FOR some the aim of going on a diet is to reach a certain weight.
But for Cara Porter, all she wanted was to be able to fit into a size 12 pair of jeans.
The 27-year-old, from Leicester, had just had a "Christmas blow out" where she'd gorged on Orange Matchmakers and dinner with all the trimmings.
Her family had started talking about the upcoming year and their plans to go on holiday to Cyprus in the summer.
Cara suddenly felt mortified about her dad seeing her in a bikini and knew it was time to do something about it.
“I saw myself waddling over to the pool, flabby belly almost blocking out the sun, as mum and dad watched from their loungers," she said.
“The trip was nine months away, which gave me nine months to shift the weight.
“On New Year’s Day 2019 I had a huge beef dinner with cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes and two puddings, enjoying every mouthful."
A week later she decided to sign up to Slimming World and was shocked to see she was tipping the scales at 15st 10lbs.
To give herself extra motivation she bought a pair of size-12 “goal jeans” from Superdry online.
“Standing in my bathroom, I tugged them up as far as they’d go, which was barely above my knees, then snapped a photo with my wobbly tum on show,” she said.
Cara says she’d always been a big girl, with the boys at school calling her ‘Fatty Bum Bum’. And working nightshifts through her 20s hadn’t helped.
She explains: “I ate at weird times of the day, surviving on rounds of white bread sandwiches, energy drinks and grab bags of Cadbury’s buttons.
“By the time Christmas 2018 rolled around I was struggling to squeeze into a size 18 maroon dress for our staff party at an all-you-can-eat Indian.
“My flabby belly was my real problem area. It hung over the top of my jeans – I had more rolls than a Greggs bakery.”
After her mum Joanne’s turkey dinner on Christmas Day, Cara felt fatter than ever.
So when they sat chatting about their holiday plans, between cold turkey leftovers and reruns of Mrs Brown’s Boys, Cara’s lightbulb moment came.
“It’d been years since we’d holidayed together as a family and we’d booked a trip to Paphos for September," she said.
“We couldn’t wait for a bit of summer sun to look forward to, but as we chatted I was hit by a sudden thought: 'Oh my God… dad’s going to see me in a bikini'."
As the months passed Cara swapped white bread sandwiches and cans of Apple and Kiwi Relentless for sugar-free pop and crabsticks.
“I’d cook a chicken and leave it in the fridge to pick at instead of chocolate,” she says.
“I set up an account on Instagram to monitor my progress, posting photos of my meals.
“I love ketchup and sauces, and a lot of them are half a syn or one syn for a tablespoon or teaspoon.
"Instead of dolloping them out onto the plate, I bought some pretty plastic measuring spoons and used them artfully in my photos.”
By the time the holiday rolled round Cara was over 4st lighter.
“Walking through the airport with my size 12 goal jeans easily buttoned up felt brilliant,” she smiles.
“And as dad and I sipped beers in the pool bar I decided to come clean.
"He and mum had both noticed how much healthier I looked, but they had no idea what’d motivated me.
“’It was you’ I told Dad. ‘I couldn’t face you seeing my wobbly belly in a bikini.
“He was so touched, he even shed a few tears. When we got home he took my photos into work to show his colleagues how much I’d lost.”
By the following Christmas, she was 5st lighter and determined not to fall off the wagon.
She gave herself a cheat day on Christmas Day, enjoying her mum’s cooking to the full, but for the rest of the time she stuck to plan.
Cara now weights 10st 7lb and is a healthy size 10 to 12.
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