Leonie: I was taking control of my life
Weight loss: 4st
Start weight: 18st 6lb
Current weight: 14st 6lb
Goal weight: 11st 1lb
Height: 5ft 6in
Time taken so far: 10 months
Meeting: St Paul’s Church, Finchley
Coach: Lori Westmorland
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.
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.
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 a Fitbit 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.’
- Speedy Thai chicken curry: ‘I love spicy food and depending on how hungry I am, I can bulk it out with veg.’
- ‘I love the flavours of Thai food and have discovered a Tesco Thai readymeal which is only 8 SmartPoints.’
- 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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