Holiday inspires grandma to lose 18st and return to work!
A grandma who couldn’t work because of her weight has lost 18st and gained two part-time roles – including one helping other people to slim down just like she has.
At nearly 30st Tracey Topping, from Northampton, struggled to walk even short distances and couldn’t stand for too long, making it impossible to find employment. Now she’s lost 18st – a whopping 60% of her body weight – and works as a sales assistant in her local Sainsbury’s supermarket as well as running her own Slimming World group.
The 47-year-old, who has been named Slimming World’s Greatest Loser 2017, says: “Before I wasn’t active at all because I was too big, now I’ve done a Race for Life 10k, I can walk for miles and enjoy playing with my grandchildren. My weight loss has completely changed my life – and I love it! I want to show other people who might be feeling the way I was that there is hope and they can lose the weight.”
Tracey hadn’t always struggled with her weight and as a teenager was a slim size 8. However, after falling pregnant with her first child at 16, the now mum-of-four saw her weight balloon and at the age of 44 found herself wearing a size 34/36. She says: “When I was younger I could eat whatever I wanted without putting on weight, but that all changed after having my eldest daughter. At my heaviest I weighed 29st 6lbs and everything was a struggle – I had pains in my knees and ankles, I got out of breath easily and found it hard to walk from the front door to the car. I couldn’t even fit in the bath and couldn’t work. I felt useless.”
She remembers one horrible incident at a meeting at her son’s school when another parent moved seats after she sat in front of him, complaining she was too big for him to be able to see. She says: “That stayed with me and when we went on holiday soon after I knew I had to lose weight, so I told my husband I was joining Slimming World when we got home.”
While her husband Jason, 47, and two youngest children enjoyed family walks and other fun activities during the break to Skegness in October 2014, she could only watch from the sidelines where she nursed her swollen ankles in the caravan.
My dream is to keep the weight off and be around for my family.
When they returned home, she joined the Weston Favell Slimming World group in Northampton, run by Alicia Myall. Tracey says: “I knew I had nothing to lose but that didn’t stop me feeling nervous. I was worried that I’d be too big for the scales and they wouldn’t be able to weigh me, that wasn’t the case though. Now I tell everyone that there’s nothing to fear because everyone at Slimming World is so friendly and there’s absolutely no judgment or pressure, just loads of help and support. I’ve made so many new friends and I don’t think I could have done it without them.”
Before joining Slimming World and following the Food Optimising eating plan, Tracey would eat three or four takeaways a week. She says: “If I ever cooked that really just meant putting fish fingers or burgers and chips in the oven. Now I cook from scratch and I actually eat vegetables too. I love finding new recipes and ideas on the Slimming World members’ website and in Slimming World magazine – my favourite at the minute is chicken in black bean sauce – and I often post pictures of my meals on our Slimming World’s group’s Facebook page, which helps me to stay on track. There’s so much support on there, as well as in the weekly group. My family have also been a huge support and they enjoy eating the same meals too.”
Tracey’s gone from 29st 6lbs to 11st 6lbs and a size 34/36 to a 10/12, having lost an incredible 18st. After losing the weight, she decided she wanted to help other people to achieve their weight loss dreams and change their lives and trained as a Slimming World Consultant. She now runs a group in Cogenhoe in Northampton. She says: “I don’t just love the new slim me, I love the new happier me, the new positive me, the new energetic me. Joining Slimming World was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve achieved so much I never thought I could and I feel like I can overcome anything life throws at me now. My dream is to keep the weight off and be around for my family, and I know I will because I’m never going to be that big ever again. And I feel like if I can do it anyone can.”
Name: Tracey Topping
Height: 5ft 5in/1.65m
Starting weight: 29st 6lbs/412lbs/187kg
Current weight: 11st 6lbs/160lbs/73kg
Weight loss: 18st/252lbs/114kg
Starting dress size: 34/36
Current dress size: 10/12
Date joined Slimming World: November 2014
Group: Tracey attends the Weston Favell group run by Alicia Myall and runs her own Slimming World group in Cogenhoe.
Lunch: Often skipped lunch too. Or toast, a bacon sandwich, tinned tomato soup or a tuna sandwich with salad cream.
Dinner: Doner kebab, beef curry from the Chinese takeaway or fish fingers, burgers or pies with chips cooked in oil.
Snacks: Crisps, biscuits, sausage rolls, mini curry pasties.
Breakfast: Grilled bacon, low-fat sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms with eggs cooked in low calorie cooking spray and wholemeal toast, or porridge or Weetabix with low-fat banana and custard yogurt.
Lunch: Tuna or chicken salad with homemade balsamic dressing, homemade tomato soup or a baked potato and beans.
Dinner: Homemade lasagne with salad, chicken or pork stir-fry, chicken in black bean sauce with boiled rice or home-cooked roast dinner – all with lots of vegetables. Tracey loves cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, butternut squash, courgette, aubergine, mushrooms, onions and salad.
Snacks: Fresh fruit, pickled onions, high-fibre cereal bars.
Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. There are now more than 18,000 groups held weekly across the UK and Republic of Ireland via a network of 4,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques.
Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people and a recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating behaviour change in a warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.
For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.
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