It was a photo – taken at a barbecue in 2010 – that made me realise I needed to lose weight. I’d been living on convenience food like pizza (and beer!) at university, and over time my weight had crept up.
The final straw came at a family birthday party. ‘Faye, are you having a baby?’ asked my cousin’s young son. ‘No, I’m not,’ I quickly replied and tried to laugh it off. Deep down, I was really upset. Mum knew how I was feeling inside and we decided there and then to join Slimming World together.
Food Optimising was so straightforward to follow. I found a new, healthy way of cooking dishes I loved, such as curry, pasta bakes and even chips. I’d take overnight oats to work with me for breakfast – and for lunch, I’d have a big ham salad I’d made the night before.
During the winter, I’d put chicken, lentils and veg in the slow cooker before I left for work, so I’d always have something healthy and filling to come home to.
I got down to my target weight quite quickly, then I stopped going to group, thinking I could keep it off on my own. Unfortunately, my weight started to creep back up. My mum, meanwhile, stayed with Slimming World, reached her target and then became a Consultant. She inspired me to rejoin group and since then I’ve never looked back.
It was great to have Mum as my Consultant – she became my go-to person whenever I felt myself slipping into old habits.
As I lost weight I decided to give Body Magic a go. I hated exercise before Slimming World – back then, if you’d have told me I’d learn to love running, I’d have thought you were mad! At first I couldn’t run for five minutes – now I can do five miles easily, and at weekends I go for a 10-mile run with my friend, Kelly, who I met at group.
When Mum retired, I took the plunge and became a Consultant for a few years. I loved the fact that I was helping people – if I can lose weight, anyone can! I also got a job working for the IT team at Slimming World Head Office. I was so thrilled to be working on new software that would not only help my members, but slimmers in groups around the country, too!
When I reached my target of 9st 7lbs, I headed straight to Topshop for a pair of jeans. For the first time in years, I fitted into a size 10! I had to pinch myself. I couldn’t have been happier.
There was more to celebrate when I discovered I was expecting a baby (part of the reason I stepped back from my Consultant role!). After welcoming my little boy, Jenson, I returned to group and, with the support of my fellow members and my wonderful Consultant, Franca, got back to target.
I’m cherishing every moment of being a mum – and every family photo! Finally, I’m happy in front of a camera. I hope I can give other people belief that losing weight is possible. That’s the beauty of Slimming World – it gives you the confidence to be who you really are.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.