Feeling connected with a group of like-minded people – who care about your success and positively support you – can make all the difference when you’re trying to lose weight*. Member Kerstin found that setting aside just one hour a week to be with other slimmers made her weight loss experience much easier – and more enjoyable, too...
My Slimming World journey started in December 2018, when I met a friend for a pre-Christmas catch-up. I hadn’t seen her for a while and was surprised by how much weight she’d lost. At 17st 1lb, I was unhappy with my own size, so I was really interested to find out her secret. When she told me that she’d joined our local Slimming World group, I decided that the new year would be a fresh start for me and, on 4th January 2019, I went along, too.
As soon as I arrived, the Consultant, Lucy, greeted me and put me at ease immediately. And as she explained about Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan, it just made so much sense. I learnt about Free Food, like lean meat, skinless chicken, rice, pasta and veg – which can all be eaten freely, with no need to count, weigh or measure – and I quickly realised it was possible to lose weight without feeling hungry. Meeting the other members was amazing, as well. My family and friends were supportive, but just being with people who ‘got it’ and were going through the same struggles was really reassuring.
Breaking old habits
I’d been overweight for as long as I could remember and I’d fallen into some routines that really weren’t helping, like going out drinking every weekend, then getting a burger or kebab on the way home. Before Slimming World, cooking from scratch just wasn’t on my radar, but I discovered that eating healthily didn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. I’m a huge pasta fan and I love jacket potatoes – both are Free Foods and both are a doddle to cook. Plus, there are loads of simple recipes to choose from on the member website (including one-pot meals like jambalaya) that make cooking and eating well super-easy.
Planning’s key for me, because having something ready that’s slimming-friendly helps me stay on track. I batch cook to prepare myself for the week ahead and save any leftovers from dinner to have for lunch the next day. I still go out at weekends – I just make a few swaps, like drinking spirits with diet mixers instead of cider, and ensuring I have a tasty meal waiting for me when I get home, so I’m less tempted by fast food.
In group, I also discovered how activity can support weight loss and benefit your health and wellbeing. When I was younger, I was quite sporty, and I played netball and other sports at school. But then I turned 18, learnt to drive and stopped exercising altogether. I realised that this big lifestyle change must have contributed to my weight gain.
Losing weight has helped me enjoy exercise again. I used to hate walking and now I walk loads and swim three times a week. For me, one of the biggest benefits of being more active is that it’s so good for my mental health.
Making new friends
I absolutely love going to my Slimming World group and I’ve made so many friends there. Lucy always keeps things uplifting, supportive and fun! Group keeps me focused, and every week I gain more tools and knowledge to help me maintain my weight. I find our private Facebook group really useful, too. We all post our meals throughout the week and it’s a great place to pick up ideas and recipes. I’ve turned my eating habits upside down and now, for the first time in my life, I have a good relationship with food.
Although this has been an extremely personal journey, I think the real secret of my success is the support of my group. I couldn’t have done it without my new friends and Lucy. Now, when the other members have had a challenging week, I can share the knowledge I’ve gained from my own experience to help them.
These days, I’m glowing. I’m happier, more independent and much more likely to meet up with friends and go places. In fact, my journey has come full circle and it’s my weight loss that’s surprising people I haven’t seen in a while!
Kerstin’s Consultant, Lucy Nicholas, says: ‘Kerstin has been an inspiration to me and my other members. Her determination to reach her weight loss goal and her commitment to group have been incredible to watch. I feel privileged to have been able to support Kerstin on her journey.’
Are you thinking about joining Slimming World?
The first step is as simple as popping along to your local group, where you’re guaranteed the warmest of welcomes! If you do have any worries or concerns before joining, your local Consultant will be more than happy to chat them through. You can find their phone number here.
Kerstin’s day on a plate
Between two and eight slices of toast with lots of butter and jam.
A Slimming World Pork Sausage and egg wrap.
Sandwich made with shop-bought sandwich filler, plus crisps and a chocolate biscuit.
Pasta using a jar of sauce, served with garlic bread.
Slimming World Hi-fi bars, reduced-fat crisps, low-Syn popcorn, slices of lean ham or skinless chicken, boiled eggs, fat-free yogurt or sugar-free ice lollies.
Sugary fizzy drinks and squash, cider.
Water, sugar-free drinks, vodka and diet tonic.
Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.