She starred as one of the UK's most popular soap characters playing sassy barmaid Eva Price in Coronation Street - and Catherine Tyldesley's enviable physique has even earned her nominations for sexiest female soap actress.
But while she looks incredible, Catherine, 35, who has a son, Alfie, three, with her fitness trainer husband Tom Pitfield, says she has not always been confident about her looks. As a teenager she was so overweight she avoided communal changing rooms and the gym because she was so embarrassed about the way she looked.
The actress says she gained the weight by eating junk food and by the time she was 17, she was a size 22.
She says, "Basically I was greedy and lazy. I was very unfit too and got to the point where I couldn't walk up the stairs without getting out of breath and I didn't want to go and get undressed in changing rooms."
Catherine, who first opened up about her weight battle in 2013, adds, "My parents always gave me really nutritious home-cooked meals but when I got into high school, I'd go to the tuck shop or the chippie on the way home."
But the star - who bid a tearful farewell to the Street earlier this year after a seven-year stint - says the turning point came when she went to an audition for a musical theatre production.
She says, "I'd gone for the lead female role and the producers told me I'd always be the comedy character - 'the fat, funny one'. I was super unfit, so they did me a favour in the long run. It was a big wake up call."
She began her weight loss journey and dropped seven dresses sizes by cutting out junk food and starting a regular exercise routine. Now, she's a size 8 and a healthy 64kg and happier than ever.
She tells: "I started cutting down what I was eating massively. Slowly, I lost five stone over the course of a year. I didn't do anything stupid because I had already tried all the faddy diets and nothing was sustainable for life. So I did it in a healthy way."
Her rules for weight loss are to keep it simple, "remember portion control" and balance.
"Everyone can enjoy a little bit of what you fancy at times - I adore chocolate and I love Christmas and all those treats - but diets do not work, that is something I am extremely passionate about," she insists.
"So it was a total lifestyle change. I started exercising very slowly too, I did fitness DVDs at home, because I was too embarrassed to go to the gym. As I started losing weight, I felt like a completely different person. I really noticed it in my clothes - I looked and felt better, and it was great not always having to buy in the plus size section in shops. Just feeling more confident in myself all round. It was such a wonderful experience.
"Now, I aim for a minimum of three weight training sessions a week. Some weeks it's impossible and if it is, then I try and walk everywhere and do my 10,000 steps a day."
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