If you love reading real weight loss stories, you've come to the right place! Here, our users document their diet successes, and their highs and lows along the way
Then...19st 4 1/2lb
Like lots of working mums, my weight got out of control when I had my two children. After complicated pregnancies, I was put on steroids for four years, and ended up a size-22!
A friend, whose wife had lost 4st, told me about Howard’s Way weight-loss programme.
Highly sceptical, I was sure it wouldn’t work, and that I’d get the shakes from lack of food.
But though the first three days were hard, after that, my energy skyrocketed and the weight just fell off me.
I had chocolate shakes, plus 4 litres of water a day, and nothing else! In 16 weeks, I lost 4st 10lb and reached my goal of wearing a size-12.
I’ve since learnt what kinds of food I need to keep me on track. And if I put any weight back on, I can go back to Howard’s Way for a bit. I’ll never let my weight get out of control again!
I was a singer and dancer at Pontins, and because we were always rehearsing, I’d grab pizza, burgers, chips – anything that was easy!
Inevitably, my weight crept up, but it was only when it was nearly 14st that I noticed that my performance was suffering because I felt so tired.
I tried dieting and eating healthily, but I’d no idea how much I was actually supposed to eat!
Then my mum’s friend recommended Diet Chef. So I signed up and loved the pre-packed meals. It’s so easy to stick to because there’s so much choice.
Now, 18 months later, I’ve lost nearly 5st – and I’ve got engaged!
I’ve also learnt how to cook healthily with Diet Chef recipes.
I’ve had the confidence to audition for other shows too, and hope to get a part in a West End musical!
‘You’re really fat!’ said my nana, bluntly.
Not exactly the welcome I’d been after when I’d gone home to see my folks in South Africa, but there was no denying that nana was right!
I used to swim for South Africa and was so slim. Then illness put me out of the squad and I started to put on weight in my teens.
But it was when I came to live in the UK in 2008 that my weight exploded. Working long hours, partying and eating fast food soon took its toll and, a year on, I was the biggest I’d ever been. Then when a colleague lost 5st on the Cambridge Weight Plan, I decided to join up, too.
I ate shakes, bars and soups and, though it took a lot of willpower, I lost 2st in two months. I left it for a few months, then went back on the plan and lost another stone.
So thanks, Nana. Your blunt words mean I’m happier than ever!
When my third child started school, I found myself at a loose end. So when, last June, a new Curves gym opened up nearby, I thought it’d give me something to do. I also had a friend’s wedding in October, and wanted to get down to a size-12 again…
So I joined, and loved the concept of Curves’ half-hour workout! In that time, I do the circuit three times. I was given advice and recipe ideas, and my weight was checked once a week. Though other people saw the difference in me quite quickly, it took me about two months before I began to see the changes!
I got into my size-12 outfit for my friend’s wedding, but now I’ve lost almost 5st – and for the first time in my life, I’m a size-8!
My aim was to get back to being me, the person I was before I had the kids, and I’m delighted with the result. I love being me again!
I come from a big family. And when I say big, I don’t mean there’s lots of us. I mean cuddly curves are pretty common!
But at 5ft 4in, my 13st 13lb curves were more flab than fab.
I’d put on weight 10 years ago, was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and endometriosis. I had a hysterectomy, but losing the weight felt like a mountain I couldn’t climb.
When I got to 50, I was fed up with being overweight, so I joined Weight Loss Resources. I started to count calories, and slowly, the weight came off.
It’s taken me 2 1/2 years to lose 4st 5lb, but it’s completely changed my life. I use the online WLR food and exercise diary and check into the forum, where I’ve made lots of friends.
I was a size-20, but now I walk two miles to work after I’ve done 45 minutes of exercise at home! I know I’m 52 but I feel 20 years younger!
Then… 22 1/2st
Now… 16 1/2st
“‘Have the op, or you’ll die,’ said the doctor. I had thyroid problems and a lump on my neck. Having an op at my weight posed major risks, but, despsite the risks, I went ahead.
“But after, I joined a Fitness First gym and along with a first month’s free membership, I got three one-to-one sessions with personal trainer, Elliot.
“I started to eat sensibly, went to the gym three times a week and saw Elliot once a month.
“I was gaining confidence and getting fitter, so I started seeing Eliiot twice a month. Then last December, I won the ‘Christmas Challenge’ and got three free personal training sessions!
“Selling Elliot once a week, I really started to lose weight. “This July, I ran the Race for Life in less than an hour!
“As I suffer from trigeminal neuralgia, which can leave me virtually immobile, I’m really pleased to have lost 6st and dropped five dress sizes.
“I’d love to be a size-14, so to motivate me, I’ve entered the Fitness First’s New You Achievement Awards. My dream – if I lose enough weight – is to do a tandem skydive to celebrate my 60th!”
I’m 5ft 4in tall and just 18 months ago I was 15st. The weight had piled on over the years because I ate and drank too much.
It didn’t bother me, until I had to buy a size-16 – then that got tight, too. While my slim friends tried on clothes, I hung back, knowing I wouldn’t be able to fit into anything.
But I wanted to be slim for my 30th, so, last January, I joined Pure Gym becuse the membership fee was low and it was open 24 hours a day, which suited my shift work.
I began exercising four times a week for 90 minutes and, with the help of a personal trainer, I also started eating healthily, which I hadn’t done for years!
Now I look and feel so different. I go to the gym twice a week, and also go running twice a week. My body has totally changed shape, I’ve 10 times more energy than before – and clothes shopping is now a joy!
A diet of pizza, burgers, chips and alcohol had finally taken their toll, and, when I left uni in 2008, I was a size-18!
After uni, I’d wanted to work in fashion but, though I applied for lots of jobs, I ended up working in a bar.
Then a friend told me about Eurodiet, an online programme that she said would help me lost weight and eat healthily.
So, last May, I started Stage 1 of its four stages, with four tasty replacement meals a day – such as pancakes, omelettes, cereal bars and pasta with lots of salad and veg. I lost 1st in the first month and, by the end of November, I’d dropped four dress sizes and lost 5st! Now I’m in Stage 4 of the programme.
Best of all, with my new-found figure and confidence, I got a job as a fashion buyer last August. A real success story!
I just loved food – and lots of it!
I didn’t lose weight after having my two kids either and, by 2009, I was wearing a size-26!
Then my cousin started the Cambridge Weight Plan and encouraged me to give it a go.
So, in June 2009, I did. Oh, it was hard at first! Going from huge portions to replacement meals of porridge, soups, shakes and bars was a shock – but when I went for my first weigh-in, I’d lost 12lb.
Then, nine weeks in, my dad died and my first thought was to give up. But he’d been obese too, and had been worried about my weight, so I continued for him.
I’m glad I did, as after 10 months, I’d lost 10st 8lb!
My husband jokes that it’s like being with another woman. And as I’m so much smaller now than when we first met, I guess he’s right!
‘Mummy, when are you going to put on your wetsuit and play with us?’ my son Olly, then 3, said on holiday.
I was desperate to go in the water – but I couldn’t face donning a skin-tight wetsuit!
My weight had crept up during my second pregnancy. I’m only 5ft 2in, so I felt very unhealthy.
I joined All About Weight’s Rapid Plan, and had four mealpacks a day for three weeks, then an ‘add a meal’ week- a meal from an approved list, including soups, chilli, Bolognese…
The weight began to fall off…Ten months later I’d lost over 6st!
Now I eat normally, but with lots of fruit and veg, and in smaller portions.
Last summer, when we went on holiday I was back in my wetsuit!
I broke my neck in 2009. I simply passed out and banged my head and neck on the way down. I wore a ‘halo’ for months and was told not to exert myself.
I’d always been so active and my partner John is a personal trainer – but, unable to move, I gained just over 2st in a few months.
