Anna: Healthy food’s boring? Not in my house!
I feel like the old me again. Buying clothes in a size 8-10 is a joy!
Start weight: 14st | Weight loss: 3st 7.5lb
Current weight: 10st 6.5lb
Age: 27 | Height: 5' 4.5"
How long it took: 2 years, 4 months
I’d always loved going to festivals and gigs, especially when my husband, Jamie was singing with his band. But on this cold March night in 2015, I dreaded the thought of being seen in public. At 25 years old, I wanted to feel young and attractive. But every time I looked in the mirror, all I could see was a frumpy new mum who couldn’t fit into any of her clothes.
I’d never been overweight as a child or teenager. Even when I got pregnant with my son Noah when I was only 20, I only put on a stone and soon lost it with the help of Weight Watchers.
By the time I was 22, I was a slim 10st 2lb for my wedding day. But once Jamie and I were married, things began to change. I’ve always loved cooking and enjoyed making family meals such as steak and chips, fajitas and Spaghetti Bolognese with huge platefuls of pasta.
By the time I fell pregnant with Emmy, my weight had already crept up to over 12 stone. And when I gave birth in January 2015, I fell totally in love with my baby but fell out of love with myself. I lost my confidence, I felt anxious, I kept bursting into tears and lost all interest in cooking.
My family were really worried and my mum encouraged me to go to the GP where I was diagnosed with anxiety and given medication. It wasn’t particularly postnatal depression, I simply felt I’d lost control of my life and the weight gain was all part of that.
Falling back in love with food, cooking and myself!
Re-joining Weight Watchers changed my life. When I stepped on the scales and saw that I was 14 stone, I was so upset but determined that I’d lose the weight and this time it would be forever.
It became clear that, for me, falling back in love with food and cooking – but learning to channel that in a healthy way – was going to be a big part of that journey.
I bought Weight Watchers cookbooks which I hoped would reignite my passion for cooking. It worked. I found making healthy meals from scratch therapeutic and calming.
I still make the old favourities such as spag bol or homemade meatballs but they’re healthier versions. I also love making butternut squash falafel and homemade dip, veggie chilli and sweet potato and bean burgers. The whole family loves them.
It was Jamie who suggested that I start posting my meals online. I thought it would be great motivation for me on my weight loss journey so I set up an Instagram account and started posting not only my recipes and meals but my weight loss each week.
It was so encouraging when people started following me and commenting. When I had bad week, they’d spur me on and when I had a good week they were my cheerleaders. I’ve found some new friends through it and it’s definitely helped keep me on track.
I also started walking more with Emmy in the pram. And I do the occasional 15 minute You Tube exercise video to keep me toned.
Getting to goal last October was thrilling - it was the week before my birthday and the best present I could have wished for. The last seven pounds had been the most difficult to lose – I think a lot of gold members will recognise that.
I’ve now been maintaining for nearly a year. It took me a while to learn to relax and know that I am allowed to have a few treats. I still stick to my daily allowance in the week, but give myself more freedom at the weekend. Then I’m back on track and cooking delicious healthy meals again on the Monday.
Now I love going out and my confidence is back. I’ve stopped taking the anxiety medication, I feel like the old me again. Buying clothes in a size 8-10 is a joy and now, whenever there’s a music gig, I’ll be the first in the queue.