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Mother opens cake shop & loses seven stone

By Deborah Arthurs
A mother who comfort ate her way to obesity on a daily diet of puddings and desserts dropped seven dress sizes and lost seven stone - after starting her own cake business.
Diane Michelson, 36, ballooned to 17st and dress size 24 after filling up between meals on homemade cakes, muffins and sweet treats.
The 5ft 5in tall mother-of-two tried 'every diet going' but found she inevitably returned to her old habits - until she decided to turn her passion for pudding into a business.
Despite being surrounded by temptation every day, Diane managed to stick to a strict new diet and shrank to a healthy 10st 7lbs and a dress size 10.
Newly slim Diane has now gained a master's certificate in sugar craft and sits on the committee of the Cambridge Sugarcraft Guild.
Diane, who lives with her husband Chris, 37, daughter Jade, six, and son Jett, four, admits starting cake business 'Diane's Cakes' was 'like an alcoholic working in a bar'.
She said: 'In my mid-twenties I got chronic fatigue syndrome and put on some weight. From then on I continued comfort eating and just ballooned.
'I have a real sweet tooth, I love cakes and puddings. I used to snack on muffins and cakes during the day and would always have pudding after dinner.
'It got to the point when I was baking daily and I came to feel that it defined who I was in a negative way.
'My self esteem was very low, I felt I was a good friend and mother but had nothing going for myself. I felt my personality was hidden inside my fat body.
'Everyone complimented my baking. I had considered starting a business but kept putting it off because I thought it would be disastrous for my health.
'I felt it would be like an alcoholic working in a bar.'
Diane, from Cambridge, decided to turn her life around when she simultaneously joined Lighter Life, a meal replacement diet regime, took up dancing - she is now a member of a contemporary dance troupe - and set up a cake business in 2009.
She added: 'I always wanted to start my own business so finally doing it gave me a real sense of achievement.
'I worried starting a baking business would be like an alcoholic working in a bar.'
'Now I get pleasure from using my creativity to design wonderful cakes and puddings for my business rather than eating.
'Every day it's a temptation but I have pictures of my success in the kitchen and I think before eating.
'I'm managing to keep the weight off by staying active. I was a ballet dancer as a child but after putting on the weight I thought I'd never dance. Now not only am I dancing, I'm even performing on stage. I've achieved the dream that kept me going when I was trying to lose the weight.
'I'm not giving up now - next I'm going to train as a Zumba instructor.'
'I now have a lifestyle I love and that is not worth jeopardising for instant gratification.
'I have been baking all my life. It was my downfall but now I have turned it into something positive.'
Before Diane started her cake business she snacked on muffins, biscuits and cakes in the morning, a chocolate bar for lunch and always enjoyed a pudding after dinner.
Now she avoids all sugary treats and has replaced them with low-fat yoghurts, rice cakes and diabetic ice cream.

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