At 29st 8½lbs, my weight had a huge impact on my health and happiness. Years of bullying had left me feeling like no one cared about me, and I’d become scared to leave the house because I thought I was an embarrassment to my husband, Ian, and my family.
I was so low, and my health was getting worse by the day. I needed Ian’s help to get washed and dressed and, feeling more and more depressed, I turned to food and alcohol for comfort. I felt like I was eating myself to death.
I just wanted to stay in with Ian and never leave the house.
I’d tried lots of diets over the years, but I could never get my head around any of them. I knew I needed help, so when I heard about Slimming World in January 2018, I told my family that I wanted to join.
In my first group, I felt too shy to say anything. Gradually, though, the other members helped me learn how to make changes to my diet, like swapping takeaways, fatty meals and junk food for home-cooked meals. I have learning disabilities and used Slimming World’s Easy Read resources to make healthier choices and prepare meals that were really tasty and filling.
Before I joined Slimming World, I was having takeaways every night – especially Chinese – and comfort-eating chocolate every day. Now my eating habits are completely different. I plan all my meals for the week and make sure I stick to it. My favourite dinners are spaghetti bolognese and chilli con carne with lots of vegetables. I also love the Slimming World food range meals from Iceland and serve them with plenty of extra veg.
It’s not just me who’s enjoying the benefits of Slimming World. I’ve been telling my family all about Food Optimising and sharing my food plans and photos with them. When my mum and brother saw me doing so well, they decided to join, too.
Since losing weight, my confidence has soared and I feel like I’ve regained my independence.
As well as being able to shower and dress without any help, I’m comfortable leaving the house by myself to catch a bus or go food shopping. I never did any exercise before; these days, I go to the gym and enjoy swimming and walking.
I had a rough time when I was overweight. Now I’m slimmer, Ian and I have a much better life. I’m no longer housebound, I have the confidence to do things for myself, and Ian doesn’t have to care for me as much. We’re even hoping to go on holiday abroad soon. I’m so proud that I’ve reached my target weight and I love that Iʼve made so many friends at Slimming World.
Karina’s day on a plate
A full fry-up cooked in oil, followed by chocolate, biscuits and regular cola.
Fruit and yogurt, or overnight oats.
Pizza, burgers or fried chicken with deep-fried chips.
Takeaways, especially Chinese, burgers or fried chicken.
Chilli con carne served with lots of veg.
Snacks and drinks
Chocolate, and 15 cans of regular cola.
A Hi-fi bar or two, and diet cola.
Watch Karina tell her story here
An earlier version of this article suggested that Karina first attended Rhian Sassoon-Hales’s group. We’re happy to clarify that she first lost weight at Donna Chamberlain’s Slimming World group in Pencoed (Donna has since stepped down from her role), followed by Rhian Sassoon-Hales’s Slimming World group in Bridgend where Karina is currently a member.
*Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.