A health-food shop suggested Maxislim to help boost my metabolism. I tried it and lost almost 2st in two months!
With my neckbrace off, I only had 7lb to lose to get to my goal weight – but then I fell pregnant again and put on over 6st!
But once I stopped breast-feeding, I took Maxislim again and, within four months, I’d lost 4st of it.
I’m not at my target yet, but I’ve got loads of energy which, as a childminder and mum-of-two, helps!
I only went upstairs once a day, to go to bed. I was walking with a stick as I had arthritis in one of my hips, and was in constant pain. My weight wasn’t helping much.
I’d comfort-eaten all my life, and tried every diet going…always ending up bigger. If things went on like this then I could end up in a wheelchair.
I had to do something drastic. So I booked a gastric bypass for March last year, but my finance didn’t come through and I had to cancel.
It gave me time for a rethink, and I tried the LighterLife plan. With replacement meals of bars, soups and shakes I didn’t want ‘real’ food!
I started in April 2010, losing 4 or 5lb a week and by this April, I’d lost nearly 12st!
I’m half the woman I was! And, best of all, I’ve thrown away my walking stick!
It was after I had my son, now 7, that I began to pile on the pounds. I’d eat the leftovers off his plate, as well as bigger portions of my own. I love cooking and entertain a lot, so food’s a big part of my life.
Then, the summer before last, I turned 40, and I realised I hated being big and unfit. I was lethargic and couldn’t run around after my son.
Last New Year, a Rosemary Conley class opened a stone’s throw from my door. It combined healthy eating with a weekly exercise class. It was just what I needed, there was no excuse not to go!
The first week, I lost 7lb, then 3lb the next week, and 5 1/2st in the next nine months.
I go to three exercise classes a week, I’ve joined a running club and learnt to eat well. I feel healthy, have bags of energy, and this year on holiday, I wore a bikini for the first time!
The year 2006 was dreadful. My husband James was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to have a testicle removed. Then the cancer travelled to his abdomen and he underwent three months of chemotherapy.
James was only 25, but at least our two children were too young to realise what was happening.
But we got through it (and James now has the all-clear), though the cost was our waistlines!
We’d put on weight when we met, then I had two kids and didn’t lose the baby weight. And while James was ill, we found comfort in food and ended up both weighing over 19st.
I used to say I was a bad mum, as I didn’t have the energy to take the kids to the park.
I also had heartburn, greasy skin and swollen feet. But it was only when I saw this photo that I saw what other see…me fat!
I joined WeightWatchers and lost 6lb in the first week, and 18 months later, I’d lost 8st.
Best of all, James did it too. He didn’t come to classes, but we ate the same food and we both went to the gym.
James is now a trim 15st. Losing weight has made such a difference to how I look and my job – I now run six WeightWatchers classes of my own.
No more couch potato – I lift weights, box, cycle and run.
One day, my son said. ‘Remember when you and Daddy used to be fat?’ It was a wonderful moment.
This year, I’m running the 5km Race for Life twice. Once with some WeightWatcher members just for fun. And the second to better last year’s time of 28 minutes. I’m hoping to raise £1000. I’ve got so much to be grateful for.
I’d get in from work, tired and starving hungry, and eat bread – I’d scoff a whole loaf! Then at dinner, I wasn’t hungry.
In a year, I put on couple of stone and, despite working as a circuit trainer at Curves, the women-only gym, it was a case of ‘do as I say not as I do’!
Then last March, I was told I’d be going on Curves Club training in June with staff from all over the country…
I started the high-protein option on the Curves Weight Management Plan, and did the 30-minute circuit training three times a week. I lost 2st before the course began and now, a year on, I’ve lost 4st in all.
Now I’ve changed the way I eat forever. At the weekend I allow myself a treat, either a pud or a drink – but not both. So best of all, I feel healthy inside as well as looking good on the outside!
Phew, it was a struggle but they fitted! Trouble was, these shorts were a size-26! I stood in the changing room and cried. That was it – I had to go back to Slimming World.
In my late teens, I’d go clubbing, dance the night away and drink lager by the pint. Then I stopped dancing but continued drinking…and the weight piled on.
In the early 90s I joined Slimming World and lost a couple of stone, then thought I could do it on my own. But all the weight, and more, went back on. This time, I was determined.
I lost 6lb the first week, 2st in three months and then found out I was pregnant. But I carried on, and only put on 8lb during my pregnancy!
Now, four years on, I’ve lost 8 1/2st, and when I went into the changing room with a size-10 my tears were of pure pleasure!
As a teenager, I’d come in from school starving and eat buttered toast – lots of it! It became a habit, the weight piled on and, as I got older, I had to admit that I was fat!
For years, I did nothing. Then last year, my mum suggested WeightWatchers.
I joined and lost a couple of stone, then got stuck and for two months, my weight stayed the same.
I’m only 5ft 1in and I was 11st. A friend suggested BIOcarb, which she said helps you lose weight by stopping your body absorbing calories from carbs.
I took two capsules with every meal and began exercising, and after four weeks, I started to lose 1lb a week without changing my diet.
Now I’ve reached my goal weight and soon I’m off on holiday. I’m going to be wearing a bikini for the first time ever!
Typical bloke, I’d eat whatever was put in front of me. So it was no wonder I ended up wearing XXXL size tops and 54in waist trousers!
I’d tried dieting before, but just ended up feeling irritable. But I knew I was heading into heart-attack territory.
On the Internet, I came across Herbalife. I was actually looking for a way to earn extra cash, but before I starting selling it, I needed to see if it worked…
I replaced breakfast and lunch with a shake or a mealbar, plus some fruit, and I had a healthy meal – like chicken salad – for dinner.
Nothing happened for two weeks, then the following week, I lost 4lb. Then it was 2-3lb every week.
Soon, people noticed and, a year later, I’d lost 8st. I’m now 12st 7lb and a size-32.
I was big in my teens, but my weight didn’t really bother me until I left school. Then I felt that I didn’t fit in.
So I joined a slimming club, and even tried a diet from my doctor – but nothing worked.
Then a pal who’d lost loads of weight mentioned the Cambridge Weight Plan, so I tried it…
I started last February and the first week I got so hungry, but I wasn’t going to give in!
And it was worth it when I lost 7lb.
I’d have a shake for breakfast, porridge for lunch and healthy meal in the evening. By September I’d lost almost 3 1/2 st – and I was a size-10 for the first time ever!
These days, I follow the 80/20 rule. That means I eat healthily in the week, so I can have a guilt-free weekend treat. I must be doing it right as the weight hasn’t gone back on!
For years I ate too much of the wrong food. Exercise? I’d rather watch TV! No wonder I weighed over 17st.
At just 5ft 6in tall, I knew I needed to lose weight, but my heart wasn’t in it. Then, I had two shocks!
First, I needed a new skirt for a work do, and I had to buy a size-24! Then the doctor told me my diabetes (which I’ve had for years) was worse and I’d have to give myself a daily insulin jab. I hate needles!
A friend was already going to Rosemary Conley classes, and suggested I tag along. This was my chance to make a change. I started counting calories, did the weekly exercise class and lost 2lb in the first week, over 7lb in the first month, 4st in a year and, after two years, over 6st.
I only have one regret – I wish I’d done it years ago!
After I had my son in 2009, I couldn’t shift the weight. I tried a slimming club, but hated the food deprivation. Then I cut out carbs, but I ended up craving pasta!
When we went on holiday last year, I was a size-16. I felt too fat to wear my bikini and spent most of the time in a kaftan. Then I saw the photos, and knew I had to lose weight.
I asked my pharmacist for help, and he suggested Formoline, explaining it’d absorb fat from the food I eat.
I had two tablets with a healthy lunch or dinner and for three weeks nothing happened. But the next week I saw I’d lost 2lb. That continued every week, and now I’ve lost 3st!
