LA decided to take the plunge with her diet and lifestyle 11 weeks, changing her eating habits from shop-bought lunches to homemade masterpieces. Now, as she’s hit the two stone loss mark, I find out how she’s coping and what drew her to Slimming World in the first place for our second WOW Wednesday
Slimming World is a very popular plan, was it your first choice or were you tempted by other programmes?
I had thought about Weight Watchers, I bought both Weight Watchers and Slimming World magazines sporadically over the space of a couple of years. Eventually I stopped buying WW’s mag, and carried on with random SW mag purchases… at the time I still didn’t really know much about either plan, but there was an obvious attraction to SW.
What was your eating habits like before and how have they changed now?
My eating habits were terrible. I’d buy calorific sandwiches from Tesco or Asda, I’d never really bring lunch. Quite often I’d still go buy something from Tesco even though I’d brought lunch, simply because I didn’t fancy it. I try to plan a whole week in advance now, and I make lunches the night before (and eat them!) The main change, for me, is cooking my own dinner. I still live at home and always enjoyed mum’s cooking. I now cook my own dinner (usually from a SW recipe book or from the magazine) and make a real effort to create sauces from scratch instead of buying jars.
How have you found incorporating foods you wouldn’t normally eat into your routine?
It’s been hard, I’ve never been much of a fan of salad. Salad is evil. However, I have salad at least once a week – and I’m starting to enjoy it. The other main change is breakfast. I never use to eat breakfast, and now I have at least a Mullerlight yoghurt with either an Alpen Light bar or one of Slimming World’s hi-fi light bars.
Slimming World offers recipes to make lighter versions of indulgent dishes, has it been a challenge using meals that can potentially take longer to prepare meals, into your diet?
It does take longer in a way, but it’s time well spent. Preparation is key, I have to make sure I know what I’m eating and whether I need to prepare anything in advance. My favourite Slimming World recipe is sticky five-spice gammon and that only takes 15-20 minutes to prepare from start to finish. And it’s just like having a takeaway. The one thing that helps is to have all the staple foods you know you can have in the cupboard at all times, whether it’s frozen chicken breasts, dried egg noodles, or a pepper in the fridge.
Have you tried any other plans in the past?
I hadn’t tried other plans as such, but I had tried calorie counting, and 5:2, and low calorie diets – but never anything commercial like WW or SW. I didn’t stick to any of the other methods in the past because I would lose weight the first week, maybe even the second, but then I’d get frustrated and hungry, and tired, and ultimately, bored! I’d put back on all the weight I lost – with interest!
SW has a very supportive community across social media, how has this benefitted your progress?
I find the whole of SW supportive. The social media aspect is amazing, I love being able to connect with SW members on Instagram across the country – especially those who have lost several stone but started in the same place as I did. In my group, there aren’t many people who started at the same weight as me. A lovely woman called Sam took me under her wing and helped give me extra encouragement. I always stay to IMAGE Therapy (which is basically a lovely group swap of advice, recipes, ups and downs) and although we’re all in the same boat, it’s nice to be able to branch out and go through the experience with even more people online (and you get to see what other people cook!)
Do you ever incorporate any other methods into your diet that aren’t necessarily SW approved, but you find are great alternatives and really help you along?
Other than the odd slip-up (I’m human!) I’ve stuck to the SW plan, it’s so flexible that I haven’t needed to change it in any way. I love Food Optimising, and joining SW encouraged me to be even more active too and I started belly dancing to help me eventually get my Body Magic awards
Do you have any dietary requirements that cause issues, and how do you overcome them?
I don’t like salad. It’s not a dietary requirement, but it does mean that I’m limited and can’t eat loads of lovely things that would boost my weight loss even more. My idea of a salad is a bit of shredded iceberg lettuce and sweetcorn…Maybe one day it will change.
What tips would you give to someone thinking of using Slimming World?
Do it! I have tried to lose weight so many times (and failed) but I’ve never had a support network quite like SW before. We all support and praise each other. Without SW, if I had a bad day, it would turn into a bad week, then everything would go out of the window. Now, I’ve had bad days (I’ve even had a bad fortnight!) but I know that when I go to group and stay for IMAGE Therapy, everyone will be there to support me, help me, and offer their advice. Not everyone’s journey is straight forward, and we’re the masters of our own experience.
What is your ultimate goal?
I’ve set an interim target of 12stone. I’ve lost two stone so far, and I’m not even halfway, but I hope to eventually be in the 11stone bracket – and not have to wear/buy plus size clothes!
Would you like to be featured in WOW Wednesday and share your journey to date with My Boyfriend|Gym just like LA did? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a little bit about your weight loss, fitness or health journey and a before and after (or during) photo. We feature one inspirational person a week, and it could easily be you!