Kim’s slim for life!
Nearly two decades ago Kim Street was left devastated when she received abuse about her weight in the street. Today she’s celebrating winning a national award after losing 4st 7lbs and keeping it off for more than 18 years.
Kim, from the Isle of Wight, had just found the confidence to leave an abusive relationship when she was subjected to the cruel taunt, and soon after decided to join Slimming World to make a healthy change.
Now 47, Kim says: “In my late 20s I found myself in an unhealthy relationship, which left me feeling useless and lonely; I turned to food for comfort and the weight crept on. Within a few weeks of splitting with my partner, I was horrified to be called ‘a fat cow’ in the street by a so-called family friend, but I had to admit that I wasn’t happy with my weight. My 30th birthday was looming and it was a wake-up call, so when my friend suggested we join Slimming World I knew the timing was right for me. Eighteen years on, I can safely say it was the best decision I ever made.”
The former head teacher, who now runs her own Slimming World groups, went on to drop five dress sizes and has maintained the 4st 7lbs weight loss she achieved ever since 1999. She is now Slimming World’s Top Target Consultant 2018.
Kim says she didn’t start to struggle with her weight until puberty, then during her first few years as a newly-qualified teacher the long working days took their toll as she relied on takeaways and convenience foods, and later she found herself seeking comfort from her unhappy relationship in food.
Kim joined Slimming World with her friend in May 1999 aged 30. She says: “I was petrified that I’d have to announce my weight to everyone, I imagined it would be almost like an AA meeting and I’d have to stand up and say ‘I’m Kim and I weigh…’ Of course, that didn’t happen. Instead I got a really warm welcome and, for the first time in a long time, I realised I wasn’t alone. I’ve made life-long friends at Slimming World.”
She began following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and describes the long list of ‘Free Food’ that members can eat without weighing, counting or measuring, including fruit and veg, lean meat, fish, pasta, rice, potatoes and more, as a ‘godsend’: “I’d tried so many times to lose weight – you name it, I’d tried it – so one of my biggest fears was failing again. I’ve always had a big appetite so whether it was tiny diet ready meals or calorie counting there was just never enough food and I’d only ever be able to stick at it for a few weeks. Then I’d be left feeling like I’d let myself and everyone around me down again – it was soul destroying!
“When I first heard about Slimming World’s plan it seemed too good to be true – I couldn’t believe I could eat pasta, potatoes and chocolate and still lose weight. The realisation that I didn’t have to feel hungry or go without was amazing.”
Eighteen years on, I can safely say it was the best decision I ever made.
Kim lost 7lbs in two weeks and reached her target of 8st 13½lbs – dropping from 13st 6½lbs – in just six months. She also discovered that being active didn’t mean joining a gym and now loves exploring the local coastline with her husband Paul, 59.
She was so enthusiastic about Slimming World that shortly after losing weight, Kim trained as a Consultant and ran Slimming World groups alongside her job as a primary school teacher for 13 years. She gave up the role briefly when she became a head teacher, but left teaching and returned to running groups two years ago. She says: “I missed Slimming World so much and when I trained as a Consultant for the second time it felt like coming home.
“Slimming World has taught me so much about myself and completely changed the way I think about things. As a member, I learned to stop hating myself and that I didn’t need to feel guilty if I made a mistake or went off-track – everyone’s human and it’s just about getting back to healthy eating. As a Consultant, I know never to forget that I joined Slimming World because I needed support to manage my weight and that doesn’t change the minute you open your own group.
“Most of all, I’ve learned to believe in myself and my ability to cope. I’m so much more confident now – I have a wardrobe full of colourful clothes that I’d never have worn at my biggest and I have even travelled to New Zealand on my own. There have been hard times though, including going through a divorce from my first husband and losing my mum to cancer, when it would have been so easy to revert to old habits, but I didn’t because being healthy is so important to me. I’m so proud that I don’t rely on food to make me feel better anymore – I’ve found a healthy new groove that I know works for me.”
Slimming World research shows that being kind to yourself is key to long-term success, with slimmers who are self-reassuring after a lapse more than 10 times more likely to get back on track than those who are self-critical.* Kim says: “It still hurts when I think back to that day when I was shouted at in the street and I don’t think abuse like that is ever helpful – I didn’t need someone to tell me I was overweight as I struggled with it every day. I’m so proud that I channelled that hurt into something positive though, and I now believe everyone can lose weight so my advice to anyone who’s unhappy with their weight is to take that first step – I’ve never looked back!”
Slim Kim’s top tips:
- “Don’t think about ‘going on a diet’, instead think about embarking on a new lifestyle groove – enjoy it, work at it, keep it!”
- “Don’t forget even the most-experienced slimmers need support – I joined Slimming World because I needed support to lose weight, even as a Consultant I need support to maintain my weight and I get that by the bucket-load at my Slimming World group.”
- “Boredom can breed contempt – whether it’s a recipe you haven’t tried before or a new activity, keep learning and keep your journey interesting.”
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Name: Kim Street
Starting weight: 13st 6½lbs/188½lbs/85½kg
Current weight: 8st 13½lbs/125½lbs/57kg
Weight loss: 4st 7lbs/63lbs/28½kg
Starting dress size: 18/20
Current dress size: 8/10
Date joined Slimming World: May 1999
Date achieved target: November 1999
Weight maintained for: 18 years
Group: Kim now runs the Carisbrooke and Whitwell groups in the Isle of Wight.
Mid-morning: Chocolate bar or packet of crisps
Lunch: Shop-bought sandwich or sausage roll, followed by a chocolate bar
Mid-afternoon: Cup of coffee with biscuits
Dinner: Pizza or microwave ready meal
Evening: Share bag of sweets or chocolates.
Breakfast: Porridge topped with chopped apple or full grilled English breakfast with bacon, eggs, tomatoes, baked beans and mushrooms
Mid-morning: Fresh fruit like chopped mango, strawberries or an apple
Lunch: Jacket potato with tuna and salad or a Slimming World soup, available from Iceland
Mid-afternoon: High-fibre cereal bar with a cup of coffee
Dinner: Cajun salmon with Slimming World-style chips (cooked in the oven in low-calorie cooking spray) and salad or homemade curry with rice
Evening: A small bar of chocolate and a glass of wine.
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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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