What have you got to lose...except weight?
Super-fit Kathryn is celebrating 36 years at target!
Kathryn Cooke decided to lose weight after feeling frumpy watching her husband, a professional soccer player, at his games
She lost 45lbs back in 1982 and has maintained her amazing weight loss ever since – an incredible 36 years
These days she’s a super-fit grandma who has discovered a passion for exercise
A former soccer player’s wife who lost weight to feel more fit and active alongside her sporty husband has lost 45lbs – and managed to keep the weight off for an amazing 36 years.
Kathryn Cooke, 63, had struggled with her weight since she was a child and initially joined Slimming World to lose weight for her wedding to soccer player husband Joe, who was at that time playing for English soccer team Bradford City.
After successfully slimming down for her wedding, Kathryn regained some weight following the birth of her two eldest daughters Geraldine, 40, and Yvette, 37. She re-joined Slimming World after the birth of her second daughter, slimmed to her target weight and has stayed there ever since!
Kathryn, who now lives in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, England, says: “I’d always been overweight even as a child, so I knew that I needed help to feel great for my wedding. Slimming World was a great way to lose weight because even back then the core values were the same – delicious food, lots of support and absolutely no guilt or shame. When I married Joe at my target weight in 1977, I knew I had made the right choice. I felt happy, confident and beautiful which is how every bride should feel.
Joining Slimming World gave me the confidence to get more active and unearthed a passion for fitness that I honestly never thought I’d have! At school I was the kind of person to dread PE and would do anything to get out of exercising – yet as an adult I found that I was really enjoying a variety of exercise classes which eventually led me to become a fitness instructor myself.
“A couple of years later I became pregnant with Geraldine and sadly gained much of the weight back. I didn’t really have a chance to lose the baby weight before I fell pregnant again with Yvette and by then I’d decided that I wanted to set a healthy and active example to my girls, so I re-joined Slimming World.”
Kathryn began following Slimming World’s Food Optimizing eating plan and lost weight by enjoying the long list of ‘Free Food’ that members can enjoy without restriction or limitation, including fruits and veggies, lean meat, fish, pasta, rice, potatoes and more.
She says: “I got to target by cooking deliciously filling meals like spaghetti bolognaise, casseroles and curries from scratch.”
Kathryn says that she was motivated to lose weight to set a great example to her children, and she’d also started to feel uncomfortable in her own skin when watching Joe play soccer. She says: “As you can imagine a lot of the wives were very glamorous and when I used to take the girls along to watch Joe play I couldn’t help but feel a bit insecure. I knew I needed to make the changes for me and nobody else though, I had to be ready to make those changes for life. I wasn’t in it for a quick fix!
“Being married to a soccer player can be quite lonely sometimes – we moved around England quite a lot as Joe moved from Bradford City to Peterborough, Oxford and then on to Exeter. By the time we moved back to Bradford in 1982 I was ready to take a little time for me and focus on my own health and fitness.
“Joining Slimming World gave me the confidence to get more active and unearthed a passion for fitness that I honestly never thought I’d have! At school I was the kind of person to dread PE and would do anything to get out of exercising – yet as an adult I found that I was really enjoying a variety of exercise classes which eventually led me to become a fitness instructor myself. I still teach three classes a week and like to exercise three to four times a week, I just love it! It was at that point I realized I’d changed my whole lifestyle for the better.”
And even a surprise arrival wasn’t about to throw Kathryn off track. She says: “I unexpectedly fell pregnant with my third daughter at the age of 37 – yet this time I was so healthy and active that I didn’t gain lots of weight. In fact, I was back at my target weight within six weeks of Gabrielle’s arrival without any added pressure or restrictive eating – I just continued my healthy habits as usual. By that point it was just a way of life and I knew no different! I now have four wonderful grandchildren to keep me busy and I love being a happy, active and healthy grandma to them. If anything, they struggle to keep up with me! I can honestly say I feel better now in my 60s than I did when I was in my 20s.”
“Weight maintenance is a difficult thing to master, and it’s something I couldn’t have achieved without Slimming World. To know that I’m helping other people to do the same really is the best feeling in the world.”
Name: Kathryn Cooke
Starting weight: 11st 7lbs/161lbs/73kg
Current weight: 8st 4lbs/116lbs/53kg
Weight loss: 3st 3lbs/45lbs/20kg
Starting dress size: 20
Current dress size: 12
Date joined Slimming World: May 1982
Breakfast: A bowl of cereal with full-fat milk, followed by toast and butter
Snack: A milky coffee and 2 cookies
Lunch: An egg mayonnaise sandwich, with a cookie
Dinner: Stew and dumplings, followed by sponge pudding and custard sauce
Snack: A buttered British scone, peanuts
Breakfast: A large bowl of fresh fruit such as mango, strawberries, nectarine and blueberries, with fat-free natural Greek yogurt
Mid-morning: A banana
Lunch: A grilled salmon fillet with sweet chili sauce, stir-fry vegetables and Slimming World chips
Dinner: Homemade curry, boiled rice, broccoli, carrots and baby sweetcorn
Evening snack: Crispbreads, extra-light cheese spread, cheese, small glass of white wine
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