In January 2021, weighing 22st, I fell seriously ill with Covid and was hospitalised for several days. Because I felt so confused and my speech was slurred, the doctors ran extensive tests. It turned out I had blood clots in my brain, some of which had haemorrhaged. The consultant told me that being morbidly obese had been a major contributing factor. I was put on lots of medication and, throughout the year, I gradually got better. I didn’t lose any weight, though – quite the opposite. In January 2022, I decided enough was enough and, determined to make a change, I joined my local Slimming World group.
I remember feeling really nervous walking into the group, as I was the heaviest I’d ever been. Everyone was so welcoming and supportive, though. Best of all, I lost 7lbs in that first week, and I absolutely loved that I could slim down by eating real food. I’d tried diet shakes and packets before, and they just weren’t sustainable.
Although I’m lucky to have a close-knit family of my own, I see my group as my second family. We’re all in it together, and we understand the challenges of trying to lose weight. We talk openly, we never judge and there’s such a warmth between us – we really do see each other through the highs and the lows.
Being a single mum and a teacher, I was worried it might cost more to eat healthily, but I’ve actually saved around £100 a month on my food bills because I’m not buying ready meals and takeaways any more. If I think back to how I ate before, I wasn’t cooking... I was just putting convenience food in the microwave.
Now I’m eating much more fresh food and I genuinely enjoy cooking. I make healthy versions of my favourite meals, like spaghetti bolognese, and because they’re so nutritious and filling, I never feel hungry. I even use up all the vegetables in my fridge these days – they usually went to waste before! At weekends, I make a big batch of soup and cook meals in bulk, to make sure I’m prepped for the week ahead. The recipes on the Slimming World app are gorgeous – my favourite is the chicken chow mein, and I add loads more vegetables to make it go further. I feel in control of what I’m eating for the first time in my life.
More for members: Five easy family dinners for £25 – that’s your weeknights sorted!
Before I lost weight, I felt so lethargic, and my knees and ankles would hurt after a day of standing up in class. Now I have so much more energy. I live with my teenage son, Nic, in a fourth-floor flat, and when I was at my biggest, I’d dread the lift being out of order. It’s no bother these days and I don’t get out of breath at all going up stairs. I’ve started doing Zumba twice a week, too, after hearing my fellow members talking about activity. In fact, one of the women from my group is the instructor! I love Slimming World’s activity videos as well, and I walk 10,000 steps a day.
My friends at work say I’ve inspired them to eat more healthily, which is lovely, and some of my students’ parents have told me they thought I was a new teacher! I’m 11st lighter and I’ve dropped five dress sizes, from a 22 to a 12. I’m enjoying eating delicious, proper food and feeling in control. And not only is my plate a lot more colourful lately, my wardrobe is, too, as I no longer want to just blend into the background. I have a brand-new mindset and so much more confidence.
Yes you can slim and save with Slimming World
Kerri’s story supports new research showing that 83% of Slimming World members say it’s possible to lose weight on a budget, thanks to all the support and advice they get in group or on Slimming World Online. That’s compared to 51% of the general population, who say that spiralling costs make it harder to eat healthily.
Kerri’s day on a plate
Fresh fruit with low-fat yogurt.
Sausage roll, crisps, chocolate and a can of full-sugar cola.
A lean ham (visible fat removed), tomato and lettuce sandwich using my Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice.
A ready meal, such as lasagne and oven chips.
Spaghetti bolognese, made the Food Optimising way, with a big salad.
Crisps and bars of chocolate.
Grapes, apples, fat-free, no-added-sugar flavoured yogurt, low-Syn crisps or a sugar-free fruity jelly pot.
Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.