With my new confidence, I’ve joined a gym, so I’m toning up too. We’re off on holiday again soon, and this time I’ll be back in my bikini!
‘I’ll buy your advert if you buy my diet.’
It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I was selling advertising space and by chance had cold-called a Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant. And I had loads of weight to lose!
I’d piled on 15st in 10 years, thanks to a diet of alcohol, junk food and a great social life!
In 2007, my GP warned me I needed to lose weight, so I ditched the junk food, took up walking and, in 10 months, lost 4st. But then my weight loss stopped and I wasn’t sure how to kick-start it again…until I made that phone call.
In place of conventional food, I had four liquid supplements a day. I never thought I’d survive on 600 calories a day, but I did, and I was spurred on by losing almost 1st in the first week!
I went on to lose a further 6st in six months. I’ve now managed to maintain my weight for two years, and these days, I run rather than walk, and I’ve just completed my second marathon!
‘It’s puppy fat, you’ll grow out of it,’ said my mum reassuringly. I was still at primary school then, but she was wrong. I didn’t!
I’d buy sweets on my way to school, choose pizza and chips for lunch – and then scoff more sweets on the way home.
My weight did bother me when I was growing up, especially when I got called names, but I thought I couldn’t change it.
By the time I left school, I was a size-16, but when size-18 started to get tight, I vowed not to buy size-20 – I just wore stretchy size-18s!
Then a friend at work said she was starting at Slimming World and did I want to go too? I was terrified and excited!
But that first week, I lost 4lb! That was it. I knew I could do it. It wasn’t easy – I had no clue about healthy eating! Also, I have a big appetite, but the diet worked for me as I could eat loads – inclduing my fave, jacket potatotes!
I lost 5st in just under a year. I never thought I’d know what it feels like to be slim – but I do now, and it’s great!
Then…13 1/2 st
Now…9 1/2 st
Where food is concerned, I was a human vacuum cleaner! I’d eat anything – fast food, frozen ready meals, mountains of chocolate.
Trouble was, I didn’t like the person I saw in the mirror. Even walking upstairs was an effort, but when my grandson was born, I realised that if I wanted to see him grow up, I needed to lose weight and get healthy.
I’d seen Jenny Craig advertised and when I rang, was delighted to speak to a real person who was so helpful.
Portion-controlled, the replacement meals tasted great. All I had to do was add fresh vegetables and fruit.
Best of all, it was delivered to my home every four weeks. As well as eating healthily, my counsellor encouraged me to exercise every day. So, I borrowed an exercise bike, bought a treadmill and skipped. I lost 4st in six months!
Now, I can easily keep up with my grandson, and when I look in the mirror, I like what I see!
I was always a thin child, full of energy and able to exercise all day long.
But when I was 22, I got very depressed and was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder. My unlimited energy was as early symptom.
I was put on medication, which, although it helped my condition, made me sleepy and hungry all the time. I put on almost 5st in six months! When my medication changed, I lost some weight, but as I was still taking the pills that made me raveneous, I started taking Zotrim – a plant-based weight-loss aid.
Within days, my appetite waned and my weight gain slowed.
When I came off the pills that made me hungry, the Zotrim really kicked in. I’m now a size-10 and shopping is joy once more!
When I had to buy my third set of bike leathers in three years – in a size-18 – I knew I had to lose weight! I was eating for the sake of it and I thought, Enough is enough!
Then a friend suggested I try Rezest, a three-phase programme of supplements and healthy eating.
The first phase included using a fat-burning spray under my tongue, 14 times every morning. And after 27 days, I’d lost 22lb!
In phase two, I began to introduce different foods back into my diet. I also started exercising and soon I was wearing a size-14.
The third and final phase is the rest of your life!
I’m now making the right food choices (well, most of the time!), I do aerobics, aqua jog and swimming, and I’ve lost nearly 4st!
I recently bought yet another set of bike leathers – but this time in a size-12! How great is that?
‘You’ve bought me what?’ I shrieked. ‘A Wii Fit?!’
My husband Derek said he loved me whatever my size, but did he really think I was fat? I”d weighed 10st for years, but put on 4 1/2st in 1999 when I was pregnant with my daughter Nicole, and struggled to lose it afterwards. So I joined a diet club and lost a couple of stone in two years.
My husband, bless him, had bought the Wii Fit to help me lose the extra weight. Well, I reluctantly gave it a go…and loved it! I was soon using it almost every day – yoga, keep fit, and my favourite, hula hoop!
I set myself a target to lose 7lb in two months, and did it easily! So I set myself another target, and then another…
I also went back to the diet club, and with healthy eating and my daily exercise, I’ve lost 2 1/2st, and I’ve kept it off ever since!
Weddings have a lot to answer for! Six years ago, I starved myself down to a size-10 to squeeze into a bridesmaid’s dress at a friend’s wedding. But I was constantly tired, my skin was dry and my hair started to fall out!
So I began to eat again and, within months, the weight was back.
Then, two years ago, I saw a photo of me and my boyfriend Robin at another wedding. In a size-24 frock, I looked awful!
I wanted to lose weight sensibly, so enrolled with Scottish Slimmers, who advocate healthy eating. At my first weigh-in, I was 16st 7lb. I’m only 5ft 5in! But 12 months on, I’d lost nearly 5 1/2 st and dropped six dress sizes.
Best of all, last Christmas Day, Robin proposed! If I hadn’t lost the weight, I don’t think I’d have accepted. Next August it’ll be me walking down the aisle in a stunning corset-style dress!
It was my husband’s birthday…We were shown to our table but, when I went to sit down, my bum was too big for the chair. I was so embarrassed!
I started to pile the weight on in 2007 after I had my handbag stolen – not once, but twice. And then, a year leater, I was carjacked in broad daylight.
I was terrified to go out after dark. so I stayed in – and ate.
When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t think I looked too bad, even at size-24, but that chair business changed everything.
Now I knew I had to lose weight. Yet I had no idea how.
I’d been driving past my local Curves gym almost every day for 18 months. But I couldn’t go in at my size, could I?
I poured my heart out to my mum, who took me to Curves to enrol! All my fears evaporated as I walked through the door. I was made so welcome! I loved my first session. I started in August 2009 and by Christmas I’d lost 22lb!
I changed my diet, too. Out went crisps, biscuits and junk food, replaced with healthy, home-cooked family meals.
I’m measured and weighed once a month. I’ve lost 6st, I’m a size-14 for the first time in ages, and I’m determined to be a size-12 by Christmas!
I was changing the baby on the floor, stood up and everything went black. I couldn’t see the baby – terrifying! Luckily my husband who works shfits, was upstairs but I couldn’t see for an hour.
I was suffering from intercranial hypertension, where the pressure of the fluid in my spine was too high. The main cause, I was told, was my size – and I could even end up blind for good.
I was put on medication, but I knew I had to lose weight.
I was big. I’d had six kids in four years, so my body never had time to recover between each pregnancy.
Then, last October, I saw a special offer to join Curves for free…so I did. And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done!
With five of my kids at school, I leave the baby with my husband, nip to the gym for a 30-minute workout, and I’m home in an hour.
I’ve also been following the Curves Eating Plan, so the family enjoys low-fat versions of our favourite meals.
I joined Curves in October 2010 and lost 4st in seven months. My doc is so pleased with me, I’m off medication completely and I have a clean bill of health.
We’d been to New York to celebrate out 10th wedding anniversary, but when we came back and I saw this photo, I was devastated!
I knew that, although I ate quite healthily, I ate way too much! A friend told me about Slimpod, a voice recording which, it’s claimed, could help me to think myself slim in 10 minutes a day!
There are 15 to choose from. I downloaded Drop Two Dress Sizes and listened to it every night as I drifted off to sleep. The first week, I lost 2lb, then after that, I lost 1lb a week.
