Lorna's loving life!
After a series of knocks, new grandma Lorna Smith from Broadstone, Dorset is feeling fit and fabulous in her fifties having lost 2st 2lbs.
Comfort eating to cope
My weight gain began when my marriage fell apart. It was 1996, and I’d been married just shy of 21 years. Up until then, I’d never had to worry about my size. I was born in Hong Kong and was always outside in the sun playing tennis, running and swimming. Even as an adult, the most I ever weighed was 10st, and that was when I was nine months pregnant. After my divorce, though, the numbers on the scales started going up and up until, 12 years ago in 2002, I went along to Slimming World for the first time.
I got to target, but made the mistake of leaving group and without that support, the weight crept back on. Then some other traumatic events really shook me: I split from my partner of three years, Derek; my dad died suddenly, and just a few weeks after his funeral I was diagnosed with skin cancer. Two operations later, I was told the cancer hadn’t spread and I’m completely well. At the time it was horrible, especially so soon after losing my lovely dad, and I turned to food for comfort.
Hiding behind closed doors
At first, I was a classic secret eater. I’d eat well during the day, but as soon as I got home I’d reach for the snacks. My biggest downfalls were white bread, crisps and creamy pasta dishes.
I’d always loved badminton and I found I couldn’t play any more because it took too much energy. I had pain in my knees and hips, and I never went anywhere without indigestion tablets. I put on a brave front and always did my make-up, styled my hair and wore nice clothes to convince myself I looked OK. In reality, though, I refused invitations to parties and weddings because I didn’t feel confident.
My light-bulb moment
My turning point came when I went to stay with a slim friend. She made me realise I really wanted to change the way I looked and felt about myself, too. And that the only thing stopping me from doing that was me. Something clicked.
I’d tried all sorts of diets in the past – calorie counting, low carb, you name it! Only Slimming World had ever worked for me.
I left Kim’s house on the Tuesday and rejoined Slimming World that Thursday. I’ve always cooked from scratch so it was really just a case of making simple swaps. I use low-calorie cooking spray in place of high-Syn oil, I make my own burgers and sweet potato wedges, and I’ve learned to make tasty dishes using herbs and spices instead of adding fattening sauces. I still enjoy the odd packet of crisps and I love to treat myself to a glass of red wine, too. Any remaining Syns go on low-fat mayonnaise, honey on my fruit at breakfast, and curry paste for cooking.
Everyone’s so supportive and encouraging at group and I’ve found it’s a great place to get loads of new recipe ideas. Our group Facebook page is a real lifeline, too. Lots of people post messages and pictures of the filling Food Optimising meals they’ve cooked – it feels as though you’re meeting up every single day, not once a week, because you’ve always got that support at your fingertips.
Happier, healthier, fitter
When I discovered my size 12 trousers were too big I was over the moon! I wear loads of dresses now, where before I covered up in leggings and long tops, with a floaty scarf to disguise my belly. Derek and I got back together four years ago and I reached my target weight of 8st 11lbs the day before his birthday in April. We flew to Fuerteventura to celebrate, and for the first time in a decade I went on holiday feeling great about myself.
My health has improved – I don’t get knee or hip pain these days – and I’m much fitter, too. I use a step machine and a running machine at home so I can fit in some Body Magic, even when the weather’s bad.
Slimming World has helped me so much – and I’m now running my own group in Oakdale. It’s great to be able to share my experiences with others.
The biggest excitement for me is being a slimmer, healthier, fitter nanna. Just a week after rejoining Slimming World my daughter, Kristi, told me she was expecting, and I’ve now got the most gorgeous grandson, Freddie. Knowing that I’ve done everything I can to be healthy for my children and my grandson is the best feeling in the world.
*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.