Vicky: “Coming back to WW, I found myself again. I found the confidence that I gained last time.”
How it started
I started WW on June 20th, 2020. That year, my best friend was due to be getting married, but because of Covid, they rearranged the wedding to the following year. During that time, I had this massive idea that I was just gonna eat what I wanted. I thought, “No one is going to see me. I'll get the weight off before we all emerge [from lockdown] again.”. But it didn't pan out that way at all. I remember being at work and realising my trousers were so tight and I suddenly thought, “Oh! This isn't right.”. When I got home that night, I saw the ‘save the date’ on the fridge and panic began to flood through me. I thought, “I need to get this sorted, now.”.
Rejoining the plan
I rejoined WW with a starting weight of 18 st, 9 lbs. I got to my goal weight in July 2021. Because of WW, I also decided to make a really big career change– I went from being a supermarket assistant to a pastry chef, then decided that I was going to do it alone. I thought I'd learn everything I needed to learn [from the programme] but I hadn’t and it went very badly. I had to come running back to WW with my hands up saying, “I couldn't do this alone.”. So I restarted my journey again this year and here I am.
Gaining back confidence
When I stepped away from WW, my mental health took a dip because I had nothing to keep me going. I had no goal. I felt like I was a little lost [on my weight-loss journey] and that I'd lost myself as well. So coming back to WW, I found myself again. I found the confidence that I gained last time.
My health keeps me motivated. When I lost the weight, 6 st 2lbs in total, I began to notice so many different things that I never thought of. We live in a flat so I climb stairs daily, but I never realised how much that made me out of breath. But now it’s just a case of, “I'm going up the stairs”, it doesn't bother me. It's the little things like that. For example, being able to go out for a walk and not feel tired. Or being able to play with my friends’ children, and generally, no longer feeling tired. That's what keeps me motivated to keep going.
WW changed my life. It’s given me the courage to make different life choices like moving into a different career. I don't think I would have done that had I been at my start weight. It's the little things like going out and exercising in public– It's given me the confidence to do that. Now I’m able to go clothes shopping and pick up clothes without worrying that other people look at me thinking, “she's not going to fit into that”, or worry about what they're generally thinking about me. It's giving me the confidence to not worry anymore.
When I first joined, I thought I was going be hungry the whole time. It turns out you are never really hungry because there is always something you can fit into your plan. You think it's going to be this really long, dragged-out journey but it isn’t, it’s gradual. You don't realise the changes you are making until one day you look back and think, “Wow, I've actually come a really long way.”.
Be kind to yourself
If I ever feel down or that I've fallen off track, I take a moment to look back over my journey. I document everything and I have photos too. So, sometimes if I feel like I've really failed, I will take a photo of myself in that moment and compare it to a picture of myself at the start, so I can physically see how far I’ve come. We’re human, we will mess up but I think we punish ourselves when we do mess up. So it's trying to learn to be kind to yourself and rather than say, “Well I've messed this up, I might as well just do this”, it's a case of recognising that that one moment is not going to derail the rest of the journey– it's one meal out of hundreds you’re going to eat.
Adopting healthy habits is key. I'm adopting simple swaps like changing my cheese– I've swapped to the 50% reduced fat cheese, which I actually really enjoy. Anything with the word ‘light’, I seem to have naturally swapped to over time because they’re lower in points so you get more for what you have. When I was at my biggest, my go-to would be to snack on anything and everything. But now it's the case of if I'm really hungry I'm going to use my zero-point foods. I wouldn't have done that before, I would've just gone for whatever was convenient.