We’re camera confident
Hannah Bagot, 33, and Faye Underwood, 32, from Derbyshire are both Slimming World target members. Losing 3st 2½lbs* between them, Hannah and Faye have gained new confidence, a new career and a lifelong friendship! Here’s their story…
Hannah says… ‘It was on the last day of a family holiday in the Isle of Wight when I decided something had to change. I’d felt really uncomfortable in my clothes all week – even my favourite jeans were a little tight!
‘Soon after the holiday I was admitted to hospital for an operation. I lay recovering from the anaesthetic, feeling bloated and sore, when my phone flashed – my brother had uploaded a photo album from our holiday on Facebook. I hadn’t been particularly happy with the person staring back at me from photos for a while and my heart sank as I looked at the pictures. I untagged myself from every single one.
‘My mum and dad, who live in Hertfordshire, were Slimming World members and I’d seen how much weight they’d lost. So I went online and found a group that was near where I live. I decided to give the Consultant a ring – Ruth was so lovely and assured me there would be a warm welcome waiting for me.
‘I got stuck into Food Optimising and planned my food for the week – breakfast was a couple of Hi-fi bars as my Healthy Extra, fat-free natural yogurt and fruit, or a ‘grill-up’ at the weekend. During the week I’d eat a pasta or couscous salad for lunch, or a jacket potato with beans if I was at home. My favourite dinner was a veggie chilli and rice.
My group were so supportive and I got inspiration week after week – just chatting to other members gave me new recipe ideas, so my weekly menu was always varied and interesting.
‘As I lost weight I began jogging and taking part in exercise classes – things I thought I’d never do before. My love of exercise grew, along with my confidence, and I loved feeling healthier and more energetic.
‘I’ve maintained my target weight of 9st 4lbs for just over 3½ years now. I’ve found a healthy way of life I know I can continue forever.’
Faye’s journey to size 10
Faye says… ‘Like Hannah, 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 my weight had ballooned.
‘The final straw came at a family birthday party. “Faye, are you having a baby?” asked my cousin’s 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’d take overnight oats to work with me – and for lunch, I’d have a 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 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, the weight crept on again. My mum, meanwhile, stayed with Slimming World, reached her target and then became a Consultant. She inspired me to re-join and 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.
‘I hated exercise before Slimming World – if you’d have told me I would learn to love running before 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.
‘I reached my target of 9st 5lbs and to celebrate I headed straight to Topshop for a pair of jeans. For the first time in years, I fitted into size-10s! I had to pinch myself! I couldn’t be happier.
A world of friendship and support
‘Mum retired recently, so I took the plunge and became a Consultant in May 2017. The best part of my job is helping people – if I can lose weight, anyone can. Around the same time, I got a job in 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!
‘A couple of weeks later, Hannah joined the IT team as a project manager and we hit it off straight away. We have so much in common: we love running, enjoy eating out and are both target members, having lost a similar amount of weight.
Hannah says… ‘We spurred each other on from the start. When it was someone’s birthday and the office was full of cake, we brought in a punnet of strawberries, fat-free yogurts and meringue nests so that we didn’t feel like we were missing out, and we’re constantly sharing dinner ideas.
‘Getting glammed up for this photoshoot, in a gorgeous sparkly dress with Faye by my side, was the icing on the cake. We had such a laugh! Finally, I’m happy in front of a camera, and I hope I can give others 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
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.