Slinky Sophie’s got her dancing shoes on again
At her heaviest, 23-year-old Sophie Jude from Beeston, Nottingham, was told she was too big to be a dancer and almost gave up on her dream. Now 4st* lighter, find out how she fits Food Optimising around being an active mum.
“I struggled with my weight from a really young age. At school I was always the curvy girl who tried to cover my insecurities by being bubbly and loud. At the age of 14, I won a scholarship to a performing arts school in London. I was ecstatic, but that’s when my weight really started to affect me – there was so much pressure to look a certain way and so, I would comfort myself with food. It was a vicious circle.
“I remember one occasion where a teacher took me outside of the classroom and told me that I was talented but that I needed to lose weight if I was going to make it. I was so upset about my size that I gave up on my dream of becoming a dancer because I didn’t feel as though I’d ever be accepted in the industry at the size I was.
“Although I tried a number of different of ways to lose weight, nothing worked for me in the long term.
I’d tried every faddy diet going; meal replacement shakes, calorie counting and everything in between!
"My partner, Carl, was so supportive of me losing weight but none of them worked – they just weren’t sustainable and I’d give up after a couple of weeks.
Discovering Slimming World
“Last year, just after I'd given birth to my daughter, Vogue, I went on a night out with my friends. The girls were snap happy and ended up taking a photo that made my heart sink. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was so worried in case one of them decided to share it on social media and in that moment I knew I’d had enough – I didn’t ever want to feel that way again.
“I spoke to my mum about how I was feeling and she suggested we go to Slimming World together to support each other. I was nervous about joining the group so having Mum alongside me really helped and I soon got into the swing of things. We sat down with my Consultant, Margaret, as she went through the list of foods we could eat in unlimited amounts – pasta, rice, fruit, potatoes, lean meat. The list went on!
At first I was shocked at how much I could eat while still losing weight!
"I was still enjoying curries, pasta dishes, chocolate and even wine! I also learned to cook healthy meals for my family, too.
“Once I felt a little more confident and the weight was dropping off, I joined the gym, although running after my little girl was paying off, too! She’s got bags of energy – chasing after her at soft play centres was getting easier and easier each time we went.
“I reached my target of 4st and was over the moon! Now, my confidence is sky high – so much so that I’m going to join a local dance class. It’s been years since I performed in front of an audience and instead of dreading being on stage, I’m really looking forward to it!
“I used to shy away from the camera but now I can pose for pictures with my family and friends without any worries.”
Sophie’s day on a plate
Breakfast: Cup of tea with 2 sugars, big bowl of cereal and a couple of chocolate biscuits
Mid-morning: Chocolate or more biscuits
Lunch: Shop-bought baguette and a cake, or a ready meal
Dinner: A takeaway or ready meal
Evening: A pudding with custard every night – without fail!
Breakfast: Fruit and yogurt or porridge
Lunch: A jacket potato with salad, or a pasta dish with meat and plenty of veg
Mid-afternoon: Some seafood sticks or a Slimming World Hi-fi bar
Dinner: Home-made spaghetti bolognaise, home-made burgers and chips or pizza wraps
Evening: Strawberries with fat-free yogurt and a meringue or a small chocolate bar
*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.