and Degenerate Disc Disease, that’s not going to change but as my fitness has increased, my back is causing me less problems. I have lost nearly 4 stone and I really enjoy eating this way, it isn’t easy, but nothing worth having is! I attend 3 Booticamps a week and my lifestyle has now completely changed, As I said, it hasn’t been easy and there is still a long journey ahead but with the continued support from Booticamp and my friends and family I know I will reach the end. I am truly grateful to these people for the support they have provided and the encouragement they have given me when times were tough.