Sara's found her old self again

Sara's found her old self again

When Sara Stewart had her two children, she gained the perfect family – and 2st 3lbs. After slimming her way back to a stunning size 10, Sara shares her story here…  

“I was a size 10 before I had my kids Ava J, three, and Ashton, one. I went mad for Victoria sponge cakes while I was pregnant, and when Ava J was weaning I’d give her a tin of chocolate-flavour baby food, then eat one myself. My eating had always been erratic. Pre-pregnancy, I’d often skip meals, then eat loads the next day.

“Once I had children, I’d snack on their leftovers as well as eating my own meals, and in the evening I’d share a curry and big bag of sweets with Anthony. I’d match him sweet for sweet! It’s no wonder my weight ballooned.

“It was a picture posted on Facebook that made me pluck up the courage to join my local Slimming World group. I couldn’t believe how wide I looked in the photo, or how unhappy. Although walking into group for the first time without knowing anybody was a big thing, I knew I couldn’t carry on the way I was.

“I asked a friend to help me do my first Food Optimising shop because I didn’t know which foods to put in my trolley. She goes to a nearby group and her weight loss had really inspired me. As we went around the store I copied what she picked up, and when I came to the checkout I couldn’t believe how different my trolley looked! Before, I bought mango slices and bananas for Ava J yet never thought about filling my own fruit bowl, and I’d grab a token bag of salad to go with frozen meals rather than lots of fresh vegetables. I don’t spend any more on food now, either – I’ve picked up lots of little tips to help save money.

“I enjoy cooking, so I love that I can easily turn my old recipes, made with butter and olive oil, into Free or low-Syn versions.The kids love Slimming World gammon and pea risotto. A typical day for me is porridge with fresh fruit for breakfast, jacket potato with tuna and salad for lunch and a favourite family dinner is chicken stir-fry with rice. I also treat myself to a Hi-fi bar or fruit dipped in a little melted chocolate.

“I set myself the goal of starting to exercise when I reached my Club 10 target. I joined Zumba first, then began a dance class. Now I also do a Bokwa dance fitness session. It adds up to four or five hours of activity a week – not bad for someone who hadn’t done any exercise since school!

“A month after joining Slimming World I was shocked to find out I had skin cancer. A mole on my leg had been irritating me and it turned out to be a malignant melanoma. I had it removed and was left with a seven-inch scar; the doctor is confident the cancer is gone, but I’ll need annual check-ups to be sure. It was an awful time and just devastating to think I might not see my kids grow up. I never thought about leaving Slimming World, though. Group was something to look forward to each week and it also helped me focus on being well for my future and my family. If the cancer ever returns, I’ll know I’ve been eating healthily and exercising – everything the doctors tell you to do to boost your well-being. The thing is, I enjoy it. Slimming World has become a way of life for me now.

“Even when I’m at home, I love to dress up in skinny jeans and a nice jumper. When I was bigger, I was ashamed of the way I looked. I knew I’d found my ideal weight on the day of Ashton’s christening. Anthony took a photo of me and said, ‘You look really lovely’.  I’m now a size 10 and I’m happy with that. In fact, I’m so much more relaxed and happy overall. I’ve found my old self – and discovered a positive outlook on life in the process.”

*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose

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