By Liana Jacob
MEET THE British mum-of-two whose postnatal depression was so bad that it led her on a binge eating spiral that caused her to gain a massive SIX-AND-A-HALF-STONE until a picture of herself triggered her to lose weight.
Stay-at-home-mum, Christine McMullan (29), from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, began gaining weight after the birth of her daughter, Abbie (now 6), in December 2011, with a weight of 13st and a UK size 10-12.
When her second child, Lily (now 4), was born in August 2014, there were complications with her birth and this resulted in Christine being diagnosed with postnatal depression in December 2014 which led to binge-eating as she barely left the house. Her weight increased to 19st 7Ibs and a UK size 20.
The six-foot-one mum spent a year feeling insecure about her weight and struggled to play with her children. Then in 2015 she came across a picture of herself at a friend’s baby shower and this was a wake-up call for her, so she decided to join Slimming World.
Her new diet and dedication to hit the target of 10,000 steps a day, helped her shrink to a healthier 16st and UK size 14 and she now has the confidence to be an active mum with her daughters.
“I’ve always struggled with my weight, through high school and at university and after getting pregnant with my eldest, I piled on the weight but managed to lose some after giving birth,” Christine said.
“After the birth of my second daughter, she had several medical issues which led to a lot of comfort eating for me and being diagnosed with postnatal depression.
“I’m still on medication for this but I think between medication and eating better/being more active both for myself and doing things with my children has definitely helped my frame of mind.
“With my postnatal depression, I was barely leaving the house and just wanted to be with my children twenty-four-seven, without them leaving my sight.
“I was doing no exercise and just constantly eating to make myself feel better. This made me feel worse when I saw how much weight I was putting on which would lead to me eating more to feel better.
“It caused lots of comfort eating. I would binge eat chocolate and order takeaways as it felt like too much effort to cook.
“I wasn’t happy with my body at all; I wasn’t in a great state of mind and never wanted to go out with my friends and their children.
“I felt like people would stare at me as I had piled on so much weight. I felt so uncomfortable and not ‘like myself’ at all.
“After seeing a picture of myself at a friend’s baby shower, I felt so embarrassed. I cried at seeing it and saved it on my phone, then decided to join Slimming World.
“It still took a few weeks before I plucked up the courage to go to a group. I felt tired all the time, my skin was always breaking out. I didn’t want to be the mum who couldn’t play with her kids due to her weight.
“I count ‘syns’ now through Slimming World, instead of binge eating chocolate or takeaways. I’ve changed small things, like oil to fry-light, I cut the fat off my meat and I eat a lot more vegetables.”
Christine explains that her weight loss hasn’t just improved her physical appearance, but it has also helped with her ongoing medical issues.
“I had high blood pressure (genetic) which was always high before losing weight, even though I was on medication for it. Since losing weight it has stabilised,” she said.
“I’m able to play with my girls, run after them, we went to Disneyland earlier this year and before I would panic about fitting on the rides, this time I was able to sit on the seats comfortably.
“I don’t constantly feel tired and I can go into shops knowing what clothes size I am and feel more comfortable.
“I still have weight to lose but I feel so much better about how I look, I’m in a much better frame of mind and I think eating healthily helps with that. Healthy body, healthy mind.”
Christine says the most difficult part about losing weight was resisting the temptation of chocolate, which was her weakness.
“Chocolate has always been my biggest issue, I recently went one-hundred days chocolate-free and I’m thinking of doing another one-hundred days.
“I gave up chocolate in all forms; biscuits, bars, cake, milkshake, ice cream etc. People can’t believe how different I look now compared to just a few short years ago.
“I use Instagram for inspiration as there are so many people out there doing Slimming World and this can be searched through the hashtag.
“I would say to look at all the different meals you can make. You can still have curries, fries, burgers etc. Planning is essential, so you don’t ‘fall off plan’.
“Find your local slimming world group, you’ll always be welcomed with open arms and so many like-minded people are there to help you.”
To find your nearest Slimming World group, call 0344 897 8000 or log on to: www.slimmingworld.co.uk