Fearful of what the future would hold for her 11-year-old daughter if her own health deteriorated further, the single mum decided she needed to change her lifestyle.
Seven months later, the 42-year-old has lost a staggering five stone and kicked her diabetes into remission – and she puts her dramatic recovery down to help and support from her local Slimming World group.
Cat, from Fleetwood, said: “When I went to the doctors I thought that I felt okay and that I was just overweight, but the nurse looked really worried when she checked my blood pressure.
“The next thing I knew I was being hooked up to an ECG machine to check my heart.”
Following a discussion about what diabetic medication she would need to start taking and with a prescription for blood pressure medication, Cat realised she needed to improve her health.
She said: “It really frightened me to know that my eating habits had caused my blood sugars to rise and the diabetic nurse told me they would keep going up if I continued to eat the wrong foods.
“It suddenly dawned on me that I was not taking care of myself.
“It took a few weeks to build up the courage to walk through those doors at Slimming World but my consultant Kat Carter greeted me with a kind and caring smile and I knew I would be welcomed into the group.”
By week six Cat had lost 17lbs and picked up her one stone award. Any pre-conceptions she had about Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan had been left behind.
Cat said: “I was shocked at just how much food I really could eat following the plan and just how liberating it was not having to weigh or measure any of it!”
She added: “Another misconception I had was that everyone there was going to be slim and I would stand out and feel self-conscious.
"But as I looked around the room on my first day I saw people of all different shapes, sizes, ethnicity and ages sharing recipes, tips and advice.
“I’ve lost all this weight enjoying my favourite foods, just with small changes to the way I shop and cook; I even enjoy a bacon butty after group each week!”
Joining the group has reignited Cat’s love for cooking and she enjoyed getting involved with a ‘taster’ session where she brought in her very own home-cooked Keema Curry pie – think cottage pie meets Indian spice.
She also recommends using the members only app which inspires her to try new recipes and the Body Magic program, which suggested light exercises she can do despite struggling with disabilities.
Cat added: “Being disabled had always stopped me from even trying to do any activity but when I discovered the Body Magic program I realised that I was able to find some light exercises that matched my own abilities and this led me to feel more in control of my disabilities and feel more confident.”
When Cat returned to her doctor’s surgery last month for a diabetic review, the shock on the nurse’s face was enough to make Cat beam from ear to ear.
Cat said: “I felt great chatting about my journey and all the foods I enjoyed while losing five stone. Then came the news I never thought I’d hear – my diabetes is in remission!”
The nurse was delighted at Cat’s transformation and praised her ‘sheer determination’.
Slimming World consultant Kat Carter said: “I remember the first day Cat walked into my group; she was so quiet and reserved, almost hiding under her winter coat.
"Now Cat walks into the room with her head held high, a big smile on her face and no reservations.
"Despite still having to use a stick to walk, she has a metaphorical spring in her step.”
Cat added: “I sometimes think about where I might be had I not joined Slimming World. I’m so happy I walked through that door and now I tell everyone I meet about my amazing group! Especially in the changing rooms when I’m trying on new clothes.
“I finally feel in control and empowered with the healthy choices for me and my family and every now and then we even get to enjoy a meal out, which really is the icing on the cake!”
Cat attends Kat Carter’s Slimming World group in Fleetwood on Wednesday mornings with sessions at 9am and 10.30am. Kat also runs a group in Anchorsholme on Thursday evenings at 5.30 and 7pm.
For more information contact Kat on 07723110272.