For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my weight. If I had to pinpoint exactly when things went wrong for me (weight-wise) it was when I went off to University. I didn’t know how to cook anything apart from super noodles, and I was drinking alcohol daily and ordering takeaways most evenings. My weight escalated.
At first, I didn’t really think my weight gain was real. I remember going to a wedding and having to buy a dress and being shocked that I couldn’t get into my usual size. I hadn’t realised how it had all crept on, without me realising.
Throughout my twenties and now thirties, I have tried nearly every single fad diet there is out there.
The first one I tried was the Atkins diet and I lost a lot of weight really quickly, but it was impossible to stick to it long term and omelettes and burgers every night got boring, quickly. That, and it used to make me feel really weak and dizzy. Before long all the weight I had lost, had piled back on again.
These are the diets I have tried (and failed): cabbage soup, maple syrup, blood group, 5:2, countless VLC diets (shakes and soups and no actual solid food), apple diet (only eating apples – don’t ask!), the special-k diet (!), the Cambridge diet, juice diets and weight-watchers.
I think that pretty much the last fifteen years I have been trying to lose weight and have constantly, and I honestly mean constantly, been on a diet. My weight, as a result has fluctuated a great deal – from a size ten, up to a size sixteen. I have so many clothes of different sizes. It is ridiculous.
The only time I didn’t diet was during pregnancy and it was then that my weight got out of control. I saw it as an excuse to just eat what I want, probably because I had been such a yo-yo dieter for all of the years prior to that.
By the time Morgan (my second daughter) was born, I was four-stone heavier than I was when I got married and I felt awful about myself.
I hated looking at myself in the mirror and having photos taken of me, and I dreaded any kind of social situation where I would see friends or family who might be thinking, “what happened to her”.
I have always been an emotional eater and throughout my early twenties I suffered badly with depression and I used to self-harm. I found eating chocolate and junk food was a comfort to me. I have always used food to comfort me whenever I have felt low.
Once Morgan had been born and I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes in that pregnancy, it was finally time to seriously do something with my weight and my fitness. I couldn’t let my diet affect my health long term not now had the added motivation of ensuring I wasn’t diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, that I now at a higher risk of getting.
I joined Slimming World back in April and have now lost just over two stone. Clothes I had packed away, I can now get back into and I am finally at a weight that I was before I had my first daughter – Sydney.
I feel more confident, and feel so motivated now to lose the stone and a half I still have left to get to my target. I haven’t been my target weight in fifteen years.
Slimming World is honestly the best diet I have ever done. It is real food, and as much of it as you want. There is no counting points or restrictions other than the amount of “Syns” you have per day (so you can have some chocolate or ketchup or margarine etc. but you count it as a “Syn” and you can have up to fifteen of those per day) and you have a minimal amount of dairy and bread as your healthy extras.
The recipes are all really lovely and the best thing is, it is just normal food and normal portions! I am not drinking a shake whilst my family are all having a meal; or having an omelette for the millionth night in a row! My husband and girls have the same food as me as it is just healthy and good food.
Not only is the diet part absolutely brilliant but the support I get from my group is unbelievable. They are a group of about fifty women and men who are all kind and inspiring people, who are all on the same wavelength. The group sessions and the support I get throughout the week from the members through our Facebook site, make every day easy, but even if you do fall off plan, they are there to get you back on it. I can honestly, honestly say I have never known a diet like it – it is more than a diet. I have made friends at the group and it really feels like we are in it together.
I am about half way through now and can’t wait to make it to my target and to have that feeling that I have done it. I know I am going to feel amazing when that day happens. I don’t know when that will be, but I am just going to keep going until it does.
This is finally a diet I have been able to stick to, and one, where it actually is a way of life.