I don’t quite know how it works, but I’ve found I’m not so hungry. I don’t snack, and I’ve the strength to say no!
I’d like to lose another stone before I go on holiday, so I’m going to download one of the exercise Slimpods to spur me into action!
“I hated myself. I was shopping for a posh frock for a wedding when it hit me.
“I’m 5ft 2in and a size 18, and every dress I tried on made me look fat. I’d put my weight problems down to an underactive thyroid, but when my GP said my BMI was dangerously high, I had to do something.
“I started Zest4Life and, two months later, I’d lost weight, but still felt bloated.
“It was suggested I might be intolerant to some foods, so I used a home kit and found I was intolerant to cow’s milk, citrus fruits and durum wheat.
“Initially, I did panic, as I love a cuppa – and pasta, too.
“But I cut them out and within weeks the weight just dropped off. My face and body has changed shape, my skin looks fantastic, and I’m brimming with conifidence.
“Now I love getting dressed up and going out!”
There are two years between each of my three kids – and I put on loads of weight when I was pregnant with each of them – and struggled to lose it!
After my last child was born, I tried a diet club, but even though I’d be good and eat salad in the day, come the evening, I’d stuff myself with treats!
A friend, who looked amazing, said she’d been on the Dukan Diet and lost weight. Why didn’t I give it a go?
I bought the book and started the low carb/high protein regime.
After the two-day kick-start, I settled down to swapping between an all-protein day, and a protein-plus-vegetable day. I lost half a stone the first week, and now I’ve shed over 7st!
Now, I’ve adapted the eating plan to suit my lifestyle, and I rarely touch carbs. If I overindulge, I put myself back on protein days, and I soon get back in shape!
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been plump. When I went to university in 1998, I was a size-18, but by the time I left, I was a size-24! Forget the student bar, I blame pasta for my downfall! It was just so quick, easy and cheap to make!
After that, I stayed the same size for years. My mum and sister were both slim – I was the fat one. I just thought that was my lot in life. But I used to go to yoga with Mum and started an aerobic class, too. But, while I was fairly fit, I never lost any weight.
Then a friend and her mum asked me if I’d like to go to Curves women-only fitness and health club with them. They really loved it – and said I would, too. So I thought, Why not? This might be a chance to lose a bit of weight after all!
On my first visit to the Curves gym, I just watched and tried out a few pieces of equipment but everyone was so friendly, I signed up for three sessions a a week – and never looked back!
Slolwy, I began to lose weight, just a couple of pounds every two or three weeks. Then, after a year, I began a weight-management programme that really kick-started my weight loss.
I still go to Curves three times a week, usually first thing. The half-hour session fits in with my lifestyle and it’s a brilliant way to start my day!
In 2 1/2 years I’ve lost 4st 11lb and I’m now a size 12/14. My aim is to get below 11st and lose 5st in total.
Now, I love shopping as I can buy whatever I want! I used to be fairly fit and fat, but now I’m super fat and slim! It certainly worked for me…
We had a holiday booked and I wanted to get slimmer and fitter. My trouble was that I liked food – lots of it. I was a big eater!
Last year, I started going to the gym and, with a combination of the Dukan diet and Cabbage Soup Diet, I lost nearly 3st. But it took a long time, and I was so bored with being good! I missed all the foods I really liked.
My weight-loss stalled. I wanted to lose more, but I couldn’t bear the thought of another diet.
I read about FULLfast, a spray that claimed to stop craving and help you feel fuller. So I gave it a go.
Nothing happened for four days then, on the fifth day, I realised I didn’t feel as hungry. I’d also lost my mid-afternoon sweets craving! I lost 12lb in the next four weeks.
I’ve stopped using the spray now. I’m eating less – and I haven’t put any weight back on. I got into my holiday bikini, too. Happy days!
I was slim until I had kids – four in 10 years. Each time I ended up bigger than when I’d started!
Then last year I had to go to the doctor with a thyroid problem. Blood tests showed that I was pre-diabetic. If I didn’t lose weight, I’d be on insulin for the rest of my life.
I’d seen the Tony Ferguson Weightloss Programme in my local Boots, so I decided to try it.
With a shake or bar for breakfast and lunch, plus fruit in the day, veg with lunch and a carb-free dinner, I lost 7lb in the first week and 5-st in eight months.
The shakes fill you up and, if I was peckish, I’d have a bowl of sugar-free jelly or a glass of water.
I used to go to Boots for a weekly weigh-in, and there’s an online forum where, if you have a problem, someone answers in just a few minutes. I’m the smallest I’ve been in decades…and it feels great!
‘Hey, wait for me!’ It was Easter 2009 and I was walking around the track at Brands Hatch with a bunch of mates, but I couldn’t keep up, and they left me behind. I had to lose weight!
I started putting on weight when I was 12. I used to snack on crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks. Over the next 16 years, I kept on getting bigger, until I was wearing 48-in waist trousers!
I’d decided to lose weight, and I bought the home-fitness programme EA Sports Active 2 to use on my Wii.
The first day, I tried a gentle 20-minute workout, but I was so unfit that after six minutes, I had to have a sit-down on the settee!
But after using it every day for two weeks, I’d lost 2lb. I also started to eat sensibly and in nine months, lost 15st – half my weight!
I still work out every day – but on the hardest levels. I’ve got masses of energy and no-one leaves me behind any more!
‘I’m going to join Slimming World,’ said my friend Zoe. ‘I’ll go with you,’ I said.
I knew she really wanted to go, I was only going as support.
Not that I didn’t need to lose weight! I’ve always had to watch what I eat, and I’d been slowly getting heavier for years.
I put it down to the good life – eating too much, enjoying a few drinks, and always driving, never walking.
At my first meeting none of it made any sense to me, but I went along with it and, a week later, I’d lost 5lb!
Well that was it, I was 100 percent committed. Along with sensible eating, I walk everywhere. I run up the stairs at work, do yoga and Pilates. I’ve lost over 3st in just five months, and I feel great.
Now when I wear my size-8 jeans and I’m told that I look amazing, I’m absolutely thrilled to bits!
Then…17st 7lb Now…12st 2lb
My sister and I were at a wedding fayre. ‘Hey, look sis!’ I said. ‘We could have your hen party at a GI Jane Bootcamp!’
My sister thought it was a daft idea, but I quite fancied it and picked up a brochure.
Back home, I went online and signed up for a week’s course. Back then, I was a size-22. I’d put on weight when I was in a relationship, but when it started to go wrong, I just ate more to comfort myself.
But I loved bootcamp! Even with big marines waking me up early, making me go on long walks and lift weights, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face! The food was good, I made great friends and I lost 7lb. I came back inspired. It was the push I needed to join a diet club. Now I’ve lost 5st, chucked in my old job and, this summer, I’m working in sunny Spain!
I was tired, both physically and mentally. Tired of my thighs chaffing, of sweating all the time and worrying about exposing a builder’s bum because I couldn’t find trousers that wouldn’t fall down with a belt! I was only 25 – and exhausted!
At 13, I was 13st, and my weight kept pace with my age until I was 25. I scoffed crisps and chocolate secretly as a child and, as I got older, my whole day revolved around eating.
I’d tried losing weight before, but then my mum more or less frog-marched me to a Sure Slim clinic! As the consultant explained how it worked, I realised I’d eaten more in the last 24 hours than most folk eat in a week!
I was given a tailor-made diet – good, healthy, portion-controlled food. And I stuck to it. I lost 12lb in the first week, 10lb in the second. It took 12 years to put it on but in 12 months I lost 12 1/2st! Now I’m literally half the man I was – and it feels good!
Sweet tooth? I’ve a whole mouth filled with them! And I used to indulge every day – with chocolate cake, my all-time favourite.
