Nikki’s slim-for-life secrets
Target member Nikki Ryan from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire has maintained her 3st* weight loss for a fabulous 15 years. We asked her to share the stick-with-it tricks that keep her on track.
"The thing that shocked me most about gaining weight was the effect it had on my confidence. I put on 3st in my first year at university and my self-esteem was so low, I considered giving up my business studies degree. Luckily, my mum and auntie had joined Slimming World, so during the long summer break, I tagged along. By the time I went back to uni three months later, in September 2000, I was back down to 9½st and wearing slim-fitting, size-10 jeans – and my confidence was sky-high.
"Fifteen years later, I’m still at that target weight. It’s not always easy, of course, and occasionally old habits creep back in. On days when I’m struggling, I ask myself: ‘What do I want more? To stay slim and happy, or to go back to the way I used to be?’. There’s no contest.
And if I do slip up, I’ve learnt the most important thing is not to be hard on myself – I just draw a line underneath it and go straight back to Food Optimising 100 per cent.
"2015 will always be a special year for me – I got married! My weight loss has given me the courage to do so many new things over the years, including meeting Chris via social media and going on what was more or less a blind date. He proposed on a beautiful bridge in Amsterdam while we were on holiday there – it was incredibly romantic. Shopping for my dream dress has been a really emotional experience and I couldn’t wait to wear my gorgeous, figure-hugging gown when I said my vows. Every girl wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day and I absolutely did.
"I’ve got such a busy and exciting time ahead, and several things will be key to staying motivated. Number one is sharing advice and inspiration in IMAGE Therapy.
I’m a big Extra Easy SP fan as it’s a great weight-loss tool in between social events.
"Taking the time to plan ahead is also really important – if I’m eating out, I’ll check the menu online beforehand and then ask for sauces on the side or for a dish to be cooked without oil. When I’m ordering drinks, I usually opt for spirits with diet mixers rather than wine – although, with Christmas almost here, there’s bound to be the odd glass of bubbly, too!"
*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.