‘I’ve been running my own cake-baking business part-time since August last year and, while I’ve ditched midnight snacking and other secret eating, I can’t trust myself when it comes to sampling my own cakes,’ Jennie admits.
‘It’s all or nothing, so I just have to make sure I don’t start, or I’ll polish off the lot!’
Always a chubby child, aged 19, Jennie, was diagnosed with gallstones and the pain saw her lose her appetite and shed five stone.
But, after surgery to remove her gallbladder when she was 19, she quickly regained her sweet tooth – piling all the weight back on, while she studied textiles at Loughborough University.
It was her student days that triggered Jennie’s secret eating.
‘I remember being at a party, surrounded by slim girls and I couldn’t stand it. I felt disgusting, as everyone looked gorgeous, except me. I’d struggled to find anything to wear that night and felt so uncomfortable, I just left,’ Jennie recalls.
‘After that, I started binging on my own. I’d buy two meal deals, eat one on my own without anyone knowing and down the second one in front of people, so they saw me eat. I’d eat chocolate on my own in bed at night – a big sharing bar all to myself. I was addicted to food and loved eating the bad stuff.’
She adds: ‘I wouldn’t eat a huge amount in the day as I was ashamed to be seen eating, it was at night that i really indulge. When the evening came, I would make a meal for three – but polish it all off myself. Usually, I’d have seconds and go back for thirds later on.
‘Looking back it makes me feel sick to think about how much food I could consume, but at the time it was normal.’
When she started dating mechanical engineer Lewis, 28, in January 2013, after meeting him at a party, going on to get engaged the following New Year’s Eve at a cabin in Wales, Jennie – at that point weighing 95kg – knew she had to slim down.
‘I’d managed to lose a bit of weight by going to a Weight Watchers class after university, but still felt so obese,’ she recalls.
‘After I got engaged, I vowed I wouldn’t be a fat bride and was determined to slim down before our big day on May 20, 2016.
‘So, later that year me and Lewis joined Weight Watchers again and now, after my weight going up and down over the years, I have lost losing 39kg in total and I feel amazing.
On my wedding day, I wore a stunning ivory strapless gown and, while I’d once felt more like Shrek, I felt like a princess.’
Jennie’s secret? A healthy breakfast of baked oats, a salad for lunch, lots of soups and something ‘homecooked’ for dinner.
‘And my portion sizes are much smaller,’ she says.