Monday, 28 December 2015

My Slimming World journey the highs, the lows

After weighing in at 37 stone I left group and for the first time in many years started to plan my meals and bought my shopping accordingly. Gone were the share sized bag of crisps, the chocolates, the chicken tikka slices and the ready made sandwiches. In came the healthy stir frys, jacket potatoes with homemade chilli con carne, proper cooked dinners all using the Slimming World principles.

A couple of meals from my first week.

 
In my first week I really began to discover my love for cooking and I never found myself hungry. This was not a diet, this was a healthy eating plan, I was never going hungry, my plates were always full at the start of meals and empty at the end.

After my first week on plan it was time to get weighed. I returned to group, I knew I had eaten well but I didn't know what to expect on the scales. I stepped up and watched the numbers climb. I was hoping for a loss and you can imagine my surprise and delight when the scales read 35st12lbs. I had lost 16lbs in my first week!!!!! I felt that I could climb a mountain, I had earnt my first 2 awards for my 1/2 and 1 stone awards. However, even if it had been 8, 4 or 2lbs, it was something that showed me that if I stuck to the Slimming World plan I could lose weight whilst still eating full plates of food.

Over the following months my weight losses continued ranging from 11lbs to 1/2lb meaning that most weeks I had lost the most in our group and I would be awarded 'Slimmer of the Week'. My lovely fellow Slimming World members would be very incredibly supportive and jokingly ask what I would like in the slimmer of the week basket the following week.

By Christmas 2012 I had lost around 7 stone and I even lost weight over Christmas and New Year. On returning to work a colleague asked if I would accompany her walking at lunchtimes. We work next to the canal in Nottingham and so we would walk 2-3 miles each lunchtime. I had started to exercise again, but more about that in my next blog post.

In March 2013 it was competition time in group and for the first time I was awarded the Greatest Loser as the member with the highest weight loss in the group I attended.
Greatest Loser 2013
In the April I had my first ever gain. My beloved Mansfield Town Football Club won promotion back to the football league and I allowed myself to go out drinking. I avoided the obligatory kebab or curry following the drinks but I had not planned my meals for the next day and so whilst not eating rubbish I didn't have full plates of healthy food. It told on me the following Wednesday when the scales showed I had gained 1/2lb. Was I jeered, was I told I was a disgrace to Slimming World?? no I was not I was given the support and told that life was for living and that no one was going to judge me for a gain. The 1/2lb was gone the next week, so long as I was mindful, I could gain weight one week, there was no reason why I could not lose it the following.

By June 2013 I had lost around 14 stone but I had the first major doubts about my journey and whether I wanted to continue with my weight loss. I was laid in bed one evening watching telly when the programme 'Embarrassing Bodies' came on. A patient went into the surgery and he too had lost 14 stone although he had lost his through cycling to and from work. He looked fantastic but then he took off his shirt and had roll after roll of excess skin. I found myself in floods of tears, I had a lot more to lose, what was my excess skin going to look like??  The next evening I spoke to my family again and expressed my fears, as ever they were to be my rock and voices of reason, I might not end up with so much excess skin, there was no reason why my weight loss could not continue. I will cover the issue of excess skin in a later blog post.

In July I had another non-scales victory, I had agreed to fly to Malta to see Mansfield Town on their pre-season tour. For years when I was able to fly I had always had to suffer the embarrassment of having to ask for a seatbelt extension. I boarded the plane and took my seat, I pulled the seatbelt to the very end and tried to fasten it. The ends touched but in the position I was in would not fasten. I turned, I twisted, I breathed in and pulled...CLICK!!! the seatbelt had fastened, I hadn't needed to call the stewardess for an extension.

I continued to lose the weight and in the October I went on a family holiday with my sister and her family. Again I boarded the plane and got ready to face the seatbelt. I pulled it to the end and pulled the two parts together.........it was too loose, I had to ask my sister how you tightened them....I then had to have the obligatory selfie.
No extension required
On the return from the holiday we visited Thorpe Park. The last time I had visited a theme park I had queued for 2 hours to get on Nemesis at Alton Towers only to find out that I was too big to fit in the seats and I was asked to leave the ride. This time there was no problem as I went on all the rides making the biggest screams and the biggest smiles for the camera.
 
The next big milestone came  on 05 December 2013, I hit the target I had set for myself the day I joined Slimming World. I stepped on the scales on they stopped on 15 stone....I had done it, in 15 months I had lost 22 stone, I could not have been happier and the cheers it got from my fellow members was humbling.
 
Over the next few months I lost a further half a stone and in March 2014 I was crowned Greatest Loser in my group. Annette, my consultant, said she would like to enter me for the national competition. I was shocked and honoured to be invited to a ceremony at Kensington Rooftop Gardens in London where I met 9 other super slimmers and between us we had lost over 172 stone. I was therefore shocked and humbled to be crowned Slimming Worlds Greatest Loser 2014 and was presented to the national media.
Greatest Loser 2014
Being awarded the title has given me many wonderful opportunities from sharing a stage with Peter Andre (who is a very genuine and sincere person) when he presented the Slimming World Awards 2015 to being asked to visit Slimming World groups up and down the country. I find visiting the groups a privilege and it is interesting to hear other peoples stories and reasons for joining. The one thing we all have in common is that we have all took the brave decision to step over the threshold into a Slimming World group and got a warm, friendly welcome and the support to give us the tools to lose weight successfully.

Whilst I have achieved my target my Slimming World Journey is far from over. I still attend group each week and some weeks I gain and some weeks I lose but one thing I know, I'll never be 37 stone again.

19 comments:

  1. Top Man for sharing your journey to help and inspire others Stuart! All the best. Chris

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  2. Brilliant what an inspiration to others on their own journeys xx

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  3. Awesome may you achieve all your goals in life

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  4. Awsome Stuart! Well done!!!!

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  7. What a inspiration apsolute amazing xxx

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  8. Fantastic achievement. What an inspiration

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  9. You are an inspiration. I am starting my weight loss journey and it feels like a mountain to climb but will take it one step at a time. This is encouraging to know it can be done.

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  10. Wow wow wow,totally inspiring thanks

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  11. Wow wow wow,totally inspiring thanks

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