Being overweight gave me a pain in the neck. And back. And wrists. At times I felt so uncomfortable, I couldn’t sleep.
I’ve been a theatre production manager for 16 years and it’s an intensely physical job: lots of loading and unloading equipment, putting up stage sets, and lifting and driving. I love my work, but at my heaviest (and constantly at the chiropractor and in agony every day) I began to wonder if I could cope.
I’d put on most of my excess weight in my 30s. Our company was constantly touring the UK and abroad, which meant a lot of eating on the road. I took full advantage of service-station meal deals – a triple-pack of sandwiches, big bag of crisps, bar of chocolate and full-sugar fizzy drink – whether I was hungry or not.
When a friend, Fiona, started her own Slimming World group and suggested I go along. I said I would, but I was deeply sceptical. How could someone with my kind of lifestyle develop healthier eating habits?
With the help of my group, I realised the answer was obvious – packed lunches. After a month of swapping full-sugar cola for diet drinks, prepacked sandwiches for huge home-made and delicious salads, and crisps for fruit, I’d lost over a stone and was completely hooked.
I steadily lost weight and reached my target of 10st 11lbs. By then my wrists, back and neck were feeling much better. My regular chiropractor appointments dwindled to an occasional maintenance session and I felt much more energetic.
A day at work couldn’t be more different now I’ve lost weight. Little things like climbing a flight or two of stairs used to leave me breathless.
Now I can spend a long day in the theatre, lugging around pieces of set, and still have the energy to walk my puppy, Foss, when I get home.
I walk and cycle to stay fit these days. I make use of the bike-hire scheme in Glasgow to get around the city.
I’ll make healthier choices when I’m on tour, too. If service-station sandwiches are the only option, I’ll go for something like plain ham salad on wholemeal bread to keep down the Syns.
And I love my stash of Free on-the-road snacks – cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks and lots of fresh fruit!
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.