Pauline’s a diamond after staying slim for nine years
A super-slimmer from Cambridgeshire has proved that it’s never too late to try again after she lost 5st 4lbs not once, but twice!
Pauline Buck, 66, first joined Slimming World in October 1997. Unfortunately life got in the way and she regained the weight she’d lost when she stopped attending group. Six years later, despite feeling daunted at the prospect of slimming down again, Pauline bravely walked back through the doors of her Slimming World group and hasn’t looked back since. In fact, she’s now maintained her trim size-10 figure for nine years.
And now the retired grandmother has another reason to celebrate, after being named Slimming World’s Diamond Member 2016*, a title which celebrates members who have successfully maintained their target weight.
Pauline first decided to tackle her weight problem after seeing a photograph of herself at her daughter’s wedding. She says: “I’d been overweight since I was a teenager and spent 20 years feeling as though I was constantly on a diet – especially after having my two daughters. I never seemed to lose much weight though; I was just hungry and miserable. When I saw that photograph of me at the wedding I knew things had to change, and that I needed help to make that change.”
Pauline joined her local Slimming World group in her hometown of St Neots and went on to successfully reach her target** weight after losing 5st 4lb. She loved Slimming World’s Food Optimising*** plan and even appeared as a success story in Slimming World magazine in 1999. However, that wasn’t the end of her journey.
“My group is like a family to me and I go every week, even though I’ve been at target for nine years now!"
She says: “My big mistake was that I stopped going to the group once I’d reached my target weight. I thought I’d done all of the hard work and didn’t need the help anymore. Sadly, I steadily regained all of the weight I’d lost and it wasn’t until my daughter told me that she needed a kidney transplant that I had a wake-up call. I knew I needed to be fit and healthy again so that I could be there for her. It was hard to walk through the Slimming World doors for the second time. In fact, it was probably even harder the second time around because I felt as though I’d failed. I should have known better though because I was welcomed back with open arms and I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.
“One of the unique things about Slimming World is the compassion that everyone has. My Consultant Ursula helped me to appreciate that feeling ashamed and beating myself up for regaining the weight just wasn’t going to help. I realised that I was being incredibly hard on myself, and I’d never have acted that way towards another person. I had to learn to treat myself with kindness, too.
“Of course I knew all about Food Optimising from the last time I lost weight – although I still found it hard to believe that you could eat to satisfy your appetite and have your treats and still lose weight! It seemed too good to be true – but I knew it worked because I’d already done it once! One of the best things about the plan is that it isn’t ‘diet food’ and the whole family can enjoy the same healthy, hearty meals. My husband Jonathan does most of the cooking, so he’s been very supportive and makes sure we enjoy delicious Slimming World meals together.”
Two years on from re-joining her group in 2005, Pauline had slimmed down to 8st 8lbs – meaning she had lost 5st 4lbs once again. Although this time, she knew just what she needed to do to make sure she kept the weight off for good. She says: “My group is like a family to me and I go every week, even though I’ve been at target for nine years now! I love that as a target member I can help others who want to lose weight. Many of them have only ever known me slim, which is a bit of a strange feeling! We share hints, tips and recipes and share in all of each other’s highs and lows, which is just what you need to stay on track. I’m also a lot more active than I ever was and have taken up Pilates, Zumba and Nordic walking. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without exercise now; it’s such a big part of my life.”
Of course, her slender new figure has sparked another new hobby – clothes shopping! She says: “When I was a size 22 I had to have many of my clothes altered because I needed the width, but I was so petite that everything was too long. Now I can go into any shop I like and wear clothes I never would have dared to wear when I was younger. I’m funky and fit at 66 and I absolutely love it!”
Pauline’s Consultant, Ursula van Leeuwen-Hill, couldn’t be prouder of her Diamond Member. She says: “Pauline came to group well over ten years ago and is one of those amazing people who cracked on quietly and kept quiet about her very personal reasons for joining. When she first reached target she stayed for a while but drifted off thinking she was ‘fixed’. This incredible lady, having regained her weight, then humbly came back to group and restarted her journey. This time though, target was going to be forever.
“Pauline is gracious beyond words… joining firstly, not for herself, but to be able to support her daughter. This decision has given Pauline a new life which she now shares joyfully with her family. She looks great, is fabulously fit and our group is her second home. We just love her!”
– ends –
Starting weight: 13st 12lbs/194lbs/88kg
Weight loss: 5st 4lbs/74lbs/34kg
Weight now: 8st 8lbs/120lbs/54kg
Joining date: 11/07/2005
Date achieved target: October 2007
Time at target: 9 years
Group: Pauline attends the St Neots group in Cambridgeshire run by Consultant Ursula van Leeuwen-Hill. It runs every Tuesday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Priory Junior School.
Breakfast: Buttered toast and marmalade or muesli with full fat milk
Lunch: Chips or a sandwich
Dinner: Shepherd’s pie or sausage and mash
Snacks: Chocolate, biscuits
Breakfast: Weetabix with raspberries and blueberries and skimmed milk
Lunch: Jacket potato with baked beans, no butter
Dinner: Grilled chicken with vegetables, especially carrot and swede mash
Snacks: Apples, banana or Slimming World Hi-Fi bars
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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