If you’re planning to make 2021 the year your weight loss dreams come true, we can help you get off to a sensational start. Our research shows that Slimming World members who achieve a great loss in their first week are more likely to do well on their slimming journeys in the longer term. Emma Boyce lost 7lbs in her first week and went on to lose over half her body weight, resulting in life-changing improvements to her health and family life…
Standing outside the doors to my local Slimming World group, shaking with nerves, I kept reminding myself why I was doing this. A few days earlier, we’d gone to a soft-play centre and it was the first time I’d taken my two kids alone. As my daughter reached the top of the climbing frame, she got stuck and couldn’t get down. I tried to reach her but, weighing 29st 13lbs, I couldn’t squeeze myself through the maze of tunnels and slides. I felt sick as the panic set in. Eventually, I had to ask a nine-year-old boy to reach her. I was mortified and cried all the way home.
I’d struggled with my weight my whole life, and it got worse when I went through my divorce. I developed unhealthy habits, which – I would later learn in my Slimming World group – was me using food to help me cope with difficult feelings. Eating had always been my comfort blanket. I used it to mask what was really going on.
After my divorce, I met Ryan through an online dating site and we had our children, born a year apart. At my prenatal check-ups, all the doctors I saw told me I should lose weight. I tried every single diet you could think of but, with no support, nothing worked and I thought I was destined to be overweight forever.
Struggling to breathe
Over time, I became concerned about my general health. I was in constant pain – even getting out of bed hurt. My joints and feet would swell up and I was always hot and sweaty. My asthma was awful, too – I relied on my inhalers as if they were a form of life support. Then, in 2016, I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea, a serious disorder which caused my breathing to repeatedly stop and start. After that, I had to connect to a machine each night, which meant wearing a rubber mask with a pipe that blew air onto me every time I stopped breathing.
Gradually, my increasing weight started holding me back from enjoying time with my family. First, I got the photos back from my son’s baptism. It had been a wonderful day, surrounded by our family and friends, and the pictures were perfect… apart from the fact I looked much bigger than I’d imagined. That same week, I needed to buy a new car, so I visited some showrooms to try out a few different models – but it was an unsuccessful trip. I either couldn’t fit behind the steering wheels or the seat belts weren’t long enough to go around me.
That awful experience at the soft-play centre was the final straw, though. My kids deserved a mum who could do things with them and that’s who I wanted to be. My mum had recently joined Slimming World and, having seen some fantastic success stories on Instagram, I decided to go along to my local group.
Changing my mindset
I felt so vulnerable walking through those doors. I sat at the back, listening, and thought, “I’ll give it a go, but it won’t work.” How wrong I was: I lost 7lbs in my first week! I was delighted, and yet I couldn’t quite believe it! I was still eating potatoes and pasta, but by making a few simple, healthier changes, I’d seen dramatic results. That first week gave me the confidence that I could actually do it this time. I had a big change in my mindset from that day forward. I started cooking everything from scratch, especially my favourite roast dinners, and instead of rewarding myself with crisps, chocolate or takeaways, I’d treat myself to a beauty or hair treatment or something new to wear.
There were hurdles along the way, of course. Sharing my struggles with the other members in group helped so much, though. I never once left feeling deflated or defeated. My Consultant, Susanne, was so friendly and I connected with her straight away. She’d lost weight herself and understood the challenges I was facing.
Just two years after joining Slimming World, I’d completely turned my life – and my health – around. I’d lost 17st and was wearing a brand-new wardrobe after going from a size 34 to a 12. I was also sleeping better, which meant I felt energised when I woke up – and I was pain free! In June this year, I was told I didn’t need to use the sleep apnoea machine any more. Now, I can sleep anywhere without having to worry about being wired up to a machine. Excitingly, this means we can finally go camping – something the kids have been desperate to try.
Losing weight has given me a huge confidence boost, and I know seeing results that first week gave me the self-belief I needed to think, “I can do this”. And I did!
As Emma’s inspirational story shows, having a great weight loss in your first week can give you a brilliant motivational boost towards enjoying life-changing success on the scales and improve your health over the longer term, reducing your risk and vulnerability to Covid-19 and other health conditions.
Get your FREE 28-day Fresh Start menu planner
If you’d love to get off to the best possible start to slimming in 2021, pick up a copy of our Fresh Start menu planner. Available to new and existing members until while stocks last, it’s packed with 28 days of Food Optimising recipes, plus handy tips to help you sail through your first seven days of Food Optimising and beyond!