Success Stories
Leonie: I was taking control of my life
Having lost 4st already, Leonie knows this is a plan she’ll follow for life, not just until she’s lost the extra weight

Leonie's story

Weight loss: 4st
Start weight: 18st 6lb
Current weight: 14st 6lb
Goal weight: 11st 1lb
Age: 46
Height: 5ft 6in
Time taken so far: 10 months
Meeting: St Paul’s Church, Finchley             
Coach: Lori Westmorland      

            

One of my favourite ways to relax is to go to the gym and run on the treadmill. I can manage 45 minutes easily, no sweat. But a year ago it was a very different story. I couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without having to stop to catch my breath. I remember being absolutely exhausted on my first run – which only lasted 60 seconds. I never thought I’d be able to do any more.

I’d been on the large side since my teens and was a classic yo-yo dieter, trying every diet under the sun. Then, three years ago, my father was diagnosed with dementia and my sister and I became his carers, which meant I had to quit my job. It was a very worrying time, seeing this strong, powerful man become so ill. He’d always been my safety net and to suddenly become his carer scared me. I ate takeaways and tubs of ice cream for comfort. I also cut ties with my friends because I didn’t want to socialise with them. I became depressed and spent afternoons in bed, watching movies on my phone and hiding from the world.

Then I saw an advert for Weight Watchers, which promised I’d lose 10lb in eight weeks. It helped me decide to do something before I wasted my life completely. I’m quite a competitive person, even with myself, and thought I could smash the 10lb challenge no problem!

I plucked up the courage to go to my first meeting and came away feeling so motivated. I downloaded the app and, for the first time in ages, I was taking control of my own life.

Within three months I’d lost 2st, and my confidence soared. I returned to work, started internet dating, and went out with friends again. I also joined a gym. One thing that really helped me was support from the Connect community. It was my fellow Connect members who encouraged me to do my first run and now I can’t get enough of it.

I’m not hung up on the fact that I’ve not yet reached goal, because I’ve achieved so much already. This is a plan I’ll follow for life, not just until I’ve lost the extra weight.

WW tools used

  • App: ‘This is my saving grace. Even if I’ve eaten the wrong foods, I put them in the app so I can see my total and move on from there.’
  • Connect: ‘I’ve found it so supportive. It’s like a family who encourage you in every move.’
  • Fitbit: ‘My sister bought me the Flex for my birthday and I don’t leave home without it, even on nights out.’
  • Readymeals: ‘I have the kind of lifestyle where I often don’t have time to cook for myself, so these are a lifesaver.’

Yesipe

Food

  • ‘I love the flavours of Thai food and have discovered a Tesco Thai readymeal which is only 8 SmartPoints.’

Family

  • Dad can’t even make a cup of tea for himself anymore, so I’m often in the kitchen making things for him. He likes to eat familiar food, so I cook separately for him. I have my own shelf in the fridge where I keep my healthier ready meals.’

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