I pushed my foot down on the pedal of my bike and set off down the road, with my husband, Trevor, riding beside me. I was already starting to pant and I hadn’t even got to the end of the street. Part of me wanted to get off and turn back, but with every turn of the pedals my confidence grew and I was determined to keep going. Half an hour later, I stuttered to a stop outside my house and, even though I was completely exhausted, I couldn’t stop a broad grin spreading across my face. I’d done it!
Finding the courage to wheel my bike out of the garage had been the latest step on my Body Magic journey. Trevor and I had recently joined our local Slimming World group in Ruskington, run by Sam Wheatley, and before that, by Loretta Sarginson, and while I’d lost over a stone already, I still had a way to go until target and I got out of breath easily. We’d been walking around our village in the evenings, slowly at first but gradually getting a bit quicker each time. It felt good to be out moving in the fresh air, and that encouraged us to give cycling a go.
At first, those early rides were a bit of a challenge, wobbling along, with Trevor doing the same beside me, and I’d feel worn out at the end of every ride. It wasn’t long, though, until we could easily do a circuit around our village, and I decided I wanted to do more! I started cycling to and from work every day, and we found a local cycling group online, joining them for longer rides at the weekend.
Even on Christmas Day, Trevor and I got up early to squeeze in a ride before we opened our presents. I couldn’t believe it when we got back and I realised we’d clocked up over 15 miles – my longest ride yet! I spent the rest of the day beaming at my achievement.
My confidence kept growing, and when Trevor’s colleague suggested we sign up for a 50-mile cycling event in Norwich, I felt ready to take on the challenge. Even so, as I lined up behind the other riders, my stomach was in knots. Then we were off and I started to believe that I could actually do this… until I hit the 40-mile mark and suddenly felt like I’d had hit a wall. I was exhausted and my legs felt like concrete as I tried to keep pedalling. Just when I thought I wasn’t going to make it, Trevor rode up alongside me and thrust a banana into my hand, followed closely by a Hi-fi bar. As soon as they kicked in, the final 10 miles flew by and when I finally crossed the finish line I felt euphoric.
My success inspired me to take on another Body Magic challenge. I’d downloaded a Couch-to-5K app when I joined Slimming World, but after the first run I felt like my lungs were going to explode, so I gave up and quietly deleted the app from my phone. Now I felt more confident, I decided to give it another go. I still felt like I was going to expire after that first run, but this time I didn’t let that stop me. I ran again the next day, and the next, getting a bit better every time, and nine weeks later, I ran my very first 5K!
My weight at the moment is 14st 6½lbs and, while I’m still on my slimming journey, I know I’ll have no problem carrying on Food Optimising and Body Magic – I love them both! I’m planning to run a 10K in the summer with Trevor and I can’t wait to get back on my bike when the weather gets a bit warmer and feeling the cool air on my face as I’m flying along. Body Magic has made me feel healthier, fitter and more confident than I ever thought possible – and I plan to hold on to that feeling.
It’s safe to say that Viv is loving feeling confident, healthy and full of energy! If her story has inspired you to discover that unbeatable ‘Slimming World feeling’ for yourself, you’ll find lots of support at your local Slimming World group or on our enthusiastic online community. Let’s make 2020 the year you experience ‘that Slimming World feeling’.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.
*If you’re planning to start a new exercise programme, we recommend you check with your GP first – especially if you have an existing health condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma. If you’re pregnant, check the suitability of the exercise with your midwife.