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“I’ve always struggled with my weight, and it spiralled after the loss of my partner in 2009. I locked myself away and turned to food for comfort. I knew I was putting on too much weight so I tried a lot of different diets, but I just couldn’t get on with them.

After my doctor diagnosed my type 2 diabetes, I was scared and wasn’t sure how it was going to affect my life. I was also suffering with symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and my mental health was at an all-time low. I knew that I needed to lose weight to improve my health, but I needed some help to do it.

Some of my friends had recently joined Slimming World and were doing well, so I thought I’d tag along. I was nervous and I felt embarrassed that I’d let myself get to the size I was. I didn’t need to worry though – my Consultant, Irene, put me at ease straight away and the other members were a lovely, supportive group. They shared their experiences with me every week and never judged mine.

My husband does a lot of cooking, and he loves the Slimming World recipes too. We still enjoy our favourite dishes, such as curries and spaghetti Bolognese, by making healthy swaps (like using lean mince) and adding more vegetables. Most importantly for me, I found the eating plan flexible, and I was easily able to tailor it to the advice I’d been given from my healthcare team around managing my type 2 diabetes.

I started my Slimming World journey in January 2021 and lost 8st 13.5lbs in just over a year and a half, going from a size 24 to a size 10. I couldn’t believe it when my doctor told me that my blood sugar levels were below the diabetes range – in fact, I don’t think he could believe it either! Now my type 2 diabetes is in remission and my PCOS symptoms are less severe. I’ve completely transformed my health by changing what I eat!

Another benefit is that I now have so much more energy. I go to exercise classes and walk every day. Losing weight has also helped me build relationships with my niece and nephew. Before I would shy away from taking them anywhere fun like the trampoline park, go-karting or theme parks. Now though, you can’t stop me – I think I’m sometimes a bigger kid than them!

I was also a carer for my Gran, who was living with dementia before she sadly passed away last year. Losing weight meant that I could better support her, which was a great motivator – if I didn’t help myself, how was I going to help her?

The next step for me was an exciting career change… I decided to train as a Slimming World Consultant and now support members in my own group each week. My weight used to hold me back so much at work. I didn’t have the confidence to go for promotions and would stay in my comfort zone. I was afraid of being judged because of my size. My life is totally different now – my health has improved, I’m much more active and I’ve got a dream career helping others to achieve to their own personal goals, whatever they may be.”

Jennifer’s menu

Breakfast: Nothing
Lunch: Fast food meal
Dinner: Indian takeaway with all the trimmings or a ready meal
Snacks: Three or four chocolate bars across the day, crisps and six cans of pop

Breakfast: Weetabix with skimmed milk and fruit
Lunch: Scrambled egg on wholemeal toast
Dinner: Homemade spaghetti Bolognese followed by fruit and meringue
Snacks: Apples and chocolate

Jennifer shares her story as Slimming World and Diabetes UK announce a three-year partnership.

Slimming World and Diabetes UK are coming together to share expertise on weight loss, long-term healthy eating and diabetes. Together we aim to support people living with diabetes and those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to manage their weight in a way that works for them through collaborating on resources, producing co-branded recipes and sharing expertise.

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