With a family history of both heart disease and diabetes, Helen Drye knew her weight was putting her health at risk. Now she’s 3st slimmer – and fitter and busier than she’s ever been!
“I was skinny as a youngster and after having two children I was still slim. I went through an early menopause and I gained a little more weight. It wasn’t until I was in my early 50s, after my husband retired from the police force and I left my job as a lettings agent, that the pounds really started to pile on. We moved from Slough to a tiny village in Dorset and suddenly there was time to indulge my favourite hobby – cooking!
“Heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes run in my family. Just before my own 60th birthday, I developed extremely high blood pressure and required emergency hospital treatment. I was told I’d need six tablets a day and regular monitoring by my GP to keep my blood pressure under control. I knew I was eating way too much of the wrong things – I just thought being big was my destiny. Then at Christmas 2010, I learnt I also had borderline diabetes.
“I visited my GP’s surgery where the practice nurse explained that the Slimming World on Referral scheme allowed eligible slimmers to attend group for 12 weeks free of charge. It wasn’t automatic, though – first I had to answer questions about my motivation and readiness, to see if it was the right thing for me at the time. Fortunately, it was.
At Slimming World I learnt how to add flavour without using fat and sugar. I still indulge my love of cooking and still eat large portions, only now it’s vegetables, fruit, lean meat and fish – home-made soups for lunch, roast dinners with vegetables baked in Fry Light, grilled sausages, mash made with fat-free natural yogurt and garlic and a small bar of chocolate or piece of cake when I fancy it – and an occasional glass of Champagne.
“I regularly run and power-walk around my village; the first time I attempted it, it took me 45 minutes – now I zoom round in half an hour. I also go swimming, weight training and to weekly yoga and Zumba classes. Plus I help my friend look after her horses, which includes an hour of walking around an enormous field cleaning up manure.
“I was determined to succeed and not just for my own sake – I didn’t want to let everyone down at group as they give me so much advice and support. Staying to Image Therapy kept me motivated throughout my weight loss and, now that I’m at target, it’s helping me stay there.
“When i first joined Slimming World I was taking six tablets a day to keep my blood pressure at a healthy level. By the time I had lost 2st, after about 4 months, I needed half the number – and I’m no longer classified as having borderline diabetes, either. My results for both blood pressure and diabetes were completely normal last time they were checked.
“I celebrated achieving target with a gorgeous, slim-fitting dress in vivid scarlet and spent a fortune on new clothes. I wear them with high heels, lots of jewellery and a great big smile that says, ‘Well done, me!’”