15/04/2012 19:03 BST | Updated 15/06/2012 06:12 BST

My Battle With Body Image

My body and weight has always been a concern for me. I know people might look at me and think that I have the great body and that when I mention my issues, they assume I am just seeking attention. But to me it's real.

I have always had issues with my body and as I get older it has become more of a concern. When I was Miss Wales, I was a size eight. While I don't weigh myself, I know that my weight has increased. At its worst, I was well over a size 12. That's a 50% increase; the same as someone going from a size 12 to size 18. Psychologically that amount of increase would have an impact on any woman.

I know many women have issues with their bodies, I certainly do. I don't like my hips and I have cellulite. And, there are times I despise my body and, although I know I'm not fat, I do think that I need to reduce my weight to feel happy - and that's the thing isn't it; feeling comfortable about yourself.

Now I don't think we should all be a size zero because I genuinely believe that people find curves more attractive than being stick thin. Also as you get older being too thin can be less attractive.

My problem is that I absolutely love my food so I find it difficult to control my weight. To make up for it I exercise a lot, but exercise alone is not enough. And whilst I adore all things sweet, I know I must change my attitude to eating, if I am to get to grips with my weight and shape.

I have tried many diets but I never stick them. I always think, what's the point? Because most diets are restrictive - stopping eating certain types of foods but once you've lost the weight and you start eating those foods again the weight soon creeps back up.

I've tried to just cut down on eating fatty foods - like crisps and chocolate - but it's difficult as I love eating them, especially cream eggs.

Additionally, I do not have a conventional 9 to 5 work life; I'm always on the go, so it is difficult to stick to a diet. I often finish work late, as does my boyfriend so we often end up either eating out or having takeaways. If I have had a particularly bad day, believe it or not, I'll order a dessert first because for me that's the comfort I need to get over a stressful day.

I think I lot of busy women will understand this - whether they are mothers with kids or women with hectic, high pressure jobs. Realistically, they just do not have the time to put into practice the healthy lifestyle they are told to or even want to live.

As I get older, I need to have a more balanced and healthier relationship with food. You'd think I'd know better with my degree in health studies but for me, and many others, food is a comforter and fuel rather than an enjoyable experience. The last couple of years have been very stressful which has had an impact on my eating habits and it's difficult to get out of that routine.

However, I'm in a stable and happy relationship, I'm more positive about taking control but I know it's not going to be easy to cut back on the sweet things I crave. But like an alcoholic, the first thing to do is recognise you have a problem. Now that I have, I am taking control.

Over the last few months I've been looking into the various weight loss aids and diets, which has been very interesting. I've tried many weird and wonderful remedies, like hypnotherapy and another - I won't mention - even gave me the shakes. I've now finally settled on one that I like and that works for me.

I've been on the plan for the last few months and the great thing is that it allows me to continue to eat the foods that I enjoy but just eat a little less of them, without even thinking about it. Already I've dropped a dress size.

I think finally, I am getting a more positive attitude to food and more importantly I am finally getting used to my body and my curves.