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"My Slimming Group is such an important part of my life"*
After years of yo-yo dieting as a student, Faye Brown decided it was finally time to take control of her weight. Now, 22½lbs* lighter she’s got the healthy figure she always wanted.
"I’d buried my head in the sand about my weight gain. My downfall was convenience food—it was my second year at college and I was living student life to the fullest. It wasn’t until I saw a photo of myself at a party that I realized I needed to lose weight. I began to count calories and follow the latest diets, from high-protein plans to low-GI regimes. I felt hungry all the time, though, and I couldn’t enjoy the simple things in life, such as eating out. I was in constant battle with my body as I alternated between yo-yo dieting and giving in to temptation completely.
"I was horrified when a cousin’s son asked if I was pregnant. I tried to shrug it off, but it was really upsetting! Not long after, my mom joined Slimming World so I joined, too. I wanted to be more like my friends and not feel awkward shopping for clothes or giving a presentation at work. I’d always felt confident in my abilities; now I wanted to feel body confident, too.
"At Slimming World, people understand how wonderful it is to finally feel happy in your own skin. Going to group was, and still is, really important for me. Whether a member wants to lose 5lbs or 50lbs, everyone shares the same goal and that support really makes a difference. I especially love listening to members share recipes, because that’s where I stumbled before—eating the same old breakfasts and lunches.
Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimizing, is so easy to follow. My boyfriend loves it, too—we can still enjoy old favorites like chili, and Slimming World-style Thai curry tastes even better than the versions we used to eat. I’ll put chicken, lentils and veggies in the slow cooker before I leave for work, so we always have something tasty and healthy to come home to. Skipping breakfast is not an option—I take oatmeal with fat-free yogurt and berries to work with me—and for lunch, I make a pasta or couscous salad the night before.
"I love that Slimming World hasn’t cramped my social life. I still eat out at least twice a week. If I can, I look at the menu in advance, so I’m not swayed on the night. There’s always a tasty option, and I’ve become a lot more comfortable asking for no dressing or butter. If I do decide I’m going to treat myself to chocolate fudge cake, I plan ahead and use my Syns so I can enjoy it without feeling guilty.
"I never thought I’d say this, but exercise has become second nature to me. I wasn’t sporty in high school and, although I’ve been a member of a gym for five years, I think I used to fool myself that I was exercising more than I really was. I’ve always liked the idea of running, though, so when I joined Slimming World, I decided to make it part of my Body Magic. At first I couldn’t run for five minutes without getting out of breath and was envious of people who made it look effortless. Now I can do five miles easily and on weekends I go for a 10-mile run with my friend.
"I didn’t lose weight quickly. I had to accept my journey would be unique and to trust the plan. For the first few months, I lost 1lb or so a week. I also had a couple of gains—after a vacation, for example. My biggest surprise was when I stepped up my running—I gained weight one week and maintained the next. My Consultant assured me it can happen in the short term as people’s bodies adapt. Part of me did think, ‘Why am I bothering if I’m just going to gain weight?’ but sure enough, the pounds came off again and I felt better than ever.
"A friend asked me the other day why I still go to group and it’s because I know I would put on weight again if Slimming World wasn’t a part of my life. Why would I give this up? I feel amazing!"
*Your weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much you have to lose.