Becky: "Daily workouts and fitness challenges have transformed me"
Lockdown hasn't been an easy journey, by any stretch of the imagination. It's taken a huge toll on our stress levels and mental health, as well as our eating habits and our weight. In fact, research commissioned by WW found that over almost 100 days of lockdown, almost half of Brits said they've eaten more, 29% said they drank more alcohol, and 42% of us claim we've put on weight. Additionally, almost half of us have been less active.
That's why we want to get Britain moving again. Our Move More With WW challenge involves doing just 30 minutes of activity, five times a week, initially for six weeks but if you continue beyond that - even better! To help you get there, we've teamed up with fitness experts from FitOn, who will be streaming live workouts from our Instagram account. There are also plenty of workouts at your fingertips in the WW app, including video workouts from FitOn, audio workouts from Aaptiv and live workouts including yoga, dance fitness and Walk With WW.
WW member Becky has been on a fitness journey during lockdown - she and partner Adam racked up 15,000 steps a day! - and plans to keep the momentum going now we're starting to ease back into normality. Here's her story:
Joined WW: May 2018
Start weight: 15st 5lb
Goal weight: 11st 10lb
Current weight: 14st 5lb
myWW plan: Blue
Wellness Workshop: Becky originally attended a Wellness Workshop in Sheffield, but decided to join a friend’s Virtual Workshop in London during lockdown. She then joined WW a Virtual Workshop in Chichester.
Wellness Coach: Neil Doherty (Chichester) and Karen Oxley (Sheffield)
'I've struggled with my weight most of my life'
After losing her way a little on her get-healthy journey, WW member and university administrator Becky Brown saw lockdown as an opportunity to reset her goals.
"I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life: I come from a family of foodies, and what we ate was always an important part of growing up – my mum still makes the best crumbles! I started to get bigger when I hit my teens, and then at 18 was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can lead to weight gain, especially around the tummy area.
"Nevertheless, I wasn’t really bothered by my size, even throughout my university years – I was having too good a time, and never really gave it that much thought! When I started work, though, I felt differently: it was so hard to find clothes that looked smart yet fashionable, and I felt depressed about buying size 26 clothing. At my biggest, I weighed nearly 22st.
"I tried all sorts of diets throughout my 20s – some crazier than others! – and once I even got down to 13st. But my head just wasn’t in it, and the weight would quickly pile back on again. My partner, Adam, is an ex-county swimmer and seems to be able to eat whatever he wants without gaining weight, which didn’t help me, of course! My diet was loaded with unhealthy carbs and high-calorie foods: I’d have toast slathered in butter for breakfast, shop-bought sandwiches and crisps for lunch, unhealthy snacks throughout the day, and pastry-topped pies and chips for dinner. We enjoyed eating out in restaurants, too – pizza was a huge favourite – and would frequently settle down on the sofa after a busy day with a big bag of chocolate buttons. Once I started on those, I wouldn’t stop."
'I joined WW after seeing a photo of myself'
"Then one day I saw a photograph of myself with my two sisters, and the way I looked really shocked me. I thought, ‘Come on Becky – you need to sort this out once and for all’ and the following week – in May 2018 – I joined WW. It was an easy decision – not only was my local Wellness Workshop convenient enough for me to pop into during my lunch break, but I’d followed the programme years earlier so I knew that if I committed to it properly, it would work.
"I got on well with the programme straight away, and over the following year, I gradually lost around 1st 7lb, but then unfortunately I was signed off work for eight weeks with mental health issues and during that time, I lost my way a bit. I more or less came off the programme, and soon I was back to square one."
'I saw lockdown as a real opportunity'
"I knew I needed to get a grip and take back control, and when lockdown happened in March this year, I realised that it could be a real opportunity for me. As I was able to continue my work as a university administrator from home, I’d have more time and headspace – with no distractions! – to form the kind of long-term healthy habits that would help me get back on track. It was now or never.
"The fresh, balanced approach of WW especially appealed to me. I love the all-round focus on good health and wellbeing, as well as weight loss. I tend to lose weight quite slowly – which is fine – and this holistic attitude really takes the pressure off, so I can go at my own pace. I felt determined to succeed this time.
"Although I live in Sheffield, another WW member introduced me to Coach Neil Doherty’s Virtual Wellness Workshop in Chichester, and I decided to attend those during lockdown. A lot of the members are just like me in terms of age and interests, and I quickly made new friends over Zoom – we share all sorts of tips and advice, even between Workshops, which is fantastically supportive."
‘Daily workouts and fitness challenges have transformed me – I’m full of energy’
"Despite my weight issues in the past, I’ve always loved exercise and would regularly go to the gym and take part in hot yoga classes. I also love running: spurred on by the WW ‘5k Your Way’ initiative in March 2019, I actually completed a half marathon just eight months later!
"Then, when lockdown was announced, my sister Abi recommended a fitness plan that included daily workouts and challenges. Combined with my new healthy eating habits, I've been transforming. I’ve toned up, and I’ve got so much energy. I’ll regularly do a 20 minute HIIT session first thing in the morning, and another one at lunchtime, and later go for a run or a power walk when I finish work.
"Plus, during lockdown Adam and I walked at least 15,000 steps every day."
‘Now when I look in the mirror I see a healthy, glowing woman with tons of energy’
"It’s great to see my progress on the WW app – it syncs with my smart watch to automatically keep track of my FitPoints®. There are lots of other great features on it, too: I find WellnessWins™ - where you collect 'Wins' to spend on treats such as a yoga mat, gym passes or the WW Journal – particularly motivating. And, of course, the recipes are fantastic!
"I’ve really got into cooking, especially since cutting out meat and dairy at the start of the year, which has made me feel so much healthier. There’s a wealth of WW recipes and ideas I can choose from: I’ll probably have a smoothie to get my day off to a good start, then make a quesadilla – vegan fish fingers in a WW protein wrap served with lots of salad – for lunch and cook a proper dinner to enjoy with Adam.
"He loves the WW recipes as much as I do: the Sweet & Sour Noodle Stir Fry from the Meals for One cookbook is fantastic, as is the Moroccan-style Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, which is made with lentils instead of mince. If we do want to go out to eat, it’s so simple: I just save up my SmartPoints® in advance, so I can relax and enjoy the experience without feeling guilty.
"The next morning, of course, I’m straight back on track – always kicking things off with a fitness session or a run before breakfast that sets me up for a great day ahead. I’ve honestly never looked or felt better!"