I've been overweight since I was a young toddler. My mum would always tell everyone how I sat in my pram with a bag of grapes, refusing to share them with anyone else. By the time I was 12 I was into a size 16 school uniform and so it continued. My mum ran slimming clubs as I was growing up and she tried to encourage me to lose weight, but I couldn't get my head round healthy eating, or I didn't want to, more like!
I stayed the same weight through secondary school. I think this was probably only due to me walking home and back to school for lunchtimes. I certainly didn’t watch what I ate. I hated PE as we had communal girls’ showers. I found it humiliating and the worst part of the day. I left school after doing okay with my exams and found work.
Fast forward over the next few years, married at 18 and with 3 children by age 26 (who I wouldn't be without). But with all my pregnancies I had pre-eclampsia due to my weight. I was single by the age of 33 and from then on, my weight yo-yoed due to me comforting myself with food.
The first thing I tried was Weight Watchers, this was an epic fail! Then came my on/off Slimming World affair. Well, I knew what to do and would manage to succeed for around 3 months each time I joined, then I would lose focus and my weight would go back up. At my heaviest I weighed over 25 stones. Horrific!
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. I rattled with all the tablets I needed to take. I continued the attempts at losing weight. I thoroughly researched any fad diet I could that promised to 'cure' my diabetes, but they were all unsustainable unless you were a control freak. I have the willpower of a slug so I had no hope!
Then in January 2016, I spent a sleepless night considering speaking to my GP about gastric surgery. I have two friends who had this done, both of them now have associated medical issues. I didn't want to take this route and decided that it was worth one last Slimming World attempt before going down that somewhat drastic solution. It was a Friday night and I needed to get on with this plan of mine. I searched the Slimming World website for a Saturday group near me. Braybrooke Park came up and that was the start of my journey to date.
Eighteen months later I have lost an amazing 7 stone and had 2 medication reductions and some other meds stopped due to my big weight loss. Slimming World has given me the blood sugar levels of a non- diabetic. I've taken the wiggly route on my weight loss journey but with such a great support network at Braybrooke Park I am getting there slowly. I have joined the Social Team and am more involved in the group. Committing to being there each week seems to help me keep focussed while sharing in the support of others who, like me, are trying to tame our unhelpful relationship with food.
Now bad days are just that, a single day. The trick is to put it behind you and crack on with the 'new you' plan. Thank you Ken for asking me to write my story, not as dramatic as some but still a success.