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If the new year has got you thinking more about your health, now’s the perfect time for a fresh start. Our programme is based on over 50 years experience, expertise and science, and is used by the NHS to help people achieve real and lasting weight loss. We’re proudly partnering with Public Health England to offer £20 off Slimming World Online membership as part of the NHS Better Health campaign.

To inspire you towards enjoying a slimmer, fitter, healthier lifestyle in 2021, we’re also sharing the story of Ashli Sterling, who lost 3st 7lbs by Food Optimising and discovered a love of fitness that’s benefitting her entire family…

MORE ON THE BLOG: Find out about our involvement in the NHS Better Health campaign

“Over the years, I’d sometimes thought that maybe I ought to get fit, but I knew I didn’t actually want to. I’d lost count of the number of gym memberships I’d taken out, only to go once or twice and never again. I’d convince myself there was always a reason why I couldn’t go to the gym or out for a walk: it was too cold, too late, I was too busy. I knew deep down the reason was that my weight made it feel too difficult. Just walking up two flights of stairs in our three-storey house would leave me gasping for breath.

Then my partner Danny’s mum joined Slimming World, and seeing how well it was working for her spurred me to join, too – and I lost 4lbs in the first week! Things were going well until, a few months later, some happy news took me off course… I was pregnant. When I told my Consultant, Alicia, she explained how Slimming World works with the Royal College of Midwives to help expectant mums like me carry on Food Optimising during pregnancy. So I followed her expert guidance, and after my son, Joey, was born in October 2017, I only weighed 10lbs more than when I’d found out I was pregnant.

Gradually getting active

Now that I was a mum, those niggling thoughts that I should be more active took on a new importance. At group, Alicia had told us about Slimming World’s activity programme, Body Magic, and how we could build up gradually to an active lifestyle. I set myself a challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day, no matter what. Each day, I’d put Joey in his pram and head out with our dog, Penny, for a slightly longer walk than the day before. Some days I was shocked to realise I’d done closer to 20,000 steps by the time I headed to bed. Meanwhile, Food Optimising was still giving me great results – by June 2018, I’d reached my target weight, and two months later I hit my second target weight of 9st 4lbs.

MORE ON THE BLOG: How Karen Darler lost 7st by making time for herself

I was proud of my 3st 7lb weight loss, so when the first lockdown happened I was determined that the change in routine wouldn’t send me off course. Danny and I headed out with Joey, Penny and our new dog, Martha, for their daily walk, and we also started doing online workouts every morning. We were surprised at how tricky we found it, and were amazed we both kept going! Soon, we decided to step things up a bit and both downloaded the Couch to 5K app.

We decided to each try the app on alternate days, so one of us could stay home with Joey. On my first day, I pulled on a pair of old trainers, a baggy T-shirt and leggings, and plugged in my earphones. The app told me I needed to run for 60 seconds, then walk for 90 seconds. ‘I can’t run for 60 seconds,’ I thought. ‘This is pointless.’ And if I couldn’t run for 60 seconds, how was I ever going to run 5K? I didn’t want to go home and tell Danny I hadn’t even tried, though, so I gave it a go. And it was hard, but I just about managed it.

Loving my new lifestyle

While Danny struggled with injuries and had to give up, unexpectedly, I kept going. And, little by little, I found I could run further each time – until one day I was running solidly for 30 minutes and completing my first 5K! As I rounded the corner, Danny was waiting at the front door for me. ‘You did it!’ he said. ‘Amazing!’ I felt incredible. How had I managed to run for 30 whole minutes when I could barely manage a minute not so many weeks ago?

It’s not just when I’m running that I appreciate being so much fitter. As a family, we’re always out and about, and I can’t wait until Joey, now three, is old enough to ride a proper bike, so he can cycle alongside me as I run. I love the fact that I only have to step out of my front door to head off on another adventure. There’s no more wasting money on gym memberships I never intended to use or special equipment to buy. These days, as well as feeling fit, I love every second of my active new lifestyle. And I honestly never thought I’d say that!”

MORE ON THE BLOG: Cycling helped Lois through her son’s cancer treatment

£20 off Slimming World Online membership

If you’d like to kick-start your journey towards better health, we’re offering £20 (€25) off Slimming World Online membership if you sign up before midnight 13th March 2021. Click the link below and enter the code PHE2021 to take up the offer.


FREE Fresh Start menu planner in Slimming World groups

If you’d like to find out more about joining your supportive local Slimming World group, you can contact your nearest Consultant here. When you join, you’ll get a FREE copy of our That Fresh Start Feeling menu planner, while stocks last. Packed with 28 days of Food Optimising meals, plus helpful hints and tips, this planner has everything you need to achieve a smashing weight loss in your first week – and beyond!

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