How Hayley lost 92lbs*
Brimming with renewed energy and confidence since joining Slimming World, mom-of-two Hayley Cook shares the story behind her weight loss success.
“I was a size 8 when I first met my husband, Andy, and very quickly, romance blossomed between us. Then after a surprise pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I turned to food to cope with our loss. I’d send Andy out regularly to get me something sweet, and he’d bring back family-size packs of candy and cakes. My weight climbed and when my second pregnancy ended in another heartbreaking loss, I began to believe I’d never become a mom and turned to food even more. Feeling sad and low, I started hiding what I was eating from Andy. I’d seek comfort in pastries and muffins in the car after work, then go home and eat dinner and dessert as normal, with him none the wiser.
In time, we got the good news we’d been longing for—I was pregnant again and this time things were going well. Even so, my weight was high enough to cause concern and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to take medication to control it. Then, just a few months after giving birth to a beautiful little girl, Kaycie, I was thrilled to find out I was expecting again. This time, I was tested for gestational diabetes earlier, and my blood sugar was so high I needed to inject myself with insulin. Archie was a healthy baby and was ready to go home within hours, but my own health was more of a worry. My blood sugar still wasn’t stabilising and the doctor warned me I was likely to develop type 2 diabetes if I didn’t change my lifestyle. My mind immediately turned to my children’s future. What kind of example would I be setting if I didn’t take my doctor’s advice? Might my health even stop me being the kind of active, fun mom I wanted to be?
A little while later, with Kaycie and Archie as my inspiration, I joined Slimming World, determined to do everything in my power to lose weight and keep it off for good. With two small children to look after, I knew being busy could easily get in the way if I wasn’t organized, so I decided to plan all my Food Optimizing meals in advance. I kept things really simple, having cereal with fruit and milk, baked potatoes with low-fat toppings, and home-cooked stir-fries—all easy to make in a hurry. Andy was my biggest supporter, helping to keep me on track. Every weekend he’d make us a delicious Slimming World cooked breakfast and sit down with me while I was menu planning, helping me to work out our meals for the week ahead. Within six weeks—all while enjoying generous, filling meals, such as spaghetti Bolognese and beef stew—I’d already lost almost 30lbs.
With every pound lost, my confidence grew, and I decided to start doing some regular exercise. I’d read about Body Magic, Slimming World’s gentle, get-started activity program, and knew it would support my weight loss. To begin with, I just walked around the block a few times, before heading home breathless but pleased with myself for trying. Soon, I managed to get a couple of friends to join me, which meant we could chat and catch up while we exercised. I bought myself a fitness tracker and set myself little physical goals, like walking so many steps a day. For a long time, I’d felt too self-conscious for outdoor activities, but now I was walking regularly, I’d started to realize how great it felt to get my body moving. I wanted my kids to know that feeling, too, so Andy and I bought a puppy, Myla, and we enjoy lots of family walks with her—whatever the weather!
Now I feel much fitter and healthier, and my blood sugar levels are normal. Plus I’ve got so much more confidence, I’ve even agreed to model wedding dresses on a catwalk for a friend who owns a bridal store. When Andy and I got married, I hated the idea of being in the spotlight so much that I didn’t have any proper photographs taken. Now I’m 92lbs lighter, being in front of the camera holds no fears for me. We’re planning to renew our vows on our five-year anniversary next year and this time we’ll get a professional photographer to take all those couple photos we never had. I know they’ll be pictures we can treasure for a lifetime.”
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. 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.