Even though it was 30 years ago, I remember my lowest point like it was yesterday. I’d heard about a promotion available in my local hospital, and knowing that I was more than qualified for the position, I began my interview feeling on top of the world. It didn’t stay like that though – I was breathless throughout and I could only just squeeze my size 32 frame into the chair. My dress was far too tight and I’ll never forget the look of disgust on the interviewer’s face. As I left the room, I knew I wouldn’t get the job.
I’d been overweight for over 20 years, starting after having my first child. At my largest I felt constantly tired, with sky-high blood pressure and dreadful sores. My size also affected my children – I knew they were getting teased about it. Working as a nurse, people assumed I would know about healthy eating, but I relied on convenience food, white bread and sugary cereal, so my weight rocketed. I was referred to a dietician and given a diet sheet, but with no support or encouragement, it didn’t work.
After the disastrous interview I knew I had to get real support to lose weight, and I found it in bucket loads at Slimming World. I’d been scared to death about joining my local group, and had waited outside on three separate occasions before finding the courage to go in. I needn’t have worried though as my Consultant, Helen, gave me the warmest welcome. The love that oozes from her and the group blows me away – they’re like an extension of my own family.
I learned how to cook my food in a healthier way, swapping oil-drenched ready meals for healthy dinners cooked from scratch. Food Optimising became a way of life and my children have grown up with home-cooked dishes. This has now filtered down to my grandchildren, making Food Optimising a real family affair. Even working nights isn’t a problem with healthy Slimming World meals on hand and I love batch-cooking with vegetables, lean meats and pasta.
I’ve had a few setbacks on my journey – firstly from a severe fall, which left me permanently disabled and put a halt to my career. I was determined to keep going to group though, as my Consultant and the other members gave me the support I needed to stay focused.
Not long after, further health problems led to numerous operations, treatments and medication – and I strongly believe that if it wasn’t for my weight loss I wouldn’t have survived – Slimming World literally saved my life.
Nowadays I’m in great health – going swimming every week and I’m part of a walking group, which is quite an achievement when I used to rely on crutches to get around.
I wish that I’d joined Slimming World sooner, and I tell everyone to never hesitate – it really is life-changing.