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Gear up for fitness success

April 4 2019
Jacqui Hawkins
By Jacqui Hawkins

Welcome to the second in this week’s series of posts marking the beginning of national Move More Month! Wednesday’s workout inspiration is Jackie Lewins, who pedaled her way to new confidence and a weight loss of 76½lbs*. Here’s how combining health eating with cycling could open up your world, too…

Gear up for fitness success

“It was two months after joining Slimming World that I somehow got up the courage to wheel my partner Andy’s bike out of the garage and set off down the cycle path to work. With every turn of the pedals, I felt my confidence grow, and when I got to the office I was so proud of my achievement. Looking into the bathroom mirror, I didn’t just notice the 24½lbs that I’d lost at that point, I saw the confident, care-free girl that I’d been before I put on weight. My smile didn’t leave my face all day.

I made myself a promise: I was going to cycle to and from work three days a week, whatever the weather. I often found reasons not to exercise, so this seemed like the perfect solution—once I’d left home, I couldn’t bail out halfway.

At first, those early rides were a bit of a challenge, wobbling along on Andy’s rusty old mountain bike. Encouraged by Body Magic, Slimming World’s get-started activity program, I persevered, and soon I was feeling confident enough to invest in a new bike. I’d started some other Body Magic activities, too—walking my dogs and going to Aqua Fit classes at my local pool. Cycling felt different, though. I wanted more! I started going out on the weekends—just me and my bike, with an apple and my cell phone stashed in a bag under the seat. I loved how there was no pressure, and no one was watching. The feeling of flying along with the cool air on my face had me hooked.

Andy realized there was a new love in my life, and suddenly, he had to keep up! So he got a new bike, too, and started joining me on my weekend trips. Sometimes we’d go out for the whole day, prepping dinner first so we had a warming Slimming World meal ready to heat up when we got in. Other times, we’d cycle down to the nearby beach for breakfast, or to the grocery store—coming back with a backpack full of ingredients for our next Food Optimizing meal.

I’ve been at my 128lb target weight for a couple of years now, and I know I’ll have no problem staying slim, thanks to Food Optimizing and cycling—I’m in love with them both!”

 

Why cycle?

Cyclists save time
How often have you sat in traffic, wishing you were that person speeding by in the bike lane? Taking two wheels isn’t always faster, but it definitely uses your time wisely—and you’ll have sneaked in some Body Magic without even thinking about it.

Cyclists live longer
Commuting by bike helps to reduce your risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease compared to travelling by car or train, according to research. While it’s natural to worry about accidents, it’s often said that the extra “life years” cyclists gain from being healthier outweigh the risks by 20 to one.

Cyclists get lean, not bulky
Cycling alone shouldn’t give you bigger thighs, you need to lift a lot of heavy weights in the gym for that. What riding a bike will do is help tone your legs and strengthen your stomach muscles. Plus it’s gentle on joints—win, win, win!

Cyclists smile more
Exercising outdoors in green space, such as on a leisurely countryside ride, can be great for your mental health. And even everyday cycles to work can bring subtle benefits. One study suggests that people who commute by bike feel happier than those who take public transport.

 

Inspired? You’ll find lots more support and inspiration on our website, helping you to make real, lasting changes and lose weight for life.

 

If you’re planning to start a new exercise program, it’s always a good idea to check with your health care provider first—especially if you have an existing health condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma.

*Your weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and the amount you have to lose.