Kirsty: "Now I will happily pose for photographs"
When did you start your WW journey?
I started gaining weight at the age of nine. I was brought up by a single mum and we lived with my grandparents. My grandfather’s death hit me hard and I started eating for comfort, gaining a stone every year until I was 20. I weighed 19 stone 8lbs and realised I had to do something.
I’d joined WW with my mum at the age of 16, but I didn’t really stick to the WW weight-loss programme. In October 2019 it was different. I didn’t want my weight to make me unhappy any more. I’m asthmatic and I couldn’t run up the stairs without getting out of breath and I hated the fact that I couldn’t shop for clothes in the same places as my friends. I had also been bullied over my size and I’ve never forgotten how sad that made me feel.
Initially, I worried about how I would cope without raiding the cupboards for biscuits and crisps every time I felt down, but I quickly realised that I could budget for a small treat every day if I wanted one.
Tell us about your weight loss journey.
I introduced fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains into my diet and rather than have a bacon sandwich for breakfast, I had overnight oats. I swapped my regular chocolate bars for tzatziki and carrot sticks and reduced my portions of pasta in the evenings. At the time, I was dating a chef, which was handy, because he cooked me healthy meals, although I have also learned to do that for myself.
Within three months, I lost three stone and when lockdown hit, I was even more determined to keep going and started taking daily walks while I was furloughed from my job as a hairdresser.
What did lockdown affect your mindset?
Mindset was everything then. I kept myself busy, so that I didn’t start eating due to boredom. I would fill my day with activities such as reading, sitting in the garden and planning meals so that I knew what I would be eating each day.
What have been your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was avoiding temptation whenever I went to the shops or had food cravings in the evenings, but I also learned that healthy snacks like fruit or dips with crudites were a secret weapon as they prevented me from feeling the need to eat junk.
Do you feel better in yourself?
Now, 16 months after I started on the programme, I weigh 13 stone 2lb and I am still using the WW app as I’d like to lose a little more.
Everything has changed. I have collar bones now for the first time in years and I love being able to buy fashionable clothes in a size 16 rather than having to pick size 24 outfits that cover me up. I used to hate the way I looked, but now I will happily pose for photographs.
When I do a Zoom class or run up the stairs, I realise how far I have come, because I no longer struggle to breathe. I feel healthy for the first time in my life since I was a kid and that means the world.
*Kirsty lost 5st in 16 months.