The One Show star's sister talks for the first time about their shared diet battle

Nicola Bleakley has sister Christine Bleakley to thank for supporting her in her battle to lose an astonishing 7st.

The 28-year-old was a morbidly obese size 24 when she was a teenager but is now an enviable size 12.

‘I felt depressed every single day. I found myself going to bed every night with a full-fat fizzy drink, a bag of crisps and some chocolate,’ Nicola tells Now in an exclusive interview.

Determined to slim down, Nicola joined a slimming club.

Christine really helped me,’ she says.

‘She’d come to some of my classes with me and we’d go walking together at the start when I was too big to do anything more strenuous.

‘We walked our dog Benji together and it was lovely to have her company.

‘Even now, when she’s at home or if I’m in London with her we still like to go for walks and runs together – but now I’m able to run or walk a lot further, for longer!’

Nicola, who is 5ft 11in, was even crowned Slimmer Of The Year in 2004 after dropping 12 dress sizes and reaching 10½st.

‘Every time I see Christine now she’ll always comment on how fantastic I look,’ says Nicola, who’s an ambassador for Unislim in Ireland.

‘Your family’s always going to be the most honest, so I know when she says it, she means it.’

PICTURE GALLERY – Christine Bleakley‘s style file>>

See the full story about Nicola and Christine Bleakley in Now magazine dated 24 May 2010 – out now!