​BULGING BAKER: I LOST 10st IN GREAT BRITISH SHAKE OFF!

I loved baking but when I saw a photo of myself holding a cake, I knew she had to change… Rhonda Walker, 30

Licking the spoon, I felt a familiar feeling. I knew I shouldn’t but I couldn’t help myself. ‘One more bite won’t hurt,’ I thought, slicing off a slither of freshly made victoria sponge before coating it in buttercream.


I had always loved baking and from the age of 10, would spend my evenings rustling up lasagnes and sweet treats for my family. I grew up in a house where you were told to finish everything on your plate and learned to let nothing go to waste.

My passion for baking continued into adulthood and when I met my 6ft 2in bouncer hubby Paul in 2010, I showered him with homemade treats.

Convinced the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, I would make him his favourite banana bread most weekends. It clearly worked because in December 2011 we tied the knot.

It was a beautiful ceremony and pouring my curves into a size 16 wedding dress, we cut our vanilla sponge, hand in hand.

I was already uncomfortable with my size but as I settled into married life, matters only got worse. Working in a care home, I would be fed a two course meal each day, which would usually be a roast with something creamy for dessert.

I’d get home and reward myself with a hearty lasagne, chips and ice cream or a take away with Paul. I would snack on crisps, chocolate and my beloved cream cakes, buying everything in multi-packs and finishing the lot. I can’t have just one, I’d tell myself. That would mean walking to the fridge door!

I lacked energy and as a result would spend our weekends sat in the cinema, going out for lunch or slumped in front of the telly.

Paul’s family live in Birmingham and every year when they come down to visit we take a family selfie. But with each year I had noticed myself getting bigger and bigger in the family pic and when they’d appear on Facebook I’d feel mortified.

In a bid to comfort myself I would reach for the cake mix, baking myself to distraction. I began taking my baking more seriously and, flattered by the compliments I had begun to receive, opened my own cake business in 2015.

It was the cherry on the top and my size 16 frame rose to a well-baked size 24. Working from the comfort of my own kitchen and hating to see food go to waste, I would slice the top of the cake off entirely, slapping it on a plate and smothering it with frosting.

At 20st 12lbs, I grew embarrassed of my podgy pudding of a body. I began to worry what people would think and hated being seen with Paul in case his friends wondered what he was doing with a blobby blancmange like me.

I absolutely hated doing the things I should have loved like shopping for clothes. I would force myself in plus size shops which not only were expensive but didn’t cater for my style.

Then, when a picture of me holding a birthday cake I had baked appeared on TimeHop on my Facebook page, I knew there was no way to sugar coat it. Something had to change.

I joined Slimming World in April last year and was determined to shrink my figure. I had quit smoking the year before and knew I could do anything I put my mind to.

Determined, I paid for 12 weeks for my diet plan up front. It’ll be a piece of cake, I thought.

Although that may not have been the case at first, everyone in my group was lovely. It was so motivational to be surrounded by others in my position and our weekly meetings became a social event.

I began eating healthily and learned to resist picking at my bakes. I realised that by now I could tell just by looking at my cake creations if they were done or not, I didn’t need to taste everything.

I began boxing up the off-cuts and shared them with friends and family. I also learned to control my sugar cravings and filled up on vegetables instead, enjoying healthy home-cooked meals, like syn-free Hunter’s chicken with Paul and my daughter Mili, 11.

Now, 18 months on, I’ve lost an incredible 10 stone, shrinking to a trim size 12. I have so much more energy than ever before and even cycle to work. I also take a fun dance class once a week and take the dog out twice a day with Mili.

What’s best, I can shop wherever I want now and no longer have to reach for the back of the rack. I can wear clothes for my age rather than frumpy plus size numbers.

I’ve been left with a lot of excess skin which is difficult to come to terms with and I am slowly learning to get used to it. I would still like to lose another 12.5lbs to reach my target but feel healthier than ever.

I still enjoy a tasty treat every now and then, and will indulge in a syn-free Eton mess to satisfy my sweet tooth. I still love my cakes, but have realised I no longer need to bake my cake and eat it too!

DIET BEFORE

BREAKFAST 3 slices of toast
LUNCH Roast dinner with custard dessert
DINNER lasagne and chips or Takeaway, 2 Magnums

DIET NOW

BREAKFAST cooked breakfast fat free mushrooms eggs beans and Linda Mccartney sausages

LUNCH lunch cornish pasties without the pastries with tortilla wraps with salad

DINNER salmon jacket potato salad healthy extra B syn free , dessert slimming world friendly eton mess low-fat yogurt meringue nest and fruit snack on fruit.


Rhonda was a master baker but she hated her size 24 blancmange body, so when she signed up to Slimming World, she was thrilled when she lost a staggering 10 stone. Sell My Story helped Rhonda share her slimming success with a glossy magazine for a top fee. If you've got a story to sell, give us a call on 0117 973 3730





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