“I lost nearly 5st during lockdown, learned to love myself again and now I’m ready for love!”

Dropping six dress sizes in a year, Amber Lewis, 26, from Port Talbot says losing weight over lockdown changed her life.

“I joined Slimming World in January 2020 weighing over 15st. I’d joined on and off for a few years but this time something clicked - I needed to do something and if I’m honest it was because I’d fallen out of love with myself. I knew I couldn’t love anyone else until I loved me. I was also keen to go travelling and wanted to lose weight ahead of a trip to Australia booked for later this year.

“Living on my own, I would get up in the middle of the night and raid the cupboards for mini midnight feasts of bowls of cereal, cookies and lots of bread. There was only the dog to see what I was doing, and he wasn’t going to say anything! My skin was horrendous, I had terrible acne and it affected my confidence so much that I wouldn’t even go to the corner shop without heaps of make-up on or being covered in fake tan. My BMI was in the obese range and my weight had a big impact on my asthma, which I’ve had since birth. If I ever tried to go for a long walk, I would have to stop numerous times to get my breath back.

“When I decided to join Slimming World, I walked in and out of the doors to the group at least four times I was so nervous. I sat quietly in the corner, yet once I’d listened to my Consultant explain all about the plan, I realised I wasn’t on my own. I remember thinking, all these people here are in the same boat, and I left feeling so inspired. While I truly believe if you don’t solve your problems no-one else is going to do it for you, having the support of the group to help me was amazing! When lockdown hit, we moved to virtual group meetings and I kept going every week.

Amber Lewis
I tested positive for Covid just before Christmas. I feel super lucky that I was able to recover and bounce back - I know that losing weight and being healthier stood me in good stead.
Amber Lewis

“I work for the Welsh Parliament based in Cardiff Bay and since March 2020 I’ve been working from home. When the first lockdown happened, I made a choice – I could sit at home working behind my desk eating myself silly and pretending I hadn't just demolished a pack of custard creams with my tea, or I could use the time and for once in my life do something for me. It gave me more time to focus on myself and time to think. I had time to prep my food and think about what I was eating. I realised I was never going to get this time back and I was determined to come out of lockdown lighter than I went into it and I did – since joining Slimming World I’ve lost nearly 5st.

“At first, I was so surprised at the variety of food I can eat on the Slimming World Food Optimising plan and I’ve found the group is the best place for expert advice around how to cook recipes and for hints and tips. I know that when I follow the plan, I lose weight. I prep and cook meals every day now, instead of ordering a Domino’s pizza or takeaway three times a week or eating microwave meals. Food tastes so much better now too. Sweet potato curry with rice and a side of broccoli is my favourite recipe!

“Since I joined Slimming World and have been making healthier meals, I enjoy the 'cooking from scratch' aspect - I was such an awful cook before and had a ‘love/hate’ relationship with food, but now I have so many dishes and kitchen gadgets! I never go hungry and I’m eating more than I ever used to! I’ve learnt so much from the Slimming World 'recipe' function in the members-only app and following some of the Slimming World books. I’ve even set up an Instagram account and I post my Slimming World recipes along with tutorials. My mum has joined my Slimming World group too and lost 2st herself! She’s always ringing me up asking me recipe tips. I often get people asking me how I’ve lost weight and I know I’ve inspired at least seven or eight people locally to join their local Slimming World groups.

“I’ve always been interested in keeping fit and although I started gradually with a hike or a walk around the local park, I now train six days a week and I’m a keen runner! Everyone focuses on how you look when you lose weight but for me the biggest difference is how I feel. I’m not self-conscious anymore and I’m more likely to say yes to things rather than no. I couldn’t walk that far before I lost weight and yet this month, I’ve set myself a fitness challenge to run 155 miles in 50 days to raise money for Heart Wales.

“I’ve dropped six dress sizes from a size 22 to a size 10 and love that I can buy clothes online now and they fit! I always wore black before so it’s lovely to try out some more colourful options. My skin is completely clear now, I haven't worn any makeup for three months and that’s not just down to lockdown! My hair is growing much faster than it would usually too, I feel like I’ve had a makeover! My BMI is back in the 'green zone' and I am classed as 'healthy' for my height and weight. Thanks to Slimming World, I am able to embrace who I am and I finally feel happy in my skin. Now I love myself I know I’m truly ready for love when it’s ready for me.”

Amber Lewis

Starting weight: 15st 3lbs

Current weight: 10st 5lbs

Feel the Love with Slimming World this February - anyone joining a Slimming World group and committing to six weeks of support between February 14th and March 6th 2021 will get six weeks for the price of five, plus a free copy of brand-new recipe book Slimming World's Passion for Pasta (and Noodles!).
About Slimming World

Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. Members join local weekly groups or an online programme. Groups are run by a network of community-based Slimming World Consultants across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Consultants are trained in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as recognised behaviour-change techniques. Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of energy density and satiety. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. 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, encouraging and empowering members to make changes in a supportive, 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 Care Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit slimmingworld.co.uk.

Follow Slimming World on Twitter at www.twitter.com/slimmingworld or become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/slimmingworldFor the Press Office please email public.relations@slimmingworld.co.uk