I’m now a better role model for my daughter
After gaining weight in her twenties and being diagnosed with heart disease, 30-year-old Gemma Bosanko from Cumbria joined Slimming World and lost over 4st*. Now Gemma is firmly at her target and loves setting a healthy example to her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia.
“I first discovered I had heart disease when I was twenty and had to undergo surgery to fit a pacemaker. It was a daunting time for me, especially because I was so young. My recovery meant I had to stop exercising (which was something I did regularly) and I spent a lot of time comfort eating.
“Over the years, I gained 4 stones and felt really uncomfortable in myself and my appearance. Throughout my pregnancy, I put on even more weight, then when Olivia was born the doctors told me that my heart was at greater risk because of my size.
“My twin sister Katy had achieved fantastic results at a local Slimming World group, and I wanted that body confidence, too! Once Olivia and I were in a routine, I decided now was the right time to tackle my weight problem.
Finding new perspective
“I was very nervous when I walked into group, but I was instantly put at ease – everyone was really welcoming and non-judgmental.
Before Slimming World, I couldn’t cook at all, not even an egg! Now, cooking is one of my favourite hobbies. I love to discover new recipes from the Slimming World recipe books and magazines.
"For breakfast, I enjoy cereal and fruit, overnight oats or scrambled egg on wholemeal toast and lunch is usually salad, pasta or jacket potato, followed by fruit and fat-free yogurt. My favourite dinners include hunter's chicken (chicken, bacon and mushrooms in a tomato sauce) with potatoes and veg, Syn-free pizza made using a wholemeal wrap topped with tomato puree, lean meats, vegetables and cheese, or tuna fishcakes, Slimming World chips and salad.
“We really embrace Food Optimising as a family – Olivia and I plan our meals together and she loves helping me cook. It’s teaching Olivia about healthy eating, which is something I wish I’d known years ago.
“As the weight came off, I joined a gym and started running, which I’d never have thought possible before. I’ve completed two half marathons and this year I ran the London Marathon, raising over £20,000 for the British Heart Foundation. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
“After 18 months, I was at my target with a weight loss of 4st – I felt fantastic. For the first time in years I enjoyed going shopping and finding clothes that I would have never worn previously.
“Since beginning my weight loss, my Slimming World-inspired Instagram account (@slimmingworldxgemx) has grown to over 100k followers! I still can’t believe it – my followers are all so inspiring and they keep me motivated everyday.
“I’ve achieved so much in my life since joining Slimming World and it’s given me a very different, positive and confident outlook for the future.”
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose
You'll find more delicious recipe and menu ideas at your local group, along with all the help you need to get started and reach your target weight.