Janine: "I've got a totally different outlook on life"
Start weight: 16st 6lb
Current weight: 11st 2lb
Goal weight: 11st
Start date: August 2015
What was your 'why' for joining WW?
Funnily enough I’m just back from a holiday, and it was a holiday initially that started it all!
I was always unhappy with my weight and felt uncomfortable, but I went on a holiday just before I turned 30 (five years ago) and I remember lying on the sun bed and being too tired to get in the pool and play with my kids. The short walk to the toilets would also cause my legs to rub and it would be so severe and I just thought, I can’t enjoy this - I was so miserable and something needed to change.
I came back from that holiday and decided I would try. I didn't want to be a mum who couldn't play with her kids - I wanted to be the fun mum playing in the pool.
Now you’re just back from holiday, how did they compare?
Totally different! Especially this year - I feel like I’ve really changed. It's not just the weight loss and no leg rubbing; it's also about feeling more confident and being more mindful. This time I was in the pool, I was down the slides and I wore a bikini, and I would never have done that before! There was no barrier to me enjoying time with my kids. I was who I was, and I was loving it. I even pushed myself out of my comfort zone and did karaoke!
What experiences have motivated and affected you along the way?
Starting my fitness journey has really helped. At first, it was all about weight loss, but now it's more about exercising to feel better.
Joining the gym was a big deal for me. I remember being sat outside the first class I ever went to - aerobics - and shaking all over thinking I can’t go in there, people will laugh. It was actually not long since I had started talking to people on Instagram about WW - I can’t empasise enough how good that community is. A lady messaged me and said she was the same and was nervous, so we said to each other we’d do it together! I was going to go home and sack it off, but if she was going to be brave I was too - and that's how it all started!
I love the way WW has changed, and it's changed my personal journey too - I'm focusing more on mindset, moving my body and being happy. That's when it clicked for me, and when the programme started to really work for me. It's less about finding a number, and more about all the other things, like looking after yourself and making time for yourself.
Why did you choose WW?
I'd done WW before. Actually, my whole family has tried WW and it's brilliant, all of them are on it at the moment!
After I had Georgia 12 years ago, I joined with my ex-sister-in-law (also my best friend) and we used to go to Workshops together. I then had my other child and piled the weight back on, and wanted to go back to it. My friend wasn't planning on rejoining, so I realised I had to do it myself. That was the first time I realised I was really doing this for me.
I’m following the Blue plan, because of all the high protein ZeroPoint foods, like eggs, chicken and fish. I like to workout but you’ll never catch me having a protein shake! Blue works perfectly for me.
How has your relationship with food changed?
I cook a lot more now than before, when I would rely on takeaways. I also used to rely on sandwiches and freezer food that I could just put in the oven, because it's easy. I still like it now, but back then I'd be eating the same things all the time.
One of the things I tried at the start which helped was to try and make sure I had more colours on my plate. It made me think more about what I was picking, so I swapped chips for butternut squash and now I'm a huge fan. I've also started experimenting with different veg, and now I’m filling my plate with zero heroes.
How has your mindset changed since starting your WW journey?
I’ve just got a totally different outlook on life and weight in general. Weight isn't the be-all and end-all, but it's something I've changed to make myself feel better.
Before, if I smiled I was pretending for other people, but now when I smile it's genuine. I'm totally myself - I don't have to feel guilty for looking a certain way and I finally accept myself. Even my friends and family have noticed the change. I'm not hiding in my shell anymore, and it's 100% correlated with WW.
How have you kept your focus over lockdown?
It's been a big deal for me as my free time was when the kids were in school, and I lost that. So I had to think, how I can do this and still stay on track? We did PE with Joe at the beginning, but then they got bored of that, so a small group of us got together via Instagram to do fitness challenges each morning. It really set me up for the day, and gave me a sense of community, which helped keep me on track.
Only going food shopping as quickly as possible once a week meant I had to be super organised. I got really good at meal planning! I also did lots of batch cooking - which I normally do as my kids are very fussy - but it also helped in the sense that it stopped me just grabbing something from the freezer.
I've been attending a weekly Virtual Workshop, which is luckily on the same day and at the same time as my usual Workshop. It means I still get to see my Coach - who I'm close friends with - and the other WW members from that Workshop.
For me, Workshops are like therapy. It's a community, and no matter what happens during the week, I can always sit down and have people listen to me, be happy for me or spur me on. Everyone's in the same boat and you all want to build each other up. You get some great tips as well, including SmartPoints-friendly treats in the local supermarket - then it's sold out because we’ve all bought it!
How has the WW community helped you on your journey?
The support I've had through the massive network of WW members has been the thing that's kept me going all along. We all struggle, and sometimes just by being honest about it to all those people, then having them give love, support and advice, can really help. That's what's kept me positive and on track, and out of the guilt cycle I used to put myself through.
What are your favourite three features in the WW app?
The app is so easy to use! I don't think the ladies at my Workshop will mind me saying, but they’re a bit older and there's no one that I know who can’t use it. Here are my top three features:
- I really like the restaurant section - it's useful for deciding where I’m going and choosing what I'm going to order before I go.
- I love the new water tracker as I used to massively let that slide before, and I’m definitely drinking more water again.
- I also love that I can just search for anything - absolutely anything - and it will pop up and prove to me that I can literally enjoy anything on the WW programme!