My boyfriend Harrison’s eyes were brimming with tears. ‘Rosie, I’m not happy with the way things are,’ he said, ‘and I don’t think you are either.’ I’d noticed him being distant the past couple of weeks, and now, sitting in our living room, I knew why. At 16st 13lbs, my confidence was at an all-time low and Harrison had picked up on how bad I felt. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t the fun-loving person he’d fallen in love with, and he couldn’t watch me sabotage myself any more.
I was a size 10 when Harrison and I first started dating, and we’d spend our weekends going for meals at our favourite burger restaurant or cosied up on the sofa with a takeaway pizza and a film.
We were so content and happy in our relationship that I didn’t notice my weight creeping up at first. Gradually, though, everyday life became more difficult.
While my friends were all buying trendy clothes, none of my favourite brands ever seemed to have anything in a size 18. Eventually, I stopped bothering to look for new outfits and settled for covering up in loose-fitting dresses and baggy jumpers. Going out with Harrison’s family, I’d hide at the back of photos or – even better – offer to take the pictures myself, so I didn’t have to be in them at all.
Soon, I was avoiding going out altogether, telling Harrison I had a headache and felt too ill. He was always loving and supportive, and never questioned why I didn’t want to go. Instead, he got used to me missing birthdays, barbecues and other social events. As my self-esteem got lower, though, we drifted apart. I started pulling away from his attempts to cuddle me, and if he tried to pay me a compliment, I didn't believe him. I still loved him deeply, but I struggled to accept his affection because I didn’t think I deserved to be loved.
Then Harrison’s feelings came tumbling out in the living room, and I realised my worries about my weight were affecting him as well. I’d joined Slimming World Online a week earlier, and was already feeling positive after losing 6lbs. Now, I had an even greater incentive to stick with it. ‘I will lose the weight,’ I told him. ‘I’m going to do it for us.’
From that moment, I threw myself into Food Optimising. I adore pasta, so I was thrilled to discover that it was a Free Food and I could fill up on as much as I liked! I used the planner on the Slimming World app to keep track of my meals and, every night, I filled up on healthy portions of spaghetti carbonara, bolognese and king prawn linguine. And, any time I had a gain or struggled to stick to the plan, the online Community was there to help and encourage me to get back on track.
By the time I’d lost 4st, I was getting more and more compliments from my family and friends at work, and I could feel my confidence growing. I filled my wardrobe with colourful dresses, skirts and heels – things I hadn’t felt comfortable wearing in years – and instead of hiding at the back of photos, I’d be the first one to suggest posing for a picture.
Harrison could see the difference in me, too. Suddenly, I was the one suggesting we go out instead of sitting in the house.
When I excitedly tried on a slinky new dress before our date night, he came over and wrapped his arms around me. ‘You look beautiful,’ he said. I enjoyed the closeness that grew as we spent more time together. It felt like we were back to being the happy, bubbly couple we were when we first started dating.
Then, in August 2019, Harrison and I went on holiday to Florida. I’d felt so at ease walking around Walt Disney World Resort all day in my shorts and vest top and, that night, we decided to go back for a moonlit tour of the Animal Kingdom theme park. Walking towards a sculpture of a baobab tree, Harrison suggested we stop for a photo. But as we stood under the tree, I could feel his arm shaking. When I turned to see if he was OK, he got down on one knee and held out a ring. ‘Will you marry me?’ he asked. We were both blinking back the tears. ‘Of course I will!’ I cried. It was hands down the best day of my life.
Although the impact of Covid-19 meant we had to cancel our wedding in Greece, we quickly arranged an intimate ceremony in the Cotswolds instead. I’d never felt so confident and happy as I walked down the aisle wearing my beautiful fishtail wedding dress – in a size 10! – to exchange vows with the man I love. It’s hard to believe that, two years ago, I thought I was going to lose him. Now, we’re stronger than ever and I can’t wait to start our life together.
Recipes at my fingertips
The recipe search on the app is a real lifesaver! If I’ve ever not planned something for tea, I can quickly look up a Food Optimising recipe while I’m at work and then pick up the ingredients I need on my way home.
Hearing about the successes of other members really spurred me on during my weight loss journey, and now I’m a target member, I get to do the same for them!
The Slimming World app
It’s great to have easy access to the Food Search when I’m out and about. If I’m eating in a restaurant or picking up a quick bite from a supermarket, I can look up the Syn values and choose an option that will keep my weight loss on track.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.