My life-saving diet!

I stopped being a lump - then I happened to find one...

Published by: Polly Taylor & Amy Thompson
Published on: 5th May 2011

They must have labelled these trousers wrong! There was no way I’d gone from a size 16 to a 22!
I checked the tag again. Nope, they definitely said size 22 and when I looked in the changing room mirror, I could see how snugly they fitted…
How had I got this big?
Before having my boys Robert, 22, and Andrew, 17, I’d been a size 12. When I’d gone up to a curvy 14, I hadn’t worried. Even when I’d piled on a few more pounds, I’d been happy with my size 16 figure.
But never in a million years had I expected I’d end up this big. ‘That’s it,’ I said. ‘I’m not buying any more clothes until I’ve
lost weight.’
I joined my local Slimming World group. All the women there were so friendly, it was more like a social get-together than a chore, chatting and swapping recipes. And the results were fantastic!
‘The weight’s falling off,’ my hubby Robert, 62, gasped one morning.
‘Great, isn’t it?’ I beamed. ‘At this rate, I won’t be buying a new pair of trousers, I’ll need a whole new wardrobe.’
In a year, I lost 5st 4lb and slimmed to a size 12. But as I slipped into a new top one morning, I felt something odd on my right breast – a lump!
It was tiny, but I decided to get it checked out, just in case. When I went back for the results of my mammogram, though…
‘I’m afraid you have breast cancer,’ the doctor said. ‘We’ll have to remove your breast and give you chemotherapy. But your chances of getting rid of the cancer are good. You’re lucky you noticed it early.’
His words cut through me like a knife, I was stunned into silence. Then, something occurred to me. ‘If I was still big, would I have noticed the lump?’
‘Probably not,’ he replied. ‘It was quite small, and it would have been covered under fatty tissue.’
Slimming had saved my life. I couldn’t believe it.
After my mastectomy last May, and a course of chemo, I was fighting fit. I even made it through to the finals of Slimming World’s Slimmer of the Year awards. Although I didn’t win, it was a great excuse to get glammed up after all that medical care I’d had.
And just think – if I hadn’t lost that weight, I wouldn’t have felt that lump in my breast. I dread to think what would have happened… But now I’ve got a whole new wardrobe of clothes – and a new lease of life, too!
• To find your nearest Slimming World group, call 0844 8978000 or visit
Sharon Phillips, 51, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk