It was time to take back control of my health

Nicola lost 3st 5lb with WW!*
Published 3 December, 2020

I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic late 2019 and that was the wakeup call, I needed. I'd known for a while that I needed to lose weight but, having M.E./CFS, I didn't have the energy or motivation to make the effort. Having a partner who is a Type 1 diabetic and a grandmother who was Type 2 diabetic I was well aware of the health implications if I did nothing. As I suffered with M.E/CFS, and an underactive thyroid, being overweight just added to the never-ending exhaustion and inability to be active. A bit of a vicious circle as the weight kept creeping on as I was too tired to even just go for a walk.

I was invited to join the NDPP in partnership with WeightWatchers, and I haven't looked back since.

The plan is so easy to follow, and no food is off limits. I have been on the purple plan and, with over 300 zero Smart Point foods to choose from, and it’s so easy to eat varied, tasty, and nutritious meals every day.

I started walking as my main form of exercise and joined in the 1 million Steps in 3 months challenge for Diabetes UK. I struggled badly some days as my energy levels are low, and if I overdo it, my body needs a few days to recover. I was determined to finish the challenge and did so with days to spare. I was incredibly proud of what I had achieved as I never imagined that I could do it.

I'm sure that doing so much walking in those 3 months helped massively to my success in achieving my goal weight.

My coach Charlotte was a real motivation at our weekly virtual workshops, as she is on her weight loss journey as well, and it is good to have someone who knows the struggles and ups and downs you face. I have really missed going to face to face workshops, although the virtual workshops have been a good alternative, as they give you a weekly accountability, and the opportunity to join likeminded members, and all share great tips and advice to help keep each other on track.

The app is fantastic. I use it every day to track my food and drink, look at recipes and scan barcodes when out shopping to make informed choices. There are great exercise and meditation programmes and coaching sessions for when you are struggling to stay on track. I couldn’t do without it.

Now I have lost 3 ½ stone, I have a lot more energy, and enjoy getting out walking. I am healthier than I have been in years. I'm enjoying cooking from scratch and eating fresh food. I am now able enjoy walking but must be careful not to overdo it as I'm painfully aware that this causes my M.E/CFS to flare up. I still have days when I cannot do anything but now more good than bad days.

My typical days eating that got me to my heaviest weight was no breakfast, lunch of a sandwich with egg/tuna mayo, or a sausage roll and a packet of crisps. Dinner was meat and vegetables and included takeaways too often. My snacks would be chocolate, sweets, crisps, and cakes. Thankfully WW has taught me a healthier way to eat and looks like a breakfast is overnight oats, lunch is a chicken or tuna salad, and dinner could be a homemade curry with brown rice or vegetable or a traybake with chicken. Snacks are now fresh fruit, WW bars. I’m never hungry and just eating things that are much better for me and my body.

I have a lot more self-confidence and I like who I am. I love ordering new clothes in sizes I never thought I'd get into again and trying new styles instead of hiding in long, baggy tops and jeans.

Trust in the WW plan, it really works. Don't beat yourself up if you have a 'naughty' day; just get back on plan the next day. Your weight loss journey is a marathon not a sprint. 1/2lb loss is still a loss!

I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to do the NDPP course and I am proud of all that I have achieved.

I was suffering extreme tiredness, and also carpel tunnel in my hands. My weight was starting to constantly creep up, and I wasn’t able to do as much exercise, meaning I was getting breathless walking upstairs…..not good.

I joined the WW virtual workshops, and was a little nervous, but it’s been the best thing I have ever done. Getting online was easy, and I have met lots of likeminded members who have the same issues as me, so we all help support each other, and the WW coaches are great, and help keep you on track, and have given me that much needed motivation when I have really needed the support. The food tracking on the app is so easy and has really made me look at what I am eating on a daily basis. I used to eat toast with butter and jam, and used to take 3 sugars in my tea, or a bacon sandwich for breakfast. My portions were just too big, and I loved chips. Working for KP snacks, made it too easy to have quick easy access to higher smartpoint snacks. I’m now eating better with poached eggs, fresh salads, and home-made soups, WW snacks, and my tea now has no sugar, and I love a green tea or plenty of water. I also ensure my meals are correctly portioned and that’s helped.

It’s been a great experience because my HBA1C has gone from 43 to 37 so I am no longer pre-diabetic. My weight has gone from 11st 7 to 10st 6, and even though my NHS referral has come to an end, I have continued as a paying member, because I love what WW offers, and how much it has changed my life. I still want to attend the virtual workshops, and have access to the app, as its really helping me change my lifestyle for the better.

My lifestyle has completely changed. I have loads more energy, meaning I now exercise and walk lots more than I ever did. I love using my bike and stepper, and my fitness levels are much better. I now walk at lunchtimes, rather than sitting at my desk. All these changes have made a hug difference. My portion control with food is better and I eat less carbs and the tracking helps with this. I have more energy and feel I can do more. The biggest change for me is I am no longer in the danger zone of being diabetic. Since I am no longer pre-diabetic I am no longer as tired as much and my carpel tunnel has almost gone. My general fitness is now great.

Thank you to the NHS for referring me, and WW for helping me become the new person that I am.