These are testing times for everyone, but especially those key workers who’ve been keeping the country going for the past few months. When we received an email from Natalie, telling us how she’s been keeping her spirits up and her weight loss goals on track – all while continuing to work as a primary school teacher – we couldn’t help but be inspired. This is her story…
Hi, I’m Natalie. I’ve been a member of Slimming World for three and a half years and I’ve lost 5st 10lbs (my target weight is in sight!). Until recently, I didn’t think exercise was for me, but adding a Body Magic boost to my days has really helped to keep me feeling mentally and physically strong during a stressful time.
My Slimming World journey started after splitting with my long-term partner. The thought of dating again was scary, and I realised that I needed to work on loving myself first. And as an early years primary school teacher, I also need lots of energy to keep up with the children – something that I struggled with. Joining Slimming World just made sense.
Going to my local group every week really helped me to find that time and motivation to focus on myself. With the support of my Consultant and other members, I quickly got to grips with Food Optimising and made steady progress towards my weight loss goals, taking things one step at a time.
Fast forward to this year and I feel much more confident and comfortable with my weight – and I have a lovely new partner, Neil. He also follows Slimming World, and we plan our meals for the week together using recipes ideas from the Slimming World website, from Instagram (find me at @nat_slimmingworld3) and, of course, from group. The only thing that was missing from my Slimming World journey was Body Magic. I’d just never felt that exercise was for me. Then lockdown happened…
Despite the coronavirus outbreak meaning lots of challenging changes for me at work, I managed to take a big positive from the situation – I finally felt motivated to try Body Magic. I was determined not to undo my good work, and adding more activity to my days has helped me to keep moving towards my weight loss goals.
‘Step by step’ has always been my approach to slimming, so I started doing a bit of Body Magic every day. Options for getting active have been more limited than usual – I can’t join a gym or take a class – however, running is something that I can do, and it’s easy to fit around work, too. Like all key workers, lockdown didn’t suddenly free up lots of time for me, so I needed something that I could just get on with whenever I had the chance.
I started the Couch to 5K app in March, and it definitely wasn’t easy to begin with. I could barely jog for a minute without struggling for breath. But, as the weeks progressed, so did my fitness levels – and the more I jogged, the more I enjoyed it. These days, I jog 5km three to four times a week with Neil, and we also love to take long walks in the country on my days off.
Now I feel so much fitter as well as feeling physically and mentally healthier. The past few months have been difficult and worrying, with lots of changes to the school environment, and staying active has really helped me to deal with any stress.
Of course, my friends at group are behind me all the way! Going to my local Slimming World group has always been a huge part of my slimming success, and although we do obviously talk a lot about food, it’s much more than just that. My group is simply amazing and I’ve made so many lifelong friends there, which is why I’m really happy that we can continue to meet virtually during lockdown.
As a sociable person, having the My Slimming World Virtual Group meeting to look forward to every week has been a real lifeline. The camaraderie there is fantastic and that, together with my new-found love of fitness, has really helped to keep me in a positive place. Slimming World really is a community that comes together during difficult times and I’m so glad I have that support network in my life.
Natalie’s top tips
1. Plan, plan, plan! Planning your meals will make life so much easier
2. Don’t worry too much about the bigger picture – tiny steps feel much more manageable
3. Stay to group and listen to ideas – other members will keep you motivated. Believe in yourself – if I can do it, anyone can!
Favourite recipe: Burger in a bowl
Truly incredible stuff! It’s amazing to hear how Natalie’s managed to find a positive side to this unprecedented situation. It’s especially heart-warming for us to read about how the virtual groups are continuing to help and support our members while local groups are temporarily suspended. If you’d like to find out about the Slimming World Virtual Service, your local Consultant will be delighted to tell you more.
If you’ve got a story to tell, we’d love you to get in touch. Who knows – you might just be our next blog superstar!