CARLY Taylor, 39, is a weight-loss consultant and lives in Hornchurch, Essex, with her husband Tommy, 37, and children Teddy, eight, and Joey, six.
Today she opens up on her weight loss journey, how she turned her life around and the effects her transformation had on her family.
Carly Taylor, pictured above at her heaviest when she weighted nearly 17st, has opened up about her transformation
The mum looks great, pictured above after losing the weight she put on from her lockdown drinking habit
“Draining my second bottle of rioja, I peeled myself off the sofa and staggered to bed.
My drinking habit had started two years before, during the first lockdown in 2020, but even though the pandemic was over, my excessive boozing was not.
I was drinking up to two bottles a day, which led to binge-eating junk food, and meant I’d put on 5st. I was out of control and in denial.
Before that first lockdown, I’d never had a problem with alcohol or my weight, enjoying healthy home-cooked meals, the occasional takeaway and a few drinks at the weekend.
But when Covid struck in March 2020, I was overcome by depression and anxiety.
Memories of the traumatic birth of my eldest son Teddy, in December 2014, haunted me – he’d needed to be resuscitated and developed sepsis, and we’d spent a horrific week in hospital praying he’d pull through.
I thought I’d dealt with it – especially after the straightforward birth of our second son, Joey, in September 2016 – but all of a sudden, flashbacks and anxiety overwhelmed me.
Unable to work as a beauty therapy tutor, I was stuck at home and I started using alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Within weeks, I’d gone from having the occasional glass of wine to staying up, often on my own, drinking two bottles a night, which led to me eating endless crisps, chocolate and takeaways, followed by rounds of white toast and butter in the morning to help with my hangover.
My husband Tommy seldom drank, and when he questioned my drinking, I just said everyone was doing it to get through the long, boring days, and that I’d cut down when the lockdowns ended. But when life did return to normal, I couldn’t stop.
I also got bigger and bigger. I avoided mirrors and looking at my wedding photos from 2012, when I was a trim size 12 and 11st. Ten years on, I was pushing 17st and a size 22.
I was only 38, yet I had no energy to play with our sons, I couldn’t climb stairs without getting out of breath and I had no self-respect.
Too big to fit into my old clothes, I took to wearing black baggy tops and leggings.
Plus, it was affecting my marriage – being drunk and overweight isn’t the best aphrodisiac.
By May last year, I realised enough was enough – I was addicted, and the only answer was to give up drinking.
I didn’t taper down – I just stopped. Luckily, I had no withdrawal symptoms. My friends and family were massively supportive. They all knew I’d been drinking too much and were so encouraging.
At first, I ended up snacking more, as my focus was on not drinking, so my weight actually increased.
By the end of the summer, I knew I’d beaten the bottle, but now my body needed addressing. I’d put on another 7lb, going up to 16st 10lb. At 5ft 2in, my BMI was 43 and I was obese.
I had a friend who’d lost 5st on the 1:1 Diet By Cambridge Weight Plan, and I decided to give it a go.
In November, I started with four meal-replacement products a day, totalling 800 calories, along with four litres of water.
The first week was especially tough, but after a month I’d lost a stone and I began to have more energy than I’d had in years.
I continued for two months, before introducing regular food again. By June this year, I’d shed just under 6st, taking me to 11st.
To fit into size-12 clothes again feels amazing. Tommy couldn’t be prouder of me. But best of all, I can run around with the kids, who say they love their ‘new mum’.
I’m now a weight-loss consultant, showing people that if I can turn my life around, anyone can.
I can’t believe how easy it was to slip into problem drinking, and I’m so glad I’m now in control of my health and emotions.
I genuinely never miss booze now – and I’m always the last one dancing at a party!”
- Follow Carly on Instagram @losing_it_121.
Carly reveals she can now run around with her kids and feels amazing, pictured with husband Tommy and sons Teddy and Joey
Carly says: ‘I’m now a weight-loss consultant, showing people that if I can turn my life around, anyone can’
One in five adults in the UK drank alcohol as a way to handle stress or anxiety during lockdown.*
Call Drinkline free on 0300 123 1110 if you’re concerned about your drinking or someone else’s.