I joined Slimming World in January 2019, weighing 18st 5lbs and, looking back, I felt like a completely different person then. When you’re overweight, people assume you’re the biggest personality in the room, but that isn’t always true. While I may have appeared confident on the outside, I was actually very shy. And, being a size 20, I felt so self-conscious – far too self-conscious to go clothes shopping.
Eating in my car
I was also embarrassed about my secret-eating habit. After doing the weekly supermarket shop, I’d sit in the car park and eat – tucking into doughnuts, cakes, sweets or crisps without anyone knowing. Afterwards, I’d clear out my car, removing any evidence, then I’d have another treat when I got home.
My health was suffering, too. I’d been diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa, a painful condition which caused abscesses and scarring on the skin under my arms. I was advised that if I lost weight, it would help to manage the problem. I knew that I needed to change, but I also knew I needed help and support. That’s where Slimming World stepped in.
Changing old habits
In my local Slimming World group I learned all about Food Optimising, Slimming World’s eating plan – and discovered that I could lose weight without ever feeling hungry. I loved that I could still enjoy treats, too – and I didn’t have to hide away in my car or feel guilty about them!
I’ve also learnt how to cook healthy, easy meals from scratch. With my husband, David, working shifts, we used to live on quick junk food – all shop-bought pizzas, garlic bread and ready-made curries. Now we’re both enjoying Slimming World recipes and he says he’s never felt so full! If we’re having meat or chicken, we make sure all the skin and fat are removed. Our spice rack is full and we always have tins of chopped tomatoes in the house. Our favourite meals are cottage pie and teriyaki salmon – all my life I’ve thought that I didn’t like salmon and now I love it! When we’re pushed for time, we’ll have one of the Slimming World food range meals that you can buy from Iceland.
A total transformation
Losing 7st has completely changed my life. My skin condition is easily managed and I can’t believe that I suffered for so long. I’m now much more active and I love taking my dogs for walks three times a day. I’ve even joined a gym, which is something I never thought I’d be able to do.
Since joining Slimming World and losing weight, my confidence has grown so much. I’ve gone from being a size 20 to a size 10 and I dress for my age now rather than wearing frumpy clothes. I truly believe if I hadn’t made the decision to join my local Slimming World group when I did, I’d be over 19st by now, with even more health problems. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the support I get from going to group each week.
A bacon, sausage or black pudding roll and a latte with two sugars.
Wholewheat biscuits with blueberries and honey or overnight oats.
Fish and chips or a ready-made sandwich, with chocolate, crisps and a sugary drink.
A baked potato and beans or leftovers from the Food Optimising meal I’d made the night before, with a glass of no-added-sugar juice using my Syns.
Shop-bought pizza or curry with garlic bread.
Slimming World cottage pie or teriyaki salmon, with plain boiled rice and Speed vegetables.
Cakes, crisps, chocolate, sweets.
Slimming World Hi-fi bar, fruit and home-made houmous with carrot batons.
New research from the University of Lincoln reveals that members who are supported to lose weight in a Slimming World group not only get great results on the scales – they can increase their mental toughness, too. Read more here.
Click to find out more about joining a Slimming World group or our digital-only service, Slimming World Online.
Watch our video below, to see Slimming Worldʼs Miss Slinky 2021 Tansy Arnett, Woman of the Year Sophie Higginbottom and member Daryl Snelling talk about how group support has boosted their confidence and resilience.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.