Back to my best
How losing 5st* helped mum-of-two Zoey Patrick from Worcester rediscover her outgoing, energetic self.
"As a child, I loved being centre of attention – never happier than when singing, dancing or acting on stage. Sadly, that confidence started to ebb away at the age of 21, when I gained 4st while pregnant with my first daughter.
"I’d assumed the pounds would disappear after Keira was born. They didn’t, then at five months she contracted a rare, life-threatening illness and any thought of slimming went out of the window. All my focus was on my little girl. It was touch and go, and during that terrible time I ate whatever I could grab – takeaways, burgers, chocolate, plus up to six energy drinks a day to keep me going – as she slowly recovered.
"By the time Keira’s little sister, Darci, came along three years later, I’d reached 15st; I was deeply unhappy and my asthma was getting worse. Then, in August 2014, I took the girls to Legoland, and was appalled when a safety bar on a ride wouldn’t close over my tummy. I never took the girls swimming because I was too shy to wear a cossie, and now I couldn’t even go on a ride with them. It was clear that my weight was having an effect on them, too.
"The very next week, I nervously joined my local group. My Consultant, Peggy, made me feel so welcome, though I’ll admit I sat through her talk not believing a word – surely nobody could eat so much and lose weight.
I followed the plan anyway, stepped on the scales the next week… and I’d lost 4½lbs. After that I was unstoppable!
"By August 2015, I was nearly 5st lighter, while my fiancé, Jack, lost 3st following the plan at home. People ask me how I juggled it with being a mum, studying for a degree and working. The secret is determination... and lots of planning and prep! Batch cooking is a real life-saver for me.
"Now I’m slim, I no longer need asthma inhalers, my mood has lifted and I’ve given up smoking, too. I’m also going to start singing again, after years of being too shy. My family say they love having their confident, bubbly Zoey back. And me? I feel transformed!"
With a little help from...
Zoey shares the tricks that made a difference to her slimming journey, and the treats (and people) that spurred her to success.
- I wanted to be slim in time to graduate... and I did it! I received my degree in child and adolescent mental health last November.
- It’s wonderful to feel that I’m a healthy role model. After years of being too embarrassed, now I’m always taking the girls for a swim or on a family bike ride. I love seeing them enjoy being active.
- Slimming alongside Jack has been really rewarding – we’re both happier with the way we look, and our relationship is so much stronger. We’re incredibly proud of each other!
- I walk a lot more now, and I also go running! Music makes exercising seem much easier, so I’ve bought proper sports earphones.
- Every time I got to the next stone award, I bought myself something to celebrate, such as a gorgeous Pandora charm.
*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.