Losing weight is a frightening prospect for anyone to face – to admit you’re not happy with yourself and have the courage to do something about it.
I needed to lose at least 10 stone to be a healthy weight again. I found myself wearing size 24 clothes and weighing in at 22.5 stone. The simplest of tasks had become a chore. Putting on my shoes and socks or a simple walk to the shops seemed a challenge at times. Friday night takeaways, fried breakfasts and meals out had taken their toll.
In March 2014, I decided to join a local slimming class in south-west Scotland and followed a calorie-controlled diet. Most of what I would eat would need to be measured or counted. I had made my first step on a long journey.
Within six months, I had lost almost four stone in weight and dropped to size 18/20 and weighed in at 18 stone 9lbs, but my life was about to change dramatically. With a failed marriage behind me through work I moved to Shilbottle for a fresh start. I carried on losing weight by myself, convinced initially I could do it on my own. Despite losing more weight over the following couple of months, old habits started to reappear. With Christmas around the corner, my weight-loss journey came to an abrupt end.
A work colleague was following Slimming World with his wife. It amazed me how much he could eat freely and the pounds were melting away. How was this possible? I needed a job nearer home and decided I needed to kick-start my weight-loss journey.
Having started my new job on the Monday, I walked through the doors of Slimming World, Alnwick, on the Thursday. A year had passed, it was March 2015 and I was making those first steps again. This time I knew I was going to make it. No excuses this time.
I was very nervous walking through those doors. I knew no one. Why did I worry? Everyone was so warm and welcoming. I felt I was among friends already. Sitting though the new member talk, everything was explained to me. The plan looked amazing and everything I had seen months earlier was true. This wasn’t a diet; it was too flexible. It could only be described as a way of life.
I easily lost my first half-stone and with each 7lbs came an award for the achievement. There was also a lovely shiny award sticker for your book. A permanent reminder of what had been achieved. A fruit basket was given to the Slimmer of the Week. Each month a Slimmer of the Month received their accolade too. I was so proud on the occasions it came my way.
I found as I lost more weight I could start doing a little more exercise. Just an extra five or 10 minutes a day started to make a difference. The walk to the shops was getting a lot easier. Concentrating on those little steps helped greatly. Every time I increased my exercise I enjoyed receiving a new Body Magic award and certificate. My book was starting to fill up with sparkly awards. I started to see my body shape change and soon my mind would follow suit. By the time I reached target, my dog and I were clocking up 30 to 40 miles per week. We had even tackled Simonside. Something I never thought possible.
I reached my personal achievement target on July 7 with a total loss of 10 stone ½lb, six stone 2½lb with Slimming World. I had dropped to size 12/14 and even dropped a shoe size. My BMI dropped from 45.2 to 25.0.
Slimming World had helped me change my life forever. I had dared to dream big and fulfilled my dream in full. I was finally comfortable with myself. I could look at myself in that full-length mirror without feeling ashamed.
Details of Lisa’s new group
The new Slimming World group starts on Monday, October 17, at 7.30pm at Westfield Park Community Centre, Longhoughton. Contact Lisa on 07876 167543.
Lisa added: “I still follow the plan enjoying its variety and diversity and continue to go to group for the help and support. With the help and support of a great consultant and fellow members, anything is possible if you really want it.”