In 2009, I mananged to lose a stone for my brother’s wedding, but it took three months – and nobody noticed!
So, when a friend who’d lost 6st told me about a diet plan called Howard’s Way, in July last year, I signed up.
The idea of eating just soups, shakes and bars sounded drastic, but it wasn’t so hard!
I felt tired and hungry for the first week, but, once I focused on what I was doing, I was never tempted to cheat. I lost half a stone in the first two weeks, then 3-4lb a week after that. In five months, in time for Christmas, I’d lost 5st!
Now, I actually have the willpower to resist chocolate – something that I never thought would be possible! I’m in control.
It was my husband’s 50th birthday and everyone was dressed up to the nines – except me. I wore size-20 trousers and a shapeless black cardi, hoping no-one would notice me. How could I have let myself go like this?
One day, out shopping, I saw a display for LighterLife. I went over for a chat and came away with leaflets, yet still I did nothing!
Finally, in April last year, I went for an assessment with LighterLife. After the go-ahead from my GP, I gave up my usual food and, in its place, had four choices from shakes, soup, porridge and bars.
It took a few days to get used to it, but then I never looked back! I lost 1st in the first two weeks, and 6st in seven months!
I feel fab! I love being slim, and my husband tells everyone he’s got a new bird! In a couple of months, I’ll celebrate my 50th. And, at this birthday bash, I’ll be fit, not fat!
My father-in-law was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2007, and given just months to live.
That year, I ran the Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research. I say ‘ran’ – I managed to get around in 42 minutes!
Sadly, my father-in-law died after six months. I also had a friend die at just 31 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leaving two children.
The two deaths made me think about my own mortality and while there are some things we have no control over, I could do something about my weight.
I’m 5ft and my waist was 37in! So I bought a Rosemary Conley book, and, with her plan, lost 9lb in two weeks.
I joined a Rosemary Conley class and in six months, I’d lost over 2 1/2 st – and am now a size-8.
I still run Race for Life and last year did it in 31 minutes.
I’m also training for a marathon this October. But thinking of the people I’ve lost and how brave they were, motivates me to stay on track.
Then: Varsha… 16st 9lb, Harish… 20st
Now: Varsha… 11st, Harish… 12st 7lb
“We live with my in-laws and my mother-in-law is a wonderful cook – curries, roti, chappatis, all cooked in ghee!
“I was slim until I had my first baby, but while I was pregnant, I ate for two, and put on lots of weight. I never lost it either!
“By the time my second child was 3, I was size 22 and 16st 9lb. I wasn’t alone – my husband Harish was getting bigger, too.
“When a friend told me about LighterLife, I mentioned it to Harish, and he said, ‘Well make sure you stick to it this time!’ Right, I thought, I’ll show you – and that made me more determined to succeed.
“With four choices a day of porridge, soup, milkshake or a protein bar, I lost 11lbs in the first week. But it was tough for the first 3 days as I had headaches caused by carbohydrate withdrawal.
“I also found it hard cooking for the children – I’d send them to my mother’s for dinner!
“I carried on losing around 4-5lbs a week. After 6 months, I’d reached my goal weight.
“Then Harish also started LighterLife. But he hit his target in just over 5 months – that’s men for you!
“Now, I use olive oil in place of ghee, I grill rather than fry, and we eat much less than we did before!
“My mother-in-law might not be ready to hang up her frying pan just yet, but she enjoys my new, healthier recipes!”
Harish says: “When I saw how successful Varsha was, I decided to give it a go. Now my kids love their new slim mummy and daddy and no longer tease me about my weight. The downside is that I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe!”
I’d been in denial about my weight, but when I saw my holiday photos, I knew I had to do somethng about it!
It didn’t help that I loved my grub, and my favourite thing ever was chocolate…
When I heard about LighterLife I knew it was what I needed. The good thing for me was that the only decision I had to make was what items to eat from porridge, shakes, soups or a bar.
It wasn’t easy at first, but I’m very focused and knew that I’d succeed!
Best of all, I lost 7lb the first week – and then an average of 3lb a week. I lost 8st to reach my goal in just 10 months.
I did Pilates to help tone my body, and these days I do lots of exercise.
To celebrate my weight loss, I went mountain climbing in Majorca with my dad, something I could never have done before!
Then: Amanda… 15st 10lb, Paul… 27st 8lb
Now: Amanda… 9st 13lb, Paul… 20st 4lb
“I was so jealous. Paul’s sister had signed him up for a 12-week weight-loss challenge wtih Herbalife, but not me! Like a lot of couples, we were happy and complacent. We ate and drank lots and at first didn’t worry that we were piling on the pounds.
“We ate badly. Takeaways, pizza, biscuits – and, my favourite – doughnuts. I’d get them on special offer and scoff a whole packet one after the other!
“Then Paul’s weight started to get him down. He stopped wanting to go out with me. So he was ready for this Herbalife challenge – and he lost 20lbs in 12 weeks. Then I signed us both up for another 12 weeks.
“The first week, I lost 11lbs! Then an average of 3lbs a week. It took me a year to reach my target. I’ll never go back to my old ways.
“Paul also bought me a dog so we had an excuse to go for a walk. At first we struggled just to make it around the block – but now we walk miles!
“But without doubt, the best thing about us both losing weight is that I’ve got my partner back. Since Paul’s lost over 7st, his confidence has rocketed.
Paul says: “Words can’t explain how fantastic it feels to have lost weight. I feel I’ve got my life back and now have a sense of purpose and direction I wish I’d done it years ago.”
Then… 15st 10lb
Now… 9st 10lb
Weight Loss…6 st
‘Brushing my teeth one morning, I looked up into the mirror – and saw my mum! She’d been very overweight and died of a massive heart attack when she was just 54.
‘Avril, I thought, you’ve got to do something!
‘I’ve struggled with my weight all my life, eating too much of the wrong things and doing next-to-no exercise. I’d even drive half a mile to the local chippy, eat fish and chips, then drive back to work!
‘Over the years, I’ve tried all manner of diets, lost weight, then put it all back on. But this time it was different – I really wanted to do it…
‘So I started at Slimming World, as there was a daytime group that fitted in with my work hours. I found I could eat lots of filling food and still lose weight! Chicken, rice, lean meat, pasta, fish, veg, fruit – and the occasional treat too. I never felt hungry.
‘I started to see results from week one, and lost 1 stone in the first month. It took me just over a year to lose 6 stone in all.
‘I’m strict with myself, and when I set my sights on something, I really go all all-out for it. I still keep to the rules and have maintained my weight for almost a year. I walk everywhere, and I’ve recently started running – setting myself the challenge of doing the 5k Race for Life this year.
‘Now I want nothing more than to celebrate my 60th birthday and, even if I’m wizened and wrinkly, I’d love to reach 80, too.’
Weight loss…23st 7lb
‘When I was just 14, I had a growth spurt – and the bones in my ankles fused together making me walk oddly. I was so badly bullied for it, I missed the last 18 months of school altogether.
‘But I found comfort in food. Lots of it…
‘I’d eat 24 packets of crisps, a loaf of bread made into sandwiches, plus I’d drink 2 litres of cola – just while I watched a film on TV!
‘I was desperately unhappy and, by the time I was 18, I weighed 18 stone.
‘Life changed when I went to college, met a new bunch of friends and started playing American football. They were looking for a bunch of big guys, and I was certainly that. I was big but could still run around. And I loved it.
‘Then I settled down, became a dad and worked at night and looked after the kids during the day. Before long I fell back into my old ways, and went from 25st to 32st in just a year!
‘Everything ached – my ankles, knees, back. I was recommended for a gastric bypass, and six years later, weighing 42st, I finally had the op.
‘For the first three months, I survived on little more than water and very thin soup. Even now, four years on, I can still only manage small amounts.
