“My 100lb weight loss was a family affair”*
Hiding away playing video games, Andrew Smith’s 20s were passing him by—until the people closest to him stepped in. On Siblings Day, we find out how he’s taking life to the next level—and his sister couldn’t be more proud.
“Looking back, my weight rose so gradually, I never really noticed. Before college, I was active enough to fight competitively in Tang Soo Do, a karate-based martial art, and I was proud of my sporting achievements. When I started studying for my degree, though, my eating patterns changed and I stopped exercising. I was having up to five meals a day, and three of them would be fried chicken takeouts. The rest of my day was filled with sandwich breaks and sugary drinks, and my weight began to creep up. While the other students made plans to meet up after classes, I headed back home and shut myself away in my bedroom. Now weighing close to 280lbs, and wearing the same elasticated sweatpants and baggy tee every day, I didn’t feel much like socializing. It seemed easier to stay in with my PlayStation instead…”
“When my doctor told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I might not live to see 30, my mom and older sister, Shauntelle, set out on a mission. They had both recently joined Slimming World and teamed up to encourage me to join, too. Despite seeing how much weight they were losing, though, I refused—I was convinced it wasn’t for me. Then, one day Mom and I were in the kitchen while she was preparing dinner. By this time, she’d lost around 30lbs and Shauntelle had lost 22½lbs, so she was more convinced than ever that it would work for me. I was just about to say no again, when I felt myself falling sideways…the legs on the metal stool I was sitting on had collapsed underneath me. Even the furniture was telling me it was time to lose weight!”
“In my first week on the Food Optimizing eating plan, I stayed away from the takeouts and store-bought sandwiches, and made my own meals using lots of Slimming World Free Foods. I discovered new favorites such as lean Canadian bacon with beans and eggs, mushrooms and onions fried in cooking spray, and roast chicken with the skin removed, served with mixed veggies and plain couscous or noodles. I lost 8lbs in just seven days! Mom had always made most of the food in our house and I’d never shown any enthusiasm for cooking, but there was something about discovering healthier versions of my favorite meals that inspired me to give it a try. Before long, I was cooking dinner for Mom, Dad and Shauntelle, as well as myself! One night, I tried a Slimming World version of fried chicken and none of us could quite believe how good it tasted, despite containing only a fraction of the Syns of a takeout.”
“As the months went by, I continued to lose weight and started to think about exercising again. Mom and Shauntelle had been going for walks around the local park, so—inspired by Body Magic, Slimming World’s gentle, get-started activity program—I decided to join them. At first, I struggled to keep up, and was shocked at how unfit I’d become. But I persevered, and it wasn’t long before I was matching their pace…then surging ahead! Now I was leading the way on 10-mile walks and arriving home afterwards feeling energized rather than exhausted. By the time I reached my target weight (a total loss of 100lbs), I felt ready to do something I’d wanted to do for a while—return to my old Tang Soo Do club. The first session was so tiring, I thought I’d never make it to the end! Then, after a while, I found the moves were coming back and I started to really enjoy myself again.”
“I might have joined Slimming World for health reasons, but my weight loss had the added benefit of boosting my confidence, too. I threw out all my old baggy sweats and tees, and replaced them with skinny jeans and fitted shirts. And rather than staying in my bedroom playing video games, I started going on nights out with my pals. For the first time ever, I’m dressing my age and living the life of an energetic, 20-something, young man. And it’s all down to Mom and Shauntelle. They led the way and never gave up, and I know how lucky I am to have them both looking out for me.”
“Our grandmother died of a stroke and had high blood pressure, so seeing Andrew getting bigger and bigger, eating more takeouts, and giving up his regular exercise was very worrying. Mom and I had talked about how great Slimming World and Food Optimizing would be for Andrew—the difficult part was getting him to believe it! Since losing 28lbs myself, I feel so much better, and Andrew’s now lost more than three times as much as I have—I’m really proud of him. The young man who was once shutting himself away and playing video games for hours is now happy and confident. It’s been a fantastic transformation in every way.”
Inspired? You’ll find lots more support and inspiration on our website, helping you to make real, lasting changes and lose weight for life.
*Your weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and the amount you have to lose.
The health information in this story is intended to provide general knowledge and should not be used to replace a visit with a healthcare provider. You should consult your healthcare provider before beginning, or changing, any weight loss program.