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‘I’m 7 sizes smaller!’

How mum-of-four Tracey Houlihan lost almost 7st and gained more energy for the people that matter
TRACEY WEARS: Dress, Lipsy. Shrug, Monsoon. Shoes, LK Bennett. Bag, New Look

Tracey, 36, lives in Kildare, County Kildare, with her husband David and their children Cormac, nine, Maggie, seven, Cillian, five, and Sophie, two. She’s 5ft 7ins tall and weighs 10st, having lost 6st 12lbs in nine months at Donna Keogh’s group in Kildare

Thirteen years ago, my mum died suddenly. Dad was devastated and my sister and I took on the running of the house, always cooking big meals for everyone. While eating together helped us share our grief, for me, it was the start of a decade of comfort eating that continued even after I left home and got married.

Four difficult pregnancies didn’t help my weight, either. I had pre-eclampsia with all my babies and was hospitalised for long periods. By the time my youngest arrived in February 2013, I was the heaviest and sickest I’d ever been. I was told I’d been on the verge of a stroke when she was delivered. It was the lowest period of my life. I had a beautiful new baby girl, but felt lost in my size-22 body.

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About Slimming World

Get ready for a slim and confident sunshine season with the July issue of Slimming World magazine – everything you need to feel good inside and out Meet six real-life slimmers who prove you can find your happy weight whatever your age: from bride-to-be Tori, getting married in a size 10 dress, to mother-of-the-bride Louise, slim and fit at 50+; from mum-of-four Tracey, seven sizes smaller, to dad of four Richard, enjoying his sixth decade after losing 8st – you’ll find a story to inspire you here. When it comes to kick-starting your own slimdown, our super-satisfying seven-day eating plan will get you off to a great start. Also on the menu: perfect pasta for any occasion; simple dishes made special; a healthy (and delicious!) lamb rogan josh, and pretty-as-a-picture puds – 48 recipes, all carefully created to help speed you to your target weight. Accepting and respecting your body as it is now can have big pay-offs for your slimming campaign, too: check out our total confidence masterclass; invest in your future health in 17 easy ways; discover how to exercise your fitness rights (even if you’ve always thought getting active wasn’t for you) and shop ‘til you drop 7lbs with our expert style advice. Happy summer slimming!