Emma Jane Harkins used to tip the scales at 21st and was desperate to lose weight.
From the age of 11 she was wearing adult size 14 clothes and was known as “Big Em” at school.
She had been a slave to the scales throughout her lifetime and it was safe to say that definitely hadn’t worked.
But after making the difficult decision to ditch the scales once and for all, Emma Jane finally started slimming down.
Elora Harre, 23 has lost eight stone
Emma Jane lost 10st in just 10 months and only found out her true weight after reaching her target of 11st last June.
She said: “Until that point my whole life had been dictated by the numbers on the scales and it had not helped me at all.
“What I saw on the scales was destroying my diets because if it didn’t show what I wanted I would give up so taking that excuse away is what made the difference this time.
“I’m happier and healthier than I have ever been all thanks to ditching the scales.”
Emma Jane was just 15 when she started her first diet after joining a slimming club. At the time she was 5ft 5ins tall and weighed 13st.
She managed to lose 3lbs in the first week swapping pasties for lean meat. But when her loss slowed the week after she stopped going.
She said: “I would always start losing weight but as soon as the numbers slowed and made me think I had ‘failed’.
“My resolve would disappear and it would be over. I’d go back up and put on more.”
In June 2015, Emma Jane was left distraught after losing both her cousin and a friend to breast cancer.
“I was angry and grieving the loss of these two beautiful healthy women,” she said. “I wondered why it hadn’t been me, I was the fat unhealthy one throwing my life away.”
She felt she owed it to them to try and tackle her weight again.
A friend had told her about the Cambridge Weight Plan which involves swapping food for shakes, soups and bars – totalling 600 calories a day.
Emma Jane convinced her slimming consultant to keep her weight secret while she looked away from the reading.
“At last I had found a way to stick to a diet”
Emma Jane Harkins
She said: “At first he wasn’t sure, nobody had ever asked him to do that before, slimmers were normally desperate to jump on the scales and see what they had lost but when I explained why he understood.
“I would wonder and try and imagine how close I was to my target but dared not risk finding out when at last I had found a way to stick to a diet.”
Instead she measured her success on how she felt and how her clothes fitted. When friends asked how much she had lost she said she honestly that she had no idea.
But in just 10 months Emma Jane hit her goal, which was when her consultant finally told her what she weighed.
She said: “As usual I got on and he weighed me as I looked away.
“Then he smiled and said: ‘You’ve done it You are 11st. It was the fist time I had heard my weight in 10 months.”
Gradually Emma Jane began introducing healthy balanced meals into her diet.
She said: “The scales had defined me for as long as I could remember, it was only once I go rid of them that change happened so it has to be worth a try for any other women out there who can identify with how the weighs ins made me feel.
“Because once they were gone, I finally won the battle between me and the scales.”