Weight loss: 3st
Start weight: 15st 3lb
Current weight: 12st 3lb
Goal weight: 11st 6lb
Height: 5ft 6in
Time taken: 2 years, 2 months
Meeting: Southwater, Sussex
Coach: Sharon Ashborn
My health scare
Sitting in my GP’s surgery four years ago, I complained about pain in my knees and the general lethargy I’d been experiencing for months. ‘Test results indicate you have an extremely underactive thyroid,’ he told me. He also said I’d benefit from losing weight.
The big 5-0!
At more than 15st and about to hit 50, my achy joints weren’t a surprise, but to learn I’d have to take thyroid medication for life came as a shock. I had three children – my youngest was only 12 – and I wanted to be fit and healthy.
I’d gained a lot while pregnant with my first son, at 25. After that, I’d always struggled to slim down and became the classic yo-yo dieter, starving myself then putting it all back on again. I’d go to the gym, but it didn’t offset the takeaways and snacks.
My size didn’t affect my social life, however, because I became the comic fat friend, making fun of my weight before anyone else did. At parties I’d say, ‘No one’s leaving until the fat lady sings’, meaning me! But deep down, I didn’t want to be that size.
When I turned 50 I joined Weight Watchers and it took just one week to lose 3½lb. I was hooked. For the first time, I realised I didn’t have to be on a “diet”. If I wanted a Chinese takeaway or slice of cake, I could have it. I simply couldn’t have it every day. From that moment on, I steadily lost weight and when I got to goal, I was so happy. I finally felt like me again.
For me, the more difficult part has been maintaining. Losing the weight was easy in comparison, but I’ll go up 1lb here and down 2lb there. You have to work at it even when you’ve reached goal.
I can wear jeans for the first time in 10 years!
I get so many compliments now. People come up to me in the gym and say how well I’ve done and it makes me feel wonderful. My knees no longer ache, either. I’ll be taking thyroid medication for the rest of my life, but thanks to Weight Watchers, my health is much better and I couldn’t be happier.
WW tools used
- Fitbit: ‘I wear it most days and average around 13,000 steps a day.’
- My journal: ‘I’m a real paper-and-pen girl. If I’ve had a bad day, I’ll write something like a swear word across the page then start again the next day! It’s great to be able to look back and see how I’ve progressed.’
- Calculator: ‘If there’s something in the fridge I’m unsure about, I’ll use the calculator to work out the SmartPoints.’
- Kitchen Scales: ‘After two years of being a member, I’m pretty good at estimating, but there are some foods I still struggle with, like fish and meat, so the scales are invaluable.’
- Pork and apricot burgers with sweet potato fries: ‘I love barbecues but didn’t think I’d be able to enjoy them. This recipe proved me wrong!’
- ‘I absolutely love a Sunday roast with the family, and when I joined Weight Watchers I thought I’d feel guilty if we had one. But it’s one of the best things you can eat. Whether it’s chicken or lamb, you can pile up your plate with veg, swap potato for sweet potato and skip the Yorkshire pudding, and it’s a healthy, filling meal.’
- ‘It’s incredible how tweaking little things makes a big difference. My family haven’t noticed I’ve changed all our pasta to wholemeal and switched white rice for brown. I buy lean mince, use Warburtons Thins or Weight Watchers bread, and instead of snacking on crisps, I now love popcorn. One of my biggest downfalls was cheese. Now I simply buy reduced-fat mature Cheddar, which tastes the same. I’ve also swapped wine for prosecco, or a gin with slimline instead of sugary tonic.’