Feeling healthier, having more energy, sleeping better, boosting your weight loss… when regular moderate activity meets Food Optimising, the benefits are almost endless. That’s why we call it Body Magic – and it’s one of the best ways to feel the love with Slimming World!
If you’d like to experience the rewards of moving more – we’ve got the perfect success story to inspire you. Together, Lisa and Graeme lost over 10st and fell head over heels for Body Magic along the way. We caught up with them to find out how they’ve maintained their weight loss for eight amazing years…
Congratulations on your fantastic weight losses, Lisa and Graeme. What made you decide to slim down in 2013?
Graeme: The turning point came on Christmas Day 2012. We got dressed up for dinner in our glad rags, as you do, but I felt so uncomfortable in my smart trousers and shirt because they were really tight. I felt like I was spilling out over my waistband! I ended up going home and putting my joggers on, and that’s when I knew I needed to do something.
Lisa: I’d lost 4½st with Slimming World in 2006, only for the weight to gradually creep back on after I stopped going to group. As soon as we decided to do something about our weight, I knew I’d go back to the Sunderland Slimming World group to get regular support. And, this time, Graeme came with me.
So, how did your first night in group go?
Graeme: Straight away, we knew we’d made the right decision. The Consultant couldn’t have been more welcoming and, for the first time in a long time, we started to feel excited about the future! We swapped ready meals for filling and healthy home-cooked dinners such as meatballs and pasta, pulled pork with salad and potato wedges, and even curry and rice.
Lisa: From the start, we made sure we stayed to group every week, no matter what. We loved listening to the other members and getting new recipe ideas and we just enjoyed the general buzz of being in group – it never failed to fire us up for the week. And, of course, our Consultant’s support was vital in those weeks when one of us didn’t get the result we wanted on the scales. She always had a brilliant piece of advice or a helpful strategy, like writing a For and Against list, to help us get back on track.
You’ve run a few marathons over the years. When did you first start getting more active?
Graeme: Food Optimising just gave us so much more energy and confidence that we decided to start walking in the evenings. It was tiring at first, but it felt good to be moving and that motivated us to keep doing a bit more each day.
Lisa: While we walked, we’d joke about giving running a try, but I don’t think either of us was serious. Then, one day we were walking around a park and we just thought, ‘why not?’. We were like school kids giggling and daring each other to start, but eventually, I did a ‘3-2-1’ and off we went!
Graeme: We enjoyed it so much that we decided to buy proper trainers and give it our all. I planned our routes and, as we got more confident, we gradually increased the distances. Before we knew it, we were signing up for the Great North Run and training for a marathon.
Lisa: At the same time, I joined a gym, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t the right fit for me. Then a friend asked me to keep her company at a boot camp session – and I loved it immediately! Being outside in all weathers, laughing, talking and getting fitter gave me an enormous sense of freedom.
I hear you’ve also inspired your family to make healthier choices. Tell us more…
Lisa: It’s been great to see the kids making similar changes to their lifestyles, too. When our son, Jack, went to uni, he was cooking chicken and rice while all his mates were warming up pizzas, and our daughter, Alice, often took a healthy pasta salad to work.
Graeme: We’ve also discovered a love of exercising as a family. Jack started coming running with me and Alice went to boot camp with her mum, so we all caught the fitness bug! They did the Great North Run in September 2014, again in 2019, and, best of all, Lisa and I ran the London Marathon together in 2015.
What’s your secret to keeping the weight off for more than eight years?
Graeme: We still attend our Slimming World virtual group each week – it’s as simple as that. It was the support of Consultant and the other members that helped us lose the weight, and they’ve carried on helping us over the years. And, as target members, we’re now able to inspire others who are still on their weight loss journeys, which is such a rewarding feeling.
Lisa: I’m sure being active has helped us stay focused, too. Even during this most recent lockdown, Graeme has carried on running between shifts as a bus driver and I’ve been doing online HIIT workouts alongside my work as a teacher and running my own Slimming World virtual group. We now have a gorgeous German pointer called Riley who loves to run with us on her harness, too!
Graeme: The most rewarding part has been knowing that our kids have more knowledge and awareness about healthy eating than we did when we were growing up. With all the worrying things that have happened over the past 12 months, keeping ourselves fit and healthy has never seemed so important – and we’re proud to see our children are leading active lives because of the changes we’ve made. We want to keep feeling the love with Slimming World forever!
If you’d like to give our Food Optimising eating plan a go and work towards a more active lifestyle, you can find out how to join Slimming World here.