Shelly Mollard, 47, Dovecot

Being active gives me a great sense of achievement and makes me feel powerful, strong and in control. It gets rid of all my stress and leaves me feeling great, really great.

I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and I feel amazing, I’m the happiest, most positive person you could meet and, finally, I feel in control of me. But I didn’t always feel like this. After the birth of my second son nine years ago I was overweight, depressed and desperate.

I’d always been slim and went to the gym but after I had my son I piled the weight on. I was always tired and out of breath but I put it down to anaemia which I’d always suffered from – until a new GP diagnosed celiac disease.

I went on a suitable diet but it was as though I felt I could eat anything as long as it was gluten free, the biscuits, everything. I am 5ft 8in, but I went from 10st 4lbs to 13st 7lbs. Then I was so depressed, I just comfort-ate.

The worst thing was when my sons tried to hug me – and they couldn’t even begin to get their arms around me!

So I decided to make a change. I started a nutrition-based healthy eating scheme and, along with being active, it has helped me get into the best shape ever. I do Metafit and kettle bells once a week each, and I have dumb-bells at home and battle ropes in the garden, which the boys do with me too.

I would advise any woman to just go for it. Don’t be afraid. The hardest part is starting something but it can soon become part of your life. Being active is the best decision you will make, for yourself and those around you – and you will soon realise how much better you feel for it.

And the best bit is that my boys can give me the tightest squeeze ever!