‘Now I belong to a gym, I weigh 18 1/2 stone and I’m training for the local Strongman competition…
‘Because I need to put on muscle, yet I can’t eat many calories, I take a supplement called Udo’s Choice. It provides energy without adding weight.
‘Slowly but surely, I’m burning off extra body fat. Trouble is, I still have a huge spare tyre of loose skin around my middle that looks and feels horrendous.
‘I hate it, and though I was promised the op to get rid of it when I had my bypass, my local health authority has now stopped my funding, and my only option is to find £7,000 to have it done privately.
‘I’ve still got a way to go until I’m really happy with my body – but look how far I’ve come!’
It was during uni that the weight piled on. My eating habits had already changed when I moved into digs, but then my beloved gran pased away from bone cancer…
I was devastated and found comfort in snacking – cakes, biscuits, crisps….and my favourite, a sharing bag of Minstrels that I didn’t share!
I’d known my husband since I was 18, and he loved me whatever my size, and when we got marrried in June 2006, my wedding dress was a size-22.
But those wedding photos made me want to lose weight! So I joined a gym and started to eat healthily.
In a year, I’d lost over 2st. I then joined Slimming World and, nine months later, I’d lost over 5st in total.
I’ve run the 5km Race for Life every year since 2003 in memory of my gran.
My best time is 26 minutes. But now I’m a mum to Thomas, 10 months, I’m not training as hard, so anything under 30 minutes will do this year.
Gran’s my motivation. She was a fighter and thinking of her inspires me to run because of the courage she showed in battling her cancer.
Weight Loss…9st 3lb
‘We’re going to have to order in a special heavy-duty operating table,’ said the doctor. I’d been diagnosed with cervical cancer and was being taken in for an emergency hysterectomy.
‘I vowed, then and there, that if I got through this, I’d lose weight once and for all…and keep it off.
‘Even as a teenager, I was big. Growing up, I was always encouraged to finish everything on my plate. I could never eat one biscuit, it’d be the whole packet.
‘I’d comfort eat in secret to make myself feel better about my size, ending up a size-30.
‘But cancer? What a wake-up call!
‘Thank Heaven, I got the all clear, but now I was determined to lose weight. I’d gone to Rosemary Conley classes years ago, before I had my kids, and I knew it involved sensible eating and exercise. With no self-confidence, this time I decided to do it on-line.
‘I weighed myself for the first time in years – and my weight went off the scale and around again for a second time. And my scales went up to 19 stone!
‘But, after months of sensible eating and exercise DVDs at home, I’d lost 2 stone. Now I felt confident enough to go to a class.
‘At that first meeting, I’m sure I was the biggest in the room. But I was given a warm welcome and, when I joined in the exercise, I did what I could – there was no pressure.
‘I lost weight steadily – 6 stone in the first year – reaching my goal after 2 1/2 years. Now I go to at least six exercise classes a week. They call me the Duracell Bunny because I jump up and down so much!
‘Life is great, I feel amazing, and a few months ago, I was even named as Regional Slimmer of the Year.
‘Best of all, my kids are no longer embarrassed by their fat mum who used to take up two chairs at parents evenings, and was turned off rides at theme parks because she was too big to fit.’
Weight loss…12 stone
‘Last year, my grandad came to visit from Cyprus – and the last thing he said before he left was that I was so fat, I had no neck.
‘He was right! I had a 54in waist, too, and was 27 1/2 stone. I’d always been fat. When I was 7, I was taken to see a dietician. They said I’d grow out of it. I didn’t! As I got older, all I did was grow out as well as up!
‘I was eating huge portions. I’d go to a fast-food place on my way home from work, get three meals and say they were for my friends – then scoff the lot. And when I got home, I’d eat another meal that Mum cooked.
‘I couldn’t find clothes to fit me in the shops, so had to buy them off the Internet.
‘My weight was such a problem, I left my job and I was at an all-time low when I realised I’d never weighed less than my age.
‘I was thinking about having a gastric band, but kept being told I should try LighterLife. I’d heard about it, good and bad – blah, blah, blah, I thought! But then I was given the number of a girl who’d lost 11st with it, so I rang her and had a long chat. She convinced me it was the answer.
‘LighterLife’s a weight-loss and counselling programme. I’d have to give up my normal food and eat a special porridge, soup, milkshake, and a cereal bar each day. I thought it’d be hard, but it wasn’t – especially after I lost 15lb in the first week!
‘The milestone of getting down to 22 stone when I was aged 23 was great, as I was actually older than my weight for the first time I could recall! I kept on losing 7lb a week and, in six months, I’d lost 11 stone.
‘The all-male counselling sessions really helped, delving into the reasons why I overate. It all started to fall into place. I also began walking and then, as I lost weight, I started to run.
‘I even did the London Marathon earlier this year. My time? A respectable 5 1/2 hours. Now, I’m also starting to use weights, as getting a six-pack is my next challenge!
‘Best of all, when I went to Cyrpus to surprise Grandad and Grandma, they didn’t recognise the new me!’
In December 1999, my sister said she was getting married the next summer. I was a size-26 – so I had good reason to lose weight. On 1 January 2000, I thought, New Millennium, new me!
Trouble was, I cooked for my kids, but worked full-time, and it was easier to grab a takeaway for me. Chinese, Indian, fish and chips…
So I started to prepare healthy meals and cut down on portion sizes. By the wedding, I’d lost 4 1/2 stone and was a size-16.
Afterwards, my reason for losing weight had gone, but in 2006, I decided to lose weight and keep it off.
In the May, I joined a gym, though it took me ages to pluck up the courage. I soon realised no-one cares what you look like and that it’s essential for your health to exercise.
I’d go before work and a couple of evenings, too. I’ve now lost 8st in all and for the first time ever I’m a size-12. And I plan to stay that way!
I used to swear that clothes sizes were getting smaller, but I knew I was fooling myself! I never did any exercise. I’d skip breakfast and eat chocolate and crisps mid-morning, and it was much simpler to buy a takeaway than cook.
Then I saw a photo of me at a mate’s 30th birthday and couldn’t deny any longer how big I’d got!
That was last November…Come New Year, I began to eat healthily, I joined a gym and started to take a supplement – Capsiplex. I’d read that it could make you lose weight just sitting at your desk!
I took it half an hour before exercise. It seemed to help – in the first 10 days of taking it, I lost 11lb! And I’ve now lost over 3 1/2 st.
I’ve always been busty and my boobs have stayed the same size. My mates say I’m like Dolly Parton now! Still, I don’t mind, as these days I’m just really proud of my fabulous new figure!
She’s fat! I thought. It took me a minute to realise I was staring in a changing-room mirror!
I blame chocolate. My mum left when I was seven, and chocolate made things feel better. Trouble was my dad owned a corner shop so it was too easy to get!
I’d tried to diet, but never taken it seriously. I especially hated exercise – but knew I had to get moving to lose weight.
That’s why I started at Rosemary Conley in January 2007. With sensible eating and an aerobic class, the pounds dropped off me.
I lost a stone in four weeks, and when I went on holiday in the June, I’d lost 4st and bought my first ever bikini. Six months earlier, I’d been a size-20!
When I came back, I lost another stone – 5 st in all – and it’s the most uplifting feeling ever!
What the heck! I thought, tucking into another packet of crisps, followed by a cheese baguette.
After all, I was pregnant. During the pregnancy, I put on over 3st and instead of losing it after, I put on more.
Then, one day, I’d strewn all my clothes across the bedroom – nothing fitted! But I wanted to be a yummy mummy not a fat one.
I decided to try Diet Chef, where everything’s delivered to your door. It leaves little room to cheat, and all I had to do was add veg, heat and eat it.
I wasn’t expecting it to taste good – but it did! And, used to big portions, I also thought I’d be hungry – but I wasn’t.
