We’re proud to continue our partnership with Public Health England’s Better Health campaign by offering you the chance to save £15.95/€28 on Slimming World group membership or £15 on Slimming World Online membership until 24th October 2021.
Our Food Optimising eating plan, based on over 50 years of experience, expertise and science, is used by the NHS to help people achieve real and lasting weight loss. To inspire you to start your slimming journey and enjoy a fitter, healthier lifestyle, we’re sharing how losing 6st 6½lbs has made all the difference to Sarah Brooks, who’s reduced her asthma medication and discovered the health and mood-lifting benefits of Body Magic!
I was in a dark place at the start of 2021. I’d been forced to shield due to health issues, which meant I couldn’t perform my duties as an NHS healthcare assistant. It tore me apart that I couldn’t do my role and I wanted to be out there helping my team. I found staying at home really difficult – my routine was gone and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I turned to food for comfort, snacking on family-size chocolate bars, crisps, takeaways – anything that made me feel better.
Fighting for breath
Before lockdown, I’d noticed that my uniform was getting tighter. I was also finding work challenging – by the end of a shift, I’d be struggling for breath and in pain from my swollen feet and legs. I used to have at least four asthma attacks a week and I was taking two tablets a day to help with my breathing. Then, in November 2020, I lost my voice as a result of two chest infections, which put pressure on my airways, and acid reflux , which was irritating the back of my vocal chords.
I’d joined a local Slimming World group before, after my GP had suggested I try to lose weight. I never really embraced the plan, though. Then my Slimming World Consultant, Kat, sent me a postcard, asking me if I was OK as she’d not seen me for a while, and she told me about the Better Health Slimming World group offer. I knew I needed help, so I took the opportunity – and I’m so glad I did!
Swapping takeaways for fakeaways
I joined the group (which was running virtually during lockdown), listened to Kat and the other members and was reminded of all the things I could eat! I swapped takeaway pizzas and burgers for delicious home-cooked meals like chicken curry, packed with spinach, mushrooms, onion and garlic. Because I was filling up on all the meals I was making, I didn’t feel the need to turn to chocolate bars and bags of crisps to satisfy my hunger.
Getting active my way
Before joining Slimming World, I wasn’t active at all. If I walked anywhere, I struggled to breathe and would get pain in my hips, back and knees. Now, I’m heading towards a gold award in Slimming World’s Body Magic activity programme. For me, that means vigorous housework and I’ve started going for walks, too. Just recently, I managed to cover two miles! I also park at the other side of the supermarket, so I have further to walk to the store.
I took the advice of my doctors to have someone with me, made sure I had my inhalers and ensured it was all flat surfaces, no hills. I was so proud – although my feet ached, it was more of an achievement for me not to be in chronic pain.
Group keeps me focused, and the tips and help I get there each week are invaluable. There’s no judgement, everyone is so supportive and I’ve made quite a few friends. My confidence is growing too, and I’m definitely communicating with the group more, rather than sitting quietly at the back. It’s amazing being in a real-life group again. Every Wednesday feels like my day. I brush my hair and put some make-up on and each week I get that ‘I’m not on my own here’ feeling. I love it!
I recently had an appointment with a respiratory consultant, who told me, ‘Whatever you’re doing, it’s saved you’. I still have severe asthma and difficulties breathing; since losing weight, though, my asthma attacks are less frequent and I’ve been able to reduce my medication. I still want to lose more weight, so I can return to the job I love and make my daughter even prouder of me.
I didn’t think I’d ever inspire anyone, I’m just not that person. Yet I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved. I find it incredible that by making simple changes to the way I eat and live, I’ve dramatically improved my life. I feel stronger than ever, I have so much more energy, I’m full of hope and positivity and I’m genuinely excited about what the future holds.
Has Sarah’s story inspired you to take that first step towards better health? We’re offering FREE Slimming World membership, plus six weeks for the price of five, when you join your local Slimming World group and commit to a six-week Countdown course before 24th October 2021.
Contact your local Consultant to book your place in group and find the voucher to take along here.