In April 2019, I joined Slimming World weighing 25st 2lbs. I’d avoided the scales for so long and was mortified when I saw how much I weighed. As well as being deeply unhappy with the way I looked, I knew my weight was affecting my health, too. I was severely asthmatic and couldn’t move an inch without needing my inhaler. It meant that I couldn’t run or play with my daughter – I even struggled just to walk her to school and back.
‘I was thinking about a gastric band’
I’d always been ‘the bigger girl’, but when I saw a picture of myself with my partner, Jordan, it gave me such a shock. Of course, I’d tried lots of diets and quick fixes before, but I always gave up because they left me feeling hungry. I was even looking into the possibility of having gastric band surgery. I knew things had to change, and when my mum said she was joining Slimming World, I jumped at the chance to go with her. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
At my very first Slimming World group, I was blown away as I listened to everyone sharing their stories, and I quickly realised I wasn’t the only one struggling. And as I learned about Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan, I discovered that there was a way to lose weight without feeling hungry and deprived.
Before, rather than prepare proper meals, I’d constantly snack on biscuits, crisps and family-size bars of chocolate without a single thought of the effect it was having. Slimming World’s eating plan has helped me eat well to satisfy my appetite because it’s based on foods that are really healthy, filling and low in calories – so I can enjoy generous portions and never feel hungry. As a Slimming World member, I’ve learnt that planning my meals in advance helps me to stay on track. Now when I go shopping, I only buy exactly what I need and I’m not wandering around thinking, ‘What can we have for tea?’. It’s helped me save money, too.
Stacey’s taken pics of her favourite Slimming World meals to fill up on – check them out below
‘I never felt full before’
Before joining Slimming World, we used to go to our local ‘all you can eat’ buffet and even though I’d have plate after plate of food that was often cooked in oil or covered in batter, I never really felt full. Once I’d started following Food Optimising, my friends and family couldn’t believe I was losing weight as I continued to eat the same-size meals – although I knew what was on the plate was different and more healthy.
I feel much more in control of my eating habits now – I’ve stopped going to the fridge when I’m bored. I love that I can have treats, too, and don’t have to cut out my favourite things. Jordan and my daughter enjoy the food I’ve been cooking, and our favourite Slimming World meal is an easy chilli con carne. Theyʼre so proud of me and want to support me, and my mum and dad are in awe of how well I’ve done.
There’s no doubt about it, losing almost 15st has saved my life! I don’t need my inhaler now, and I’ve discovered a new love of walking and running.
‘I’m confident and camera-ready!ʼ
Now, I get out of bed in the morning and look in the mirror – something I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing before. I’ve gone from a size 32 and feeling far too self-conscious to go clothes shopping, to a size 10 and finding a passion for fashion. These days, I take an extra 20 minutes in the morning to choose an outfit and check what I look like – it’s a small thing but it brings me such joy!
I feel I’m now living the life I was always meant to live. I can do activities with my family that I never thought possible and my confidence has grown massively. I don’t avoid the camera these days – I’m happy for anyone to take my picture. I’m not hiding any more!
Stacey’s day on a plate
Danish pastry or a big bowl of chocolate cereal.
Overnight Weetabix cheesecake is my go-to at the moment, or I’ll have smoked salmon and eggs or fat-free natural yogurt with strawberries and blueberries.
Shop-bought sandwiches, chocolate and crisps.
A takeaway like a pizza or a kebab.
Slimming World chicken tikka masala with rice and peas.
Multi-packs of biscuits, crisps and share-size bars of chocolate.
A Hi-fi bar, a Mini Babybel Light or fruit.
Do some people find it harder to feel full than others?
Many of us will recognise the feeling of never being quite full that Stacey describes in her story – and research reveals some of us do have a ‘low satiety response’ which makes it harder to satisfy our appetite and, therefore, more difficult to lose weight. You can read more about the study – and take a quiz to discover your satiety level – here.
If you’d like to find out more about how Slimming World can help you say goodbye to feelings of hunger while getting the weight loss you want, go along to your nearest group and discover the freedom of Food Optimising.
Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.