I’ve struggled with my weight since childhood, and first joined Slimming World 20 years ago. At that time I was fed up of being the ‘big one’ in my group of friends. I felt really uncomfortable on a girly holiday and I knew it was my weight that was making me miserable. I decided the next time we all went on holiday I’d be feeling happy and confident. I lost 4st 11lbs at group and felt amazing – I was even the first-ever member to appear on the front cover of Slimming World Magazine in 1998!
After a while, though, I started to think I could go it alone. Soon after, I met my partner, Lee, and we got comfortable with lots of meals out and cosy nights in. A few years later I had my daughter, Beau, and my weight just went up and up. Before I knew it, I was heavier than I’d ever been.
The turning point came on a trip to the park when Beau was about 18 months old. I climbed up the slide with her and sat her on my knee, but when I went to push myself off, I realised we weren’t moving. I was wedged so tightly in the slide that I had to push us down to the bottom with my spare arm. I knew then that something had to change.
Around that time, Lee’s cousin announced that she was getting married in Cyprus and we were all invited. Instead of being excited, I was filled with dread about going away at the size I was. I worried it would be like that first holiday all over again. It was the motivation I needed to get myself back to Slimming World. I’d done it before, so I knew I could do it again.
I wasn’t worried about rejoining Slimming World because I knew everyone would be warm and friendly, just like they were before. I knew, too, that the plan and the group support works wonders. Even so, I was surprised all over again at how much amazing food I could eat! Curries, pasta dishes, chips and big quarter pounder beef burgers were all still on the menu, I just had to prepare them in a different way – like swapping white bread for wholemeal and using low-calorie cooking spray instead of oil to make Syn-free chips.
A year later I reached my target weight of 10st 4½lbs – and this time I knew that the secret to maintaining my weight loss was staying to my group!
The support and inspiration I get from them each week really keeps me on track, and I like to think I help out a few of the newer members with my own advice too.
By the time the wedding in Cyprus came around, I was feeling fantastic and enjoyed the day without worrying about my weight. Best of all, I knew that my size would never stop me having fun with my little girl again. We had a great time playing in the pool and making the most of our holiday, rather than hiding away.
Another amazing change that happened after losing weight the second time around was a love of fitness! Although I did exercise when I was heavier, being slimmer gave me a whole new zest for activity. These days I have so much energy that I need a way to burn it off! A few years ago I started running my own Hour of Power exercise classes, which I love. I often spot familiar faces from my Slimming World group while I’m teaching, including Donna, my lovely Consultant! Slimming World has helped me to change my lifestyle for the better – and because of that I’m so much happier, healthier and more confident.
Breakfast: Big bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes and milk.
Lunch: Large sandwich with crisps and a chocolate bar.
Dinner: Steak pie, buttery mash, vegetables and gravy.
Snacks: Crisps, biscuits and chocolate.
Breakfast: 2 Weetabix Additions Coconut & Raisin with milk and blueberries.
Lunch: Large chicken salad with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.
Dinner: Nacho-style feast, made with lean beef mince, potato wedges, peppers and spices, and served with a large salad.
Snacks: Apples, pears, bananas or strawberries, and a Slimming World Hi-Fi bar.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.