My eyes widened with gluttonous glee as my teeth clamped down on my double patty burger.
"Yum," I said licking my lips.
I was 22 years old and Maccas was my kryptonite – I was addicted, so it was little wonder my dress size matched my age.
I'd never been a skinny mini. As a kid I was healthy and played heaps of netball but I'd always been a bit chubby.
As a family, although we never ate fast food growing up, we were blissfully unaware about portion control.
We'd been told to finish everything on our plate and I lived by that lesson.
When I got my driver's licence in my late teens, I stopped playing netball and the freedom of having a car opened my eyes to the world of drive-thru fast food.
It was completely new for me and I quickly made up for lost time.
A large Big Mac, fries and fizzy drink, plus a few extra cheeseburgers and ice-cream became my sneaky staple.
At 19, I weighed myself for the first time ever and was stunned by the number – I had reached 103.5kg.
How could I have become that big?
Shocked into action, I managed to downsize, losing 30kg over two years, but I didn't maintain my size-12 frame for long.
I became a yo-yo dieter after that, experimenting with every weight-loss program under the sun.
Each time I'd shed a few kilos but it would never be long before my binge-eating demons returned.
I'd be riddled with shame after a big session of eating, so the next day I'd vow to eat healthy, starting with a virtuous two-egg vegie omelette.
But then the cravings would kick in and I'd want more.
Sometimes I'd buy oven-baked chips and chicken nuggets and eat the lot before mid-morning.
Exhausted from eating, I'd have a nap only to eat a rice and vegie lunch afterwards and wash it down with a bar of chocolate and my usual large Big Mac meal plus all the extras.
Even all that didn't fill me up for the day.
I'd still have room for a steak and vegetable dinner, along with four thickly buttered slices of bread.
The bigger I got, the quieter friends and family became – no-one mentioned my weight gain.
My mates were all trim little size-10 things.
Luckily, I could pull off a stylish dress with my pear-shaped body and it helped that I was a make-up artist at the time, so I knew how to accentuate my best features.
But that didn't stop me feeling self-conscious, especially when it came to my legs.
I wore leggings to hide them, even if they didn't match my outfit.
"You can't wear those with that dress," my friend said one day.
She was looking at the leggings and dress combo I was trying on, while she was trying a sexy jumpsuit.
"I don't have a choice," I replied, recoiling in shame.
My weight affected me physically, too, jogging was a nightmare.
My legs were so big I had to swing them out to the sides to run.
When I was 21, my partner and I had a baby boy, Oliver and during the pregnancy I put on 30kg.
Things didn't work out with Oliver's dad and I never shed the baby weight.
Again, I tried trendy diets but I'd always end up storming into Maccas and scoffing as many burgers as I could.
Once I had it six times in five days.
Two years later, I was desperate to do something about my weight once and for all.
I started documenting my journey on Instagram.
I was educated in fitness and nutrition, but wanted people to be aware of my uncontrollable struggles.
I was getting lots of support and one day, a personal trainer from Melbourne called Ben asked to meet me.
I was instantly suspicious.
What would a fitness fanatic want with me?
Everyone has struggles and you're fighting so hard to fix yours, he wrote. It's an attractive quality.
My heart melted.
When we met, my weight clearly didn't bother Ben and within six months he'd moved to Brisbane and we were living together.
I confided in him whenever I slipped up and overate and he'd encourage me to eat healthily and go for walks.
But with Maccas always at the forefront of my mind, nothing fixed my urge to pig-out.
It was like I was addicted to the stuff.
After the birth of our son, Ari, I reached my heaviest.
I weighed 117kg. Gulp!
"It has to stop," I cried to Ben.
Some friends of mine had a gastric sleeve procedure to lose weight.
I'd always been sceptical but eating healthily and exercising clearly wasn't working for me. Going under the knife seemed like the only option left.
"I'm worried that it won't fix you're state of mind," Ben fretted. "We can beat this together."
His words made me love him even more, but I'd been battling my weight for 10 years.
I was fed up.
"I'm having this surgery," I decided.
"I'll support you no matter what," he said lovingly.
Afterwards, I was new woman.
In just four months I'd lost 30kg and couldn't bear the thought of eating a Big Mac!
Even if I wanted to, my belly couldn't cope with anything more than saucer-sized meals.
I couldn't even finish a single sushi roll.
A year on, I was visiting the same friend who'd once questioned my unattractive leggings and dress combo.
We were getting ready to go out, but I couldn't decide what to wear.
"Borrow something of mine," she offered.
Rifling through her wardrobe, I spied her sexy jumpsuit.
Incredibly, it fit like a glove! I felt so good; and was bursting with pride.
Now, I've surpassed my goal weight of 70kg and I now weigh 68kg.
I couldn't be happier.
Not only has the fat melted away, so has my binge-eating addiction.
Physically and mentally, I'm healthier than ever and Ben and the kids are thrilled.
"Mummy you're so beautiful," Ari, two, says, hugging me tight.
It's music to my ears.
Big Macs are monsters to me now and the idea of a future without Maccas thrills me.
There's no turning back now.
If you are wanting to overhaul your fitness regime, be sure to check in with your trusted GP and/or your personal trainer first.
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Australian Women's WeeklyFeb 14, 2019