I lost 5lb the first week and 3lb in the second and third weeks! In seven months I’ve lost almost 4st and everyone says I look great!
I’ve found out I’m pregnant again, but now I’m a yummy mummy – and I plan to stay that way!
‘Ditch the weight or you’ll end up like your dad,’ my GP said.
My dad was overweight and had just been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. The doctor prescribed me appetite suppressants. They worked, but when I stopped taking them I put the weight straight back…and more!
I’d started getting big after a knee op in 2002 stopped me exercising. But once I was back on my feet, I still never exercised!
I was also finishing work at midnight, and there was fast-food galore on the way home! I was living in Australia then, but in April 2009 I moved to the UK, and started an Avon round. I was walking every day and started to lose weight…
Then I got a busy cleaning job and in a year I lost 5st. As well as Avon, I’m also a nanny now and running after a 5-year-old sure burns off calories!
I’d always had aching joints, but one day my foot gave way! I knew my weight was to blame.
That was in October 2008, and we were due to to go to Lapland. So I dieted and lost 1st, but my size-20 skiing gear was still tight!
Because I had a lot to lose, I chose the Cambridge Weight Plan. It was so hard at first, but after two weeks, it got easier. I’d have a shake for breakfast, a bar for lunch, and soup in the evening. In nine months I’d lost 6 1/2 stone.
I never once cheated, but when I cooked my family a roast once, I cried upstairs while they ate it.
Now I eat healthily and exercise daily. Plus, we went back to Lapland and my new size-10 ski gear was roomy!
Takeaways have a lot to answer for! I started gaining weight when I was 18, the same time as I starting going out. Along with booze came pizzas, burgers and kebabs!
When I got married in 2006 I was 15 stone, but we started eating takeaways at least three times a week – two years later I weighed 17st 12lb.
A friend of mine went to Weight Watchers so I tagged along – being an accountant, I liked the idea of counting points!
I soon learnt healthy eating habits and I joined a gym. Slowly but surely I lost weight and this February I reached my goal having shed 7 stone!
I thought I had no willpower, but I was wrong. I still eat healthily and exercise. I see it as a lifestyle change, not a diet, and I won’t go back to being a size 24…
Yes, I was big, but I thought I looked pretty good – until I saw this photo of me on holiday! I weighed 15 1/2 st.
Then I saw an article about the New You Boot Camp and thought: I could do that! My dad was in the military so the tough-love approach appealed!
I signed up for a week’s camp, and, boy, was I in for a shock! I was so unfit, I could hardly run 200 yards – and by the end of day two, I was really struggling.
Running with logs, pushing a minibus (with people in it!), war games, mountain biking, push-ups – I did the lot.
But I lasted the course and by the end of the week I’d lost half a stone and dropped a dress size!
When I got home, I started to run on my own, I ate healthly and in eight months (and another boot camp visit!) I’d lost a brilliant 5 1/2 st.
These days, I’ll still eat a curry, but next day I’ll go for a six-mile run to compensate.
That’s my pay-off deal – and it works for me!
When I had my first child six years ago, I only put on 2 stone and got my figure back in three months with exercise and healthy eating.
Second time around, I wasn’t so lucky. Two years ago, when I was pregnant again, I piled on 2 1/2 stone during the pregnancy and another 1 1/2 stone after!
I was struggling with my weight when a friend told me about Fulfull Plus, a slimming product that makes you feel full.
I was a bit sceptical, but I started taking three capsules with a glass of water before each main meal. On the second day, I had my usual pasta salad for lunch and after I’d eaten just half, I felt satisfied.
So I started having smaller poritions and the first week I lost around 4lb, then it steadied to between 2-3lb a week.
Four months on and I’d lost 4 1/2 stone and I feel like I’ve got the old me back again!
I’ve always been curvy, but when my dad died suddenly five years ago, it made me think about my health and size.
Over the next few years, I tried fad diets, but none worked for me.
Then a friend told me about Eatertypes, an online assessment that matches a diet to your eating personality. I was identifed as an Energy Eater – no surprise, as I love carbs!
I started to eat the right food for me and lost 7lb in two weeks! I also started taking DECarb, a complex that stops your body turning carbs to fat and all I can say is that it works!
A year on I’ve lost 3st 9lb and am a size 10 for the first time since I was in my teens!
I joined WeightWatchers 15 years ago, lost 4st in seven months and kept it off for 14 years.
Then in August 2007, I found out I was pregnant, and rewarded myself with treats. But they turned into binges, and by the middle of my pregnancy, I’d eat four iced Belgian buns a day, burgers and chips and toast until I was stuffed!
Six weeks after I had my little girl I weighed 14st 8lb. So it was back to WeightWatchers!
I went every week, and also started walking miles with the buggy.
Slowly the weight came off and I got to my original goal weight just before last Christmas – a great present!
I returned to work in May, and have to avoid the temptation of the biscuit tin, not to mention the cakes on birthdays. But now I’m strong enough to resist!
I still count my points religiously and watch what I eat. Now I’m slim – and I’m determined to stay that way.
I put on 3st when I was pregnant with my first child, and that made me 19st – my heaviest ever! I was told I was too fat to go into labour and I had to have a C-section instead.
I was devastated, and vowed that I’d lose weight so that next time I could give birth naturally. I started by cutting out bread and pasta, and I began to eat a lot more fruit and veg. It worked and the weight began to fly off. I dropped a dress size in just a few weeks!
I couldn’t afford to go to the gym, so instead I bought a pile of workout DVDs and used them when my baby was napping!
After a year, I’d lost over 4st, and the weight loss really slowed down. But I needed to lose more! That’s when I started to take Perfect 10, a natural green-tea supplement that boosts your metabolism.
It comes with an online programme so I could keep a check of my weight and what I was eating. This was just the kick-start I needed. In another year, I’d reached my goal weight and lost 9st 11lb – over half my original body weight!
Just after, I fell pregnant again, but this time I put on much less weight and gave birth naturally!
‘Sorry, you’ll have to get off, you’re too fat!’ I was on a rollercoaster with mates and the safety bar wouldn’t go down. I ran off in floods of tears.
I’d been a chubby child, but had piled on weight in 2002 when my mum was ill. I comfort-ate packets of biscuits, burgers, chips, the lot. I just couldn’t stop despite being told by my doctor that I had high blood pressure and that I needed to lose some weight.
It was only when I came home from holiday and saw this photo that I knew I had to do something about it. My dress was a nice colour, but it was shapeless, and like all my clothes, elasticated!
I hated it. So I joined Slimming World, a mate of mine was already going and I lost 8lb the first week! Unbelievable really, as I was actually eating more than I used to and even chocolate and alcohol weren’t off limits!
It took me just over a year and a half to lose 6st 8lb and get to my goal weight. But now my blood pressure is normal and I can wear what I like – everything in every shop now fits me! So no more elastic waistbands for me ever!
Then: Sheena… 13st lb, Jim …16st
Now: Sheena… 9st 1lb, Jim …11st 8lb
“‘We’re off to join a Rosemary Conley class, do you want to come?’ my friends at work asked. I moaned about my size all the time – and I guess they were sick of listening to me!
“Well, I tagged along, and when I got there I saw the light! It was so motivating, I went home fired up and ready to go.
“Now, my hubby Jim is a great cook. And if it tastes good (and it does), I’d eat it no question.
“We never thought about how much we were eating, and over the years, and 3 kids later, we’d both put on weight, loving each other no matter what size.
“But Jim went along with my diet plan because he loved me and wanted to do it for me. He prepared all my meals according to Rosemary’s recipes – and most important, served up much smaller portions!
“That first week, I lost 5 1/2 lbs, which was a great incentive to carry on. But rather than cook 2 different meals, we started to eat the same. We’d also just started to grow our own veg, so Jim was out there in the garden for hours, digging and planting.
