Long-term weight-loss was just what the doctor ordered
A GP from the Vale of Glamorgan has scooped a national slimming title after maintaining her 4st 5lb weight loss for almost 16 years and slimming from a size 16 to a size 8.
At her largest Sian Ellis, 58, would get breathless when going out to do home visits and was even asked by one patient when her baby was due, despite not being pregnant at the time. She decided to lose weight to set a healthier example to her patients, and has now been named Slimming World’s Diamond Member of the Year 2017*, a title which celebrates members who have successfully maintained their target** weight.
Sian first gained weight after the birth of her eldest child Huw, 28. She joined Slimming World after he was born and successfully reached her target weight, yet regained the weight when she stopped attending the group.
Sian says: “Initially, I made the mistake of thinking my journey was over when I reached my target weight and thought I could carry on alone. I soon regained the weight though and when I later became pregnant with twins, eating healthily became even more difficult. After the twins Sarah and Gareth were born I found myself at almost 13st, the heaviest I’d ever been, so I knew I needed to do something about it. A friend had mentioned she was going to a local Slimming World group and, of course, I knew the plan worked, so I decided to give it another go. That was more than 15 years ago and these days I feel fitter and healthier than ever!
“When I reached my target for the second time, I knew that didn’t mean I’d stop attending Slimming World. This time I knew I needed the support of my group to help maintain it. And even though I’ve been at target for almost 16 years, I still learn something new each week and going to group really helps to keep me on track.
Now I can empathise with people who are struggling with their weight, because I know how hard it can be.
“Even the second time around, it was still hard to believe that you could eat to satisfy your appetite and have your treats and still lose weight! One of the best things about the plan is that it isn’t ‘diet food’ and the whole family can enjoy the same healthy meals. My children have grown up around me cooking hearty meals from scratch and have seen their mum being healthy and active from a young age, so I think it’s set them up for happy and healthy lives themselves. Since I’ve lost weight I’ve started swimming and going to the gym, and I never feel breathless anymore.”
Before she lost the weight, Sian felt hypocritical giving advice on a healthy lifestyle when she was struggling with her weight herself. Her role as a GP meant she spent much of the day sitting down and was very inactive.
Sian continues: “It’s hard to offer advice to people on eating and living more healthily when you know you aren’t setting a good example yourself. Now I can empathise with people who are struggling with their weight, because I know how hard it can be. I remember feeling breathless when climbing the stairs or going out to do home visits and feeling embarrassed about how unfit I was. The real turning point came when a patient asked when my baby was due. I was mortified – I wasn’t pregnant and I had no idea what to say.
“When I first lost the weight patients would ask me how I did it and of course I’d tell them all about Slimming World, although now many of my patients have only ever known me as a slim person, so they’re quite shocked that I used to struggle with my weight too! I can’t recommend Slimming World highly enough, I’ve been responsible for a few friends and work colleagues joining and they’re all huge fans now, too.”
Sian was voted as her group’s Diamond Member and has gone on to win the overall competition. Consultant Linda Bowen couldn’t be prouder of her Diamond Member. She says: “Sian is a wonderful member of the group and continually inspires other members with her remarkable success. She’s really committed herself to a healthy way of life forever, which is all any Consultant could ever ask for. We’re all immensely proud of her achievements – so to have this recognised by winning a national award is just fantastic for all of us.
“A lot of people think that your weight-loss journey ends when you reach your target weight, but really it’s just the beginning of a whole new chapter. Weight maintenance is one of the most under-recognised achievements in weight management, so we’re thrilled that Sian has been given the recognition she deserves. She’s certainly a diamond to us!”
Starting weight: 12st 13lbs/181lbs/82kg
Weight loss: 4st 5lbs/61lbs/28kg
Weight now: 8st 8lbs/120lbs/54kg
Height: 5ft 5ins
Joining date: February 2001
Date achieved target: December 2001
Time at target: 15 years
Group: Sian attends the Dinas Powys group in the Vale of Glamorgan run by Consultant Linda Bowen. It runs every Thursday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm and Friday at 9.30am and 11.30am at The Cabin at Hebron Hall.
Breakfast: Toast with butter and jam
Lunch: Sandwiches, crisps and chocolate biscuits
Dinner: Ready meal or home-cooked meals full of cream and cheese
Snacks: Chocolate, crisps, sweets
Breakfast: Fruit and yogurt
Lunch: Large salad with cold meats
Dinner: Frittata served with Slimming World chips
Snacks: Fruit or Slimming World Hi-Fi bars
*Slimming World’s Diamond Member competition is open to all members who have reached their personal achievement target weight and maintained that weight for more than 12 months. Around 10% of Slimming World’s membership are target members.
**At Slimming World members choose their own personal achievement target and once they reach that weight they can continue to attend their Slimming World group for free every week, while they remain 3lbs either side of their target, to receive support and inspire other members.
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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