Pictured: X-Factor's Sam- Sunday Mirror Newspaper- Showbiz X-Factor Exclusive- ***November***

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X Factor favourite Sam Bailey feared husband would leave when she ballooned to size 18

X Factor favourite Sam Bailey has told how she feared her husband would leave her when she ballooned from a size eight to a size 18.

She reveals how insecure she felt during years of yo-yo dieting to control her weight following the birth of their two children.

But now she credits the show with putting the sparkle back in her marriage to service engineer Craig Pearson, 40, after helping her to shed two stone.

Sam, who has wowed the judges and the audiences with a string of show-stopping performances, is now a healthy size 14 thanks to a new fitness regime.

Prison officer Sam, 36, said: “When you marry someone and you’re thin, and then you get fat, you start wondering whether they’ll stop loving you.

“Your mind starts playing havoc with you because you’re so insecure.”

But with a glint in her eye, she said: “It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s definitely a lot more special between Craig and I when I’m spending my time in the X Factor house – and then we see each other again. Can you tell from the big smile on my face?”

She then went on to reveal: “I’m not the sexy lingerie type though.’”

Sam, mother to Brooke, eight, and Tommy, two, said she used to be so embarrassed by her size that she’d cover up in long, baggy clothes. “I couldn’t bear to look in the mirror,” she said.

She told how as she and Craig juggled long hours at work with raising their kids, romance took a back-seat.

The singer – mentored by judge Sharon Osbourne and hailed by fellow judge Louis Walsh as the “one to beat” – said: “Before we were married I used to get men asking for my number when I was performing music gigs. I’d come home and joke, ‘Could ’ave pulled tonight, babe!’

“I’d never leave my husband but it’s always nice to get a compliment from someone else.”

She told how she and Craig got into a routine of work, dinner, kids’ bedtime. “I’d nod off in front of the TV and that was my life. But all that has changed now.”

Sam, nicknamed Screwbo, said there was a time in the late 1990s while performing on cruise ships she was happy with her size. “I felt very good about my figure back then,” she said.

“My stomach was so flat I’d wear crop tops and people would stare at it – they never looked at my face though!”

It was only after the birth of her children that her weight soared.

When she quit smoking in 2009, she went up to size 18.

She said: “I had cankles (where your ankles are indistinguishable from your calves) and I’d wear a zip-up fleece even in summer to hide the rolls of fat.”

Her recent dramatic image change has come about by doing daily 20-minute workouts after getting tips from celebrity trainer John Trevor.

But clearly she’s not totally convinced by her transformation, saying: “I do them in my bedroom because I don’t want people seeing me with my fat belly out.”


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