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Hearts of gold: “I’m giving back to the community after losing 88lbs”*

July 23 2019
Michelle Rawlins
By Michelle Rawlins

In the third of our inspirational series of weekly posts featuring Slimming World members whose weight loss helped them to help others, we meet Helen Williams—who’s loving life in her 60s, especially her hospital voluntary work.

Hearts of gold: “I’m giving back to the community after losing 88lbs”*

A daughterly intervention
“I have my daughter, Tess, to thank for helping me find the energy to enjoy a rewarding retirement volunteering at a hospital that cares for sick babies and children. She was in her 30s and working as a specialist oncology nurse, and she’d seen me battling with my weight all her life. After years of yo-yo dieting, I’d decided there was no point trying any more. With my 60th birthday approaching and a size 20, I’d resigned myself to being a cuddly grandmom, with higher than healthy blood pressure. Tess thought otherwise. I’d been staying at her home, looking after my two eldest grandchildren, when she logged on to her computer and showed me the Slimming World website. She’d joined after her children were born and thought it would work for me, too. She clearly wasn’t going to take no for an answer, so I gave in!”

A different way of eating
“After feeling ravenous on all the fad diets I’d tried in the past, discovering I’d never have to feel hungry while losing weight on the Food Optimizing plan was music to my ears. Even when I weighed myself and saw 266lbs flash up on the scale, it didn’t dent my enthusiasm. I found having oats with lots of berries for breakfast kept me full all morning, and my frittata and salad was much more satisfying than the cheese roll that used to be lunch. Before I knew it, Tess and I were swapping recipes. While I was taking care of the children when she was at work, I’d rustle up a tasty stew and, in return, she’d send me home with healthy homemade muffins. I wasn’t sure how my husband, John, would take to my Food Optimizing dinners, but it turned out he loved them, too.”

A change of pace
“After I’d lost 40lbs, I plucked up the courage to apply to be a volunteer at the local children’s hospital. I was about to retire and wanted to do something helpful in between looking after my grandchildren and my elderly mom. As a meet-and-greeter I talked to patients, relatives and visitors at the hospital entrance, showing them to the right department and putting them at ease. It meant a lot of dashing up and down stairs, and to begin with I tired easily. Within a few months, with my weight steadily falling, I noticed I rarely got out of breath. I bought a fitness tracker and it showed I was clocking up as much as three miles in an afternoon’s volunteering.”

A new lease of life
“By the time I’d lost over 80lbs, I was full of confidence and felt the best I had since I was a teenager. My blood pressure was back in a healthy range and I’d even joined a ballet class for the over 50s! Now, whether I’m dashing around with my grandchildren or supporting the parents of sick babies, I feel grateful every day that Tess convinced me I wasn’t too old to lose weight.”

Inspired? You’ll find lots more information and recipe ideas  on our website.

Or try our exclusive 7-day Food Optimizing menu plan and start your own weight loss success story today.

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