Tamara McDonald from Hampshire lost a breath-taking 9st 9lbs with Slimming World, to dramatically improve her health and help her cope with testing times. Tamara shares her story with us here.
“I’d been overweight for nearly 20 years and my health suffered for it. My doctor said I was borderline diabetic, had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and my knees were crumbling so badly I faced a future in a wheelchair.
“When you’re bigger, people assume you’re stupid and lazy. My lack of confidence meant I never stood up for myself because I thought I wasn’t worth it. The final straw was seeing a photo of myself where I looked tired and overweight – I seemed old and defeated at only 33!
“I went along to my local Slimming World group to support a friend, but stayed because the Food Optimising plan sounded so easy. After years of trying diets that left me hungry, or feeling sick and emotional I’d finally found a plan where I never felt like a failure.
“Food Optimising fits so well into family life – and with four children this was important to me. A typical day includes fruit with yogurt and a drizzle of honey for breakfast, huge filling salads with cold meats or soup, or a filled jacket potato for lunch and dinner will include family favourites like curries or lasagnes and a low-Syn pud!
“I discovered just how flexible the eating plan was when I ended up spending months in hospital with my youngest son who has brain cancer. It was a terrifying and lonely time – especially because my husband was overseas serving in the armed forces. With so much Free and Superfree Food to choose from, I found Food Optimising easy – even in a hospital canteen. I exercised when my son was sleeping. I ran up and down hospital stair wells and round the hospital grounds. In nearly a year of my son having three brain surgeries, chemotherapy and us moving house and country twice, I only gained 4lbs. Before I lost weight I would have eaten out of misery and worry and I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with his demanding chemotherapy and physiotherapy schedules.
“I’m much more active these days, with regular trips to the gym and a new love of belly dancing – it’s great fun and feels quite feminine, something I never felt as a 'big gal’. I can keep up with my four sons now – I never played rough and tumble with them before, for fear of hurting myself or them. Now, they know to watch out because mum can run as fast as them! My health problems have disappeared – I’m not exhausted and in pain anymore.
“I'm the wife and mother I always dreamed of being. I'm confident, happy and have found the strength to cope with my son’s cancer. I feel beautiful and that's the most amazing gift in the world.”