I’m 5st* lighter and unstoppable
45-year-old Rachel Ramshaw from Gosport, Hampshire, is climbing high after losing 5st*. She’s now loving every moment of her pain-free, active life!
‘As I dragged myself up the hill in Croyde Bay, Devon, my back and knees were aching terribly. My fiancé, Craig, and our friends strode along, while I lagged further and further behind. Eventually I made it to the top, smiling through the pain to pose for Craig as he snapped a photo. In fact, simply bending over to lace up my walking boots earlier that day had got me out of breath.
‘A little while later, I received a parcel – a size-22 jacket I’d ordered online, which I expected to be big enough to wear over a thick jumper when walking my dogs, Bert and Ernie. But when I zipped it up, the fabric was so tight I could barely get my fingertips into the pocket – and that was without a jumper underneath. I was gutted.
‘Back in my mid-twenties, I’d actually lost 8st. But I’d done it by being strict and depriving myself of all the food I enjoyed, so it didn’t take long for the pounds to creep back on again. Then, in 2005, I had a slipped disc in my back, and the doctor who diagnosed it said losing weight would help. At the time, I hadn’t felt motivated to do it. Now, though – spurred on by my disappointment with the jacket – I decided to join Slimming World Online.
‘From the moment I told him my plans, Craig was brilliant, taking an interest in what I was eating and suggesting bike rides in the evenings. Each night I’d cook us a filling Slimming World meal like shepherd’s pie, chilli or chicken tikka masala, often making enough so I could heat up the leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
‘Then, after I’d lost around 4st, my friend Justine decided to join a nearby Slimming World group to lose weight for her wedding. I transferred my online membership to the same group, and that was it – there was no stopping me!
‘I picked up lots of new ideas and, as nobody judged me when I did have a gain now and then, I never felt like giving up. Three months later, Justine and I got to target on the very same day.
‘Being slim changed so many aspects of my life. Feeling far less self-conscious, I applied for a job, and I got it! I can now move around a lot in my new position without my back and knees giving me trouble – I love it!
‘My dogs get more exercise than ever. I walk them for at least two hours a day, longer if I can, sometimes wearing that size-22 jacket that hangs off me now I’m a size 10-12. And when I’m striding through the fields with Craig at the weekend, he’s the one who has to keep up with me!’
*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.