Mum who worried she’d die of a heart attack loses 8st 7lbs
A busy mum-of-three who once feared that she would die of a heart attack if she didn’t get her weight under control has lost an incredible 8st 7lbs and been crowned Slimming World’s Consultant Slimmer of the Year 2017.
Kirstie Goodwin, 38, who lives with her husband Dean, 40, and three sons Ryan, 21, Taylor, 16, and Lawson, 13, had never felt comfortable with her size but really saw her weight spiral out of control when a series of family issues led to her turning to food for comfort.
Kirstie, from Birmingham, says: “I’d always been bigger but the weight really piled on after an issue with our landlord meant the five of us had to move in with my mother-in-law, who lived in a one-bedroomed bungalow. It was such a stressful time for the whole family and my eldest two boys spent a lot of time with other family members because of the obvious space issues. Being without a home to call our own and apart from my children even for that short period was heart-breaking, and I turned to food for comfort. We would buy cakes, pastries, crisps and chocolates to enjoy together and cheer us up a bit.
“My stepfather, a ski instructor, was also involved in a serious coach accident while away on a school trip to France, which was another hugely stressful time for our family. He spent 10 days in hospital abroad before being moved to a hospital in Birmingham for further treatment. We were all so worried about him and emotional eating got the better of me.”
I’d been made to feel so welcome at my Slimming World group that I left with a sense of hope, rather than dread.
For a while Kirstie struggled to come to terms with her weight gain, which left her feeling miserable and embarrassed about her appearance. She also started to worry about the impact her weight was having on her health. She says: “Eventually we were rehoused and although my stepdad had fairly life-changing injuries, it was a relief to have him home. My weight had become an even bigger issue though, and I knew things were getting bad when simple tasks started to become massive chores. Just vacuuming the carpet would completely wipe me out – so much so that I’d have to sit down half way through.
“My father was only 39 when he had a heart attack, so I knew I was at risk of developing heart disease too. I was approaching 35 and the worry of having a heart attack like my dad was keeping me up at night. For all I knew, the consequences of my unhealthy lifestyle could be fatal – which would mean missing out on a lifetime of memories with my boys. The very thought of my children and husband having to go through such pain was enough for me to join my nearest Slimming World group. I wanted to be the mum and wife they deserved.”
Kirstie joined the Shirley Slimming World group in February 2013 along with her mother Mal, and together they began following the Food Optimising healthy eating plan. She says: “Walking through those doors for the first time was really daunting, especially because I had no idea how much I weighed. I’d been hiding from it for so long and when the scales showed 18st 4lbs, I went bright red with embarrassment. Having my mum with me really helped though, and I’d been made to feel so welcome at my Slimming World group that I left with a sense of hope, rather than dread. I can now say that day changed my life forever, as it was the first step towards me becoming a healthier and more confident person.
Each week the pounds kept dropping off, even though I was eating way more than I ever did before.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I love my food, so I was amazed when I learned about the Food Optimising plan and discovered that I could still eat all of my favourite foods and that there was no need to go hungry! I started to make hearty family favourites from scratch instead of relying on convenience food – so I’d whip up a big chicken curry with rice and veg instead of reaching for the nearest jar. It tasted just as good, better in fact! Each week the pounds kept dropping off though, even though I was eating way more than I ever did before. The biggest change was swapping sugary, high-fat foods and junk food for more natural, unprocessed foods. Instead of biscuits, crisps and chocolate bars for breakfast and lunch and ready meals and takeaways for dinner, I started eating fruit and home-cooked meals made from everyday fresh ingredients. I still had a small chocolate bar or packet of crisps when I fancied, but the balance was right. My family has benefitted too as they’re all eating much more healthily.”
Over the next three years, Kirstie not only lost 8st 7lbs and swapped her size-24 clothes for slinky size 8s, she also trained to become a Slimming World Consultant herself.
She says: “Before losing weight my confidence was at rock bottom and I was stuck in a job that I didn’t enjoy. As I lost weight my confidence grew and I bagged myself a job as an auxiliary nurse, which I enjoyed much more. I soon realised that caring for people was my calling in life – and that my heart lay with helping people to achieve things they never thought possible. Becoming a full-time Slimming World Consultant seemed like the perfect fit, and I haven’t looked back since. I know how it feels to be overweight and desperately unhappy – and now I know how to help people turn that around and help people to live the life they always dreamed of. And now to be crowned Consultant Slimmer of the Year? Things are just getting better and better!”
Losing weight has also given Kirstie the confidence to become more active, and she now swims three to four times a week: “There’s no way I would have been seen in a swimsuit when I was bigger, now I love doing a few lengths in the pool, it just makes me feel so good. I also do a weekly session with a personal trainer, which is something I never would have done before I lost weight. Now I really look forward to going!
“I’ve learned healthy habits for life and I feel so much happier. It’s not always been easy and there have been times where I’ve had to refocus, but that’s all part of the journey and if anything it helps me empathise with my members more. I find keeping a food diary really helps me and because I’ve overhauled my whole lifestyle, I know I’ll never go back to the old me.
“I can honestly say that Slimming World has given me my life back – and if I can do the same for just one other person in my group by sharing my story, that would be the most incredible feeling.”
Name: Kirstie Goodwin
Starting weight: 18st 4lbs/256lbs/116kg
Current weight: 9st 11lbs/137lbs/62kg
Weight loss: 8st 7lbs/119lbs/54kg
Starting dress size: 24
Current dress size: 8
Date joined Slimming World: February 6th 2013
Date became a Consultant: January 26th 2016
Date reached Slimming World target weight: December 23rd 2016
Group: Kirstie lost weight at the Shirley Slimming World group, run by Consultant Tina Bishop, and now runs the Solihull Slimming World groups.
Breakfast: Biscuits or crisps, eaten on the way to work
Snack: Large chocolate bar
Lunch: Shop-bought sandwich, crisps, more chocolate
Dinner: Freezer ready meal, oven chips, burgers with white bread rolls
Evening: Cake or ice cream
Breakfast: Lots of fresh fruit topped with fat-free natural yogurt
Snack: A piece or two of fresh fruit
Lunch: Large tuna pasta salad
Snack: Slices of cooked lean meat and more fresh fruit
Dinner: Homemade cheeseburgers made with lean minced beef on a wholemeal bread roll with a large salad and plenty of Slimming World chips
Evening: Small bar of chocolate, vodka and diet cola, fresh fruit
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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