29/07/2013 08:54 BST | Updated 27/09/2013 06:12 BST

From a Size 20 to a Size 10 - Weight Loss That Works

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If you have read my bio, you will know that ten years ago I was a size 20 (UK), about 90kg, per-diabetic, with IBS, severe candida with intense and uncomfortable internal and external allergic reactions to sugar, gluten and dairy.

I've been pondering this over the last few weeks because I have met with some friends who have not seen me for a very long time, sometimes 25 years! What has been fascinating for me is that my change has been so gradual in my eyes - but quite dramatic for my friends and family. My swinging weight was either very thin and an exercise maniac, or bloated and over weight.

When I was in my twenties and in "self-loathing, exercise maniac, booze and drugs mode", I was pretty slim, athletic with no hips or bottom. When I was in "self-hatred, overeating and drinking gallons of lager mode", I had a huge belly and my whole body was swollen and bloated.

I certainly had a different 'ME' in the mirror over the years. When I look at photos of how I was over the last 20 years, there are big sad eyes looking back at me, confused and unsure and totally, completely uncomfortable about how I was being seen - I was always looking for feedback, wondering how people saw me ....

• Am I thin enough?

• Am I good enough for you?

• Do you like me?

• So you want me to change?

• What do you want me to do?

• Don't look at my body!

Over the last ten years I have been appreciating my body ... this was a totally foreign concept to me! Our bodies are all so different ... some of us are naturally faster in metabolism and some are slower; some are shorter or taller, slimmer or curves - it's natural we are different! Some nationalities have physical traits that are specific to our genetic make-up. It's such an opportunity to accept our uniqueness and love ourselves back with how we feed ourselves.

I have definitely come a long way and here are a few reasons for it and what I did to stop the momentum I was in...

•Stop eating and drinking what is poisoning me

•Exercise gently and stop the manic running and training I was doing

•Stop eating super-size meals

•Start loving myself and appreciating the body I have

•Being tender with myself and allowing myself to make mistakes

• Stop being self-judging and critical

• Allow others to be where they are with food

• Cook with tender care and nurturing

• Shop for food with joy!

As a consequence of this my body shape and life has changed ...

•I am now slimmer in my stomach

•I actually have a waist!

•I have curvier hips

•My skin is clear with no more acne or eczema

•I have more energy during the day

•I sleep deeply and consistently every night

•I enjoy work and love my home life balance

•My body has found it's natural weight

• I'm more confident

• I smile more!

Now on the natural weight subject ... when I was 16 years old, I was size 18 (UK) and bloated ... my mum supported me to go on a slimming program and they said my ideal weight is 55kg ... seriously that is too thin for me and I am now a very 'normal' 60kg for my 5'7" frame - totally in the 'normal range' according to my GP.

What poisons me will be different to you - we are all different with what we can and can't eat. When we eat and how much we need to eat will depend on how you are going with food. We each definitely need to find our own food 'mojo' and not give into cravings that are building on the self-talk of harm - that totally goes around in circles - I've been on the merry-go-round and I was spinning aimlessly and making myself sick.

Funny, now that I type that, I've realized that I've never liked those park rides and have always felt very ill after riding them!! Suffice to say, I am off the roundabout now and with feet firmly on the ground can honestly say it is possible to lose weight and keep it off - or to gain weight to fill the body we are meant to live in.

I am the Stradivarius of my expression - and I am unique, valuable and need to be treated with respect and appreciation.

Now as it feels my body is finally settling into its natural weight, at 45 years old I can truthfully say that I don't fear food anymore and what it might do to me. The power of weight loss that works has its foundation now and even though there is lots of temptation out there, I will stay true to me, and that's a promise!