Ok, so if you are like me it took you a little bit of time to actually decide in your head that you need to do something about your weight.
I knew I’d put on weight. I was happy with my weight up until I hurt my back in July 2016. I used to visit the gym every day during the week and walk my dogs twice a day. Then all of a sudden that all had to stop. I didn’t think my eating habits had changed but the weight slowly crept up.
In November 2016 one of my best friends was getting married on a cruise ship and myself, my husband, my best friend and her husband were joining the happy couple to witness the wedding.
Anyone that has done a P&O cruise before, know that there are formal nights on ship. I packed my best dresses and was really looking forward to it.
On first formal night I put one of my little black dresses on. It was tight. I thought ok its zipped up so no problem.
I had bought a dress for my friends wedding 9 months before. I put it on the day of the wedding. Thankfully it was stretchy so did up and whilst I had to breath in I again didn’t really see it as a problem.
My husband and I are keen photographers so took loads of photos. When we got home we downloaded them. I was so shocked at how I looked. Christmas was coming and I was due to have an operation so just let it go.
I went into hospital early January for an operation. The day after I got home I was sat recovering on the sofa feeling very sorry for myself. I decided there and then I needed to do something.
I’d known Fopperholic since she was very young as she lived opposite me with her parents. I had been friends on Facebook with her for yeas so followed her journey with Slimming World. She always inspired me.
I contacted Fopperholic to ask her advice. I had moved from my home town for the first time in 47 years to a new housing estate in a village. When I first moved in we were only the 2nd house in. The development was growing but I wouldn’t have neighbours for over a year. I felt very lonely as I was used to being very close and good friends with my old neighbours, and could walk easily to friends and family. I no longer could do that.
By a bizarre twist of fate, Fopperholic moved onto my new estate in the next road.
I knew I wanted to try Slimming World but didn’t know if I should join online or go to a group. I mean, do I really have time to go to group? Wouldn’t I feel stupid and uncomfortable? Perhaps doing it online was the way to go?
Fopperholic advised me that going to a group would be the best option. Apparently 2 other ladies who lived on her road were also members and she would introduce me to them which she did.
I was a couple of days out of hospital so couldn’t drive. Alex who lived around the corner offered to give me a lift to my first ever group. I thought long and hard and agreed to go. Alex was so lovely. Giving a complete stranger a lift to group.
I was so nervous and embarrassed that I was going to Slimming World. When I told my husband what I was doing I even asked him not to laugh at me or tell anyone! Of course he said he wouldn’t. Now looking back I can’t believe that is how I felt!
I walked into my first group thinking ‘ok I’ll give a couple of weeks and if its not for we I will join online’.
I can’t believe how quickly all those worries and nerves went.
Faye Fox my consultant at the Wellesbourne group made me feel so welcome. She explained the plan. It seemed so easy! Slimming World is not a diet its about changing how you eat and exercise. When I say exercise I don’t mean running a marathon, but just being more active. As for what you could eat, there seemed so much you could eat without all this weighing and counting stuff! After the new members chat, I joined in ‘Image Therapy’ where they celebrate peoples losses, support those who gained and swap recipes and ideas. I was hooked!
Suddenly I looked forward to Wednesday nights. I work full time and have very little time to myself. That hour on a Wednesday was my time. I met lots of new people. Many of them I’m pleased to call friends. Everyone was so friendly and supportive. We had such a laugh. To be honest it didn’t feel like a slimming group but a night out with friends.
Originally I set myself a goal to lose 2 stone 2.5 lb which I reached in June. Yes I know others have lost it quicker but I wanted to be able to still enjoy my wine at weekends. I kept on plan and still enjoyed my weekend tipple, with a steady loss each week. Slimming World allowed me to do that with ease.
When I moved house I found a piece of paper which had some body measurements and my weight 20 years previous. I decided that was what I was going to achieve so moved my target to another 4 lb lower. A couple of weeks later I achieved it. However whilst the scales showed the same weight the inches didn’t. I reset my target to another 5lb lower.
Looking back I don’t know why I did this. When I joined Slimming World i wanted my size 12 clothes to fit comfortably again. What actually happened is that I was buying size 8/10. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would achieve that. I somehow how thought my inches now needed to be the same as 20 years ago. Anyone heading to their 50’s like me will know your body shape changes. You are never going to be the same shape exactly again.
The group were so supportive. They kept me on track every week. If I or anyone else gained they would suggest things you could do differently.
For me I was chasing this number. It just wasn’t happening. I got 3lb away from it.
My new friends in group would constantly ask me to call my target.
They pointed out to me that if i lost the extra 3lb would I be in a different dress size. Truth was no. They helped me realise that I didn’t need to chase a number. It was more about how I felt.
In November I decided after a lot of support from my group to call target. Yes I was 3lb off what I wanted but actually they were right. I was happy with the way I looked.
So online or group? For me going to group was definitely the best decision I ever made. I don’t think I would have stayed so focused without the support of Faye Fox or the group.
I gained a new me, new friends and a love of food and clothes.
If you are still thinking of what to do, take a deep breath and go to a group near you. You will be surprised how it will change your life.
Everyone’s journey is different, but what is the same is the support and loyalty you will get from other members.
Go and find the new you. You are there and when you meet that new you, you will open a whole new world for yourself.
Good luck with your journey. Below is my before and after photo. I hope it inspires you.