I stopped counting calories and lost nearly 7.5st in two years
“I had 16 different calorie counting apps, but they never worked. I couldn’t stick to them long enough as they were so restrictive. I love that now I can eat almost everything that everyone else can eat.”
Dropping 5 dress sizes in two years, Caitlin Trick, 21, from Swansea says eating healthily has given her a new sense of freedom to lose weight and enjoy food.
In January 2019, weighing over 17st, Caitlin Trick walked through the doors of her local Slimming World group, not realising the impact it would have on the rest of her life.
“I feel like I’ve been overweight my entire life. Looking back to when I was younger, I always felt bigger than other children and I was always conscience of my weight. I started to put weight on when I was 10 years old and hurt my knee. I had to use crutches and with reduced mobility and boredom, I piled on the pounds. As I recovered and got older, I developed a bad habit of grazing and waiting for the next thing to eat. The bigger I got the less I wanted to go out with my friends so I would stay home and spend that time eating. It was a vicious circle.
“I’d tried so many different ways to lose weight. I’d tried cutting out carbs and I used 16 different calorie counting apps, but they never worked. I could never stick to them long enough as they were restrictive and cut out so many options. The most I ever lost was almost 2 stone before I fell back off the wagon and back into my old habits.
“The final straw came when I was in my first year at Swansea University. I ran for a taxi after a night out with friends and ended up badly dislocating my knee cap. This led to me seeing a knee and joint specialist who carried out tests and advised that surgery was needed to repair my knees. The GP advised that for surgery to be considered, I needed to lose 5st, which was a real wake up call for me and it made me realise I had to make a change.
“My mum did some research into different weight loss options and suggested I join Slimming World. We found a group near where we live, and mum came with me at first as I was so nervous. It was daunting as I’d never done anything like it before. I thought everyone would be judgemental, especially as I was young, but I walked into a room of people who completely understood my difficulties. Everyone was so warm and friendly, it felt like a big family. I soon realised no one wants to judge you because everyone in group is going through the same thing. Before I joined, I was embarrassed to talk about my weight to others. Now I feel completely different. I love having a laugh with the other members and after each group session, it always amazes me how fun attending can be.
“In two years, I’ve lost 7.5st which has been life-changing for me. As the weight came off my confidence grew, and I now feel much more comfortable when giving presentations to my fellow students as part of my history degree. I’m now able to do simple things that I could never do before such as cross my legs when I sit down and run up and down stairs quickly without getting out of breath. I now love seeing my friends and family without feeling self-conscious too.
“Before I joined Slimming World, I used to have a very unhealthy relationship with food. I’d often have a take-away pizza at least three times a week and I’d make sure the order included wedges, garlic bread and cookies! Now I would say I’m a good cook and the more weight I lost, the more I saw I was naturally switching to healthier options. I love that I can eat almost everything that everyone else can eat. Nothing is off the menu. I can have pasta, burgers, chips and even chocolate. It’s easy to incorporate Slimming World’s flexible healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, into in my everyday life and it’s very adaptable when I go out for meals. I love the frozen range in Iceland too, for when I can’t be bothered to cook.
“I wasn’t very active at all before I lost weight. My dad bought me a bike, but I didn’t use it as I had no confidence. As a family we can now go on long walks with our two dogs without me moaning that I’m tired. I enjoy going to the gym a few times a week, I’m using the bike dad bought me and I love attending yoga classes which I could never do before.
“We can now all go shopping too without me getting bored because nothing in the shop fits me – I love going shopping with my younger sister. I never understood the appeal of clothes shopping before and now I’ve gone down from a size 20 to a size 10, I love it! Sadly, I found when you're plus sized and young it can sometimes be difficult to get hold of the latest trends in your size. Now I can walk into any shop and I know the clothes I want to try on will fit me and even better, I feel confident they’ll look good!
“I’m so glad I listened to my mum and decided to join Slimming World. My group’s Consultant Joanna has supported my all the way through. I’m always able to ring or text her if I have any issues throughout the week. Losing weight has changed every part of my life. I graduate in the summer and now I’ve lost weight my main ambition in life is to always be happy and never miss another minute! I aim to finish my history degree and would love to be able to help others the way Joanna has helped me.
“I joined Slimming World to lose weight, what I didn’t expect was to gain a sense of freedom, for my outlook on life to be brighter and for the first time to be genuinely excited about what the future holds for me.”
It’s amazing to be in a room of people who completely understand what you’re going through and they support you on the weeks when you haven't done as well. I always leave group motivated and inspired for the week ahead. During lockdown it was fantastic to keep in touch via the virtual classes which were set up, but I can’t wait until we can all see each other in person again.