I’ll admit that, before I joined Slimming World, I wasn’t sure if it would be the right place for me. What I did know was that my clothes were getting tighter and I didn't want to buy the next size up. I also knew my lifestyle wasn’t very healthy, and that I’d need to change the habits that were causing the pounds to creep on – otherwise, I’d soon find myself back in the same position.
I decided to see what Slimming World had to offer – and I got a really warm welcome at my local group. The Food Optimising plan made perfect sense to me and I embraced it straight away, losing 6lbs in my first week. I wasn’t expecting such a quick result, especially as I didn’t have loads of weight to lose – and it really spurred me on to stick with it.
As part of IMAGE Therapy (Individual Motivation and Group Experience) in group, I had the chance to take a proper look at my eating habits. It was obvious I wasn’t eating enough fruit and vegetables, and I was keen to change that. With Food Optimising, you’re encouraged to fill a third of your plate with Speed Free Food veg and – when I learned the science behind it and how it helps to satisfy your appetite for very few calories – it seemed such a simple way to help my weight loss.
Before joining Slimming World, I ate a lot of sugary and fatty foods – with sweet cereals for breakfast, white-bread sandwiches for lunch and dinners cooked using oil. I swapped my usual cereals for overnight oats, to keep me feeling fuller for longer, switched sandwiches for big, satisfying salads and cooked meals using low-calorie cooking spray so I could still enjoy the food I loved, like home-made curries. Instead of snacking on chocolate, I started reaching for fruit and Slimming World Hi-fi bars. The tweaks that I made to my daily menu were hardly noticeable to me, yet they made a huge difference to my weight. Not only did I reach my target, I also dropped two dress sizes, and now I feel so much more confident in my clothes.
While following the Food Optimising plan was key to my weight loss success, I also started setting myself fitness goals through Slimming World’s physical activity support programme, Body Magic. Alongside the changes I’ve made to my eating habits, I’ve kept up my more active lifestyle and I feel so much fitter and healthier these days.
I wanted to share the amazing experience I’d had with my community – my Slimming World group had helped me and I wanted to give back, too, and help others. I applied to become a self-employed Consultant and, having completing my in-depth training at head office, I now run my own group in Solihull.
When I heard that Slimming World was sponsoring this year’s Race for Life, I was so excited – it felt like the ideal opportunity for me to get active with my members! Being such a brilliant bunch, they rose to the challenge, and it was a truly special feeling to take my place on the starting line, surrounded by such supportive friends.
Everyone had their own personal reasons for running, and I thought about my uncle Gordon, who passed away from cancer 11 years ago. I hoped he’d be looking down on me and feeling proud of the person I’d become – a Slimming World Consultant who's so proud of every one of my members, and especially those who rose to the challenge as we ran in 24-degree heat! Between us, we raised £2,500 for Cancer Research UK.
For me, one of the most amazing things about Slimming World is that fantastic feeling of community. Alongside our flexible food plan and the deeper work we do to understand every slimmer and to help them overcome their own triggers and blockers, it’s what makes Slimming World so much more effective than the typical ‘diet plan’.
As a Consultant, I’ve also realised that people who join Slimming World have a wide variety of weight loss goals – all of them just as valid and important to that person – and the help is there for absolutely everybody. If you’re looking for support to make healthy changes that you’ll enjoy and you’ll actually want to stick with, you’ll find it from the very first day that you walk through those doors.
Could you be a Slimming World Consultant?
If, like Laura, you’re feeling inspired to make a difference, Slimming World has opportunities for past and current members and former Consultants who are keen to open a local Slimming World group.
Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.
If you’re planning to start a new exercise programme, we recommend you check with your GP first – especially if you have an existing health condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma. If you’re pregnant, check the suitability of the exercise with your midwife.