‘I’m the mom I always wanted to be’
Mother-of-two Hayley Cook is loving family life so much more after losing nearly 90lbs.*
When I fell pregnant, shortly after meeting my now-husband, Andy, we were over the moon to be starting a family together. Sadly though, I went on to have a miscarriage. We then had another miscarriage the following year and I was in such a low place that I turned to food for comfort and my weight just went up and up.
Later that year, we got engaged and I turned my attention to planning the wedding. We’d just set a date when I found out I was pregnant again. Although my due date was just a few weeks before the wedding, we decided to go ahead with our plans—we were so happy to be expecting again.
Building a family
In May 2016 we welcomed our beautiful daughter, Kaycie, into the world, and got married soon after. I enjoyed my wedding day, but hated the few pictures I had taken. I nearly didn’t have a photographer there at all, then eventually booked one a few weeks before the big day to capture pictures of my family and friends. I didn’t have any taken of Andy and me on our own, though. I’d struggled with my weight for years and felt so uncomfortable with my body I couldn’t face the thought of posing for the camera.
The following year, I found out I was pregnant again, and our son Archie arrived in March 2018. During my first pregnancy I’d been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which meant I had to follow a strict diet and take medication to control it. With Archie it was even more severe, and I had to inject insulin daily. After he was born, I was told there was a risk that women who have gestational diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes, although the chances were greatly reduced by eating healthily and exercising regularly.
Finding my motivation
It was a real wake-up call, and at that moment, I knew I had to start looking after myself properly. At almost 230lbs, my weight was threatening my health and beginning to impact on my day-to-day life. It was getting to the stage where I didn’t want to go swimming with Kaycie because I felt too self-conscious in a swimsuit, and that wasn’t the sort of mom I wanted to be. We’d tried so hard to start a family and I wanted to make the most of every moment without worrying about my weight.
I’d tried Slimming World before, so I knew it worked, although this time my mindset was totally different—I was determined to make healthier changes, not just for myself, but for my whole family. The great thing about Slimming World’s Food Optimizing eating plan is that it focused on healthy, filling, everyday foods that we all enjoyed—like this grilled steak dish—so I never felt like I was missing out. The support I got from my group was second-to-none, too, and knowing I was also motivating others was so rewarding. To anyone thinking of joining Slimming World, I’d say you’d be crazy not to!
As the weight came off, and my health improved, I started to get more active, too. These days, I’m fitter than I have ever been in my adult life. Last September, I took part in a charity event where I tried loads of different activities, from badminton and running to cycling and swimming. As well as raising lots of money, I realized that being active made me feel good, and in turn that made me a better version of myself. I can’t wait to make many more fun memories with my family.
Try our exclusive 7-day Food Optimizing menu plan and start your slimming success story today.
* 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.