“Although he never came to a single class with me, he was losing weight… but neither of us noticed!
“I got to my goal weight, losing 4st in just five months, and in the same time, Jim lost 4st 6lb! Now I’m back to my pre-marriage size, and Jim couldn’t be more proud, as I’m brimming with confidence and he has the old me back in every way. And as for Jim, well he’s lost that huge beer belly and now he not only feels fit – he looks it, too!”
Jim says: “I wanted to cook healthy meals for Sheena, but I soon started to eat the same thing. I’d had high blood pressure for years and when I went for a check-up the doctor commented that I’d lost a lot of weight. I hadn’t even noticed, but he was right.
“A few weeks later, I put on a suit and the trousers fell down and the jacket looked about three sizes too big!
“I feel great now, my blood pressure is normal and I’m off the medication.
“We simply used to eat too much of everything, but now we’ve got everything back in proportion.”
My daughter had just given birth and my grandson Callum, then 4, turned to me and said, ‘Mummy’s had her baby, but, Nana, when are you having yours?’ I was mortified!
I’d been a yo-yo dieter for over 30 years. I’d tried every diet and always put the weight back on – and more – until I was a size 24!
My health was suffering. I had to lean on the sink to wash up and climb the stairs on all fours!
Then I bought a slimming mag and was so inspired by one story, I tried the Slimming World plan myself.
I loved it! No foods were banned, and I ate three meals a day including my favourite chicken curry with pilau rice and Bombay potatoes – I never felt hungry or deprived.
In just over a year, I’d hit my target and lost over 6st, which I’ve kept off. Now I’m a size 10 to 12, feel younger than ever, and, best of all I can run around with my grandchildren until they’re tired!
“I was 23st 10lb at my biggest but had the attitude of ‘Oh, well, I’ll be OK.’
“Then I went to my GP with an eye problem. I had a blood test and was told I had Type-2 diabetes. But it was the best thing that could’ve happened – as it made me determined to lose weight.
“So, last year, I joined WeightWatchers and now weigh 15st!
“Looking at old photos, I now realise how big I was and how much I put my health at risk.
“These days, I eat healthily and can almost control my diabetes naturally.
“I hated running, but this year I entered the Great Manchester Run to raise money for Diabetes UK.
” I trained hard, running every other night and using Wii Fit in between. Now, I can chase after my 5 and 3-year-olds and not feel cream crackered!”
Even though I was a size-24, I loved the aqua-aerobics class – but afterward I couldn’t dry myself or get dressed, I was so tired! I had to just sit for 20 minutes until I felt stronger. That scared me and I knew, once and for all, I had to lose weight.
It all started with an undereactive thryroid which meant I piled on the weight and, although the medication stopped me gaining any more, it didn’t help me lose it, either. But that was more than 20 years ago and since then my weight has yo-yoed.
Shakes instead of meals, slimming clubs, I’d tried the lot.
Then I heard about Go Lower, a diet plan using high-protein, low-carb meals to trigger fat-burning. Best of all, the meals are delivered to your door.
I signed up for 16 weeks and lost 8lb in the first week. After four months, I’d lost 5st 9lb. Now I’m a size-14 and as well as aqua aerobics, I even hit the gym twice a week!
How much? I was having my annual checkup at the hospital and I couldn’t believe how much I weighed! Well, that was it – there was no way I was going to be 15st!
I’d been putting on weight slowly over the past 20 years, but now I was struggling to get up the stairs or out of the bath. I also had four small grandchildren who I’d dearly have loved to play with, but I simply couldn’t keep up with them.
So I went home and emptied my cupboards, refilling them with fresh veg, salad and fruit, fish and chicken. I cut out butter and all fried food.
Just over a year later I’ve lost 4 ½ st and I’m wearing jeans for the first time in my life. I’m a size 10 top too… I’ve never been this tiny!
Now I can hop in and out of the bath and instead of watching my grandchildren have fun, I’m there joining in!
Life sucked! First my ex-husband Andrew died, and then I lost my job as as HR Director. It was 2008 and things were looking pretty grim. And to top things off, I was a big, flabby mess!
I’d always been big, weighing between 13 and 14st for years. But I used to think I ate healthily, so I guess it was simply the amount of food I was eating that led to me being a size-24.
I’d have a huge bowl of muesli for breakfast, two or three glasses of orange juice, four slices of bread, never two. I super-sized everything.
Finding clothes was a nightmare. Despite being big I still had a waist, and when something fitted on the hips, it was enormous around my middle.
But, looking on the bright side, with a nice fat redundancy cheque, I thought this was a good chance to get fitter. So the day after I was made redundant, I joined David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Maidenhead.
I also signed up for some sessions with Greg, a personal trainer.
I thought I was going to die after my first session! Not only did I feel physically sick, the next day I couldn’t move. Everything ached.
I nicknamed Greg my ‘personal sadist’!
But the exercise had given me a real buzz and, never one to give in, I worked out with Greg twice a week.
Within a month I’d lost a stone. I also joined Slimming World, and because I planned ahead, I always had plenty of good, healthy food in the house.
In 18 months I lost around 7st. Yes, I’m slim now, but I’m also a different woman.
One day someone at the gym said, ‘Why don’t you become a spinning instructor?’ Me? You must be joking!
Well, these days, I not only teach aerobics and spinning at five gyms, I’m also a qualified personal trainer with clients.
I love helping people who don’t think they can do it. I can say to them, ‘If I can do it, so can you!’
Now, after bringing up my son Michael, 19, and being on my own for 15 years, I’m getting married. I met my fiance Adrian at one of my spinning classes!
For all those years I was large, and even now, when I go shopping, I still can’t believe I’m a size-10. But I am!
Would you like to test our fitness DVD? Tell us why we should consider you? said the Facebook posting…
I was interested, but why should they choose me?
A 10-year abusive relationship had made me feel worthless and, even though I’d ended it two years ago, I still had no confidence.
So I was in shock when Ministry of Sound said they’d like me to test their Pump It Up Bodyburn DVD!
It arrived in October, and I worked out four times a week.
There are so many moves to learn, but the music’s great and I was hooked! It also comes with a healthy eating plan, and, six weeks later, I’d lost 11lb – and could see a six-pack forming!
Best of all, I have my confidence back and friends are amazed at my new look!
“I was overweight because I ate the wrong things – and too much of them.
“But, now my daughter was starting school, I didn’t want her to be teased because of her fat mummy.
“At my biggest, I was a size-28. But I wore it well, always smiling, while inside I felt terrible. I did lose 5 1/2 st a few years ago at WeightWatchers. It took a year – and the same time to pile it back on!
“So I took out a loan to have a gastric-band op at the Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull. It took less than an hour, I was in for a day and back at work within a week. With my stomach the size of an egg, at first it was liquids only, then pureed food, but in just six weks I lost 3st!
“Now, I can more or less have what I like, but I still can’t eat too much stodge!
“But I’ve got lots of loose skin that needs to be removed, this time on the NHS. I’ve got an appointment in December, so finger crossed, it’ll get the go-ahead!”
‘You’ve put on weight,’ said one of my co-workers. Yes, I thought, I know, you don’t have to tell me!
I’d just come back from holiday in California, where I couldn’t believe the huge portion sizes. I took full advantage – stuffing myself every day for two weeks – and I put on at least half a stone!
But, in fact, I’d been overweight since starting college eight years ago. My trouble was always overeating.
Though I’d tried eating less and exercising, I could never keep it up.
I hated the idea of a liquid, shakes-only diet, but a friend suggested I try Diet Chef as it lets you have three proper meals a day.
And it worked for me! I ordered the food online, and it was delivered to my door. I took the sachets to work with me to heat in the microwave.
I lost 5lb in the first week and 1st 9lb over six weeks, dropping to a size-12 for the first time in years!
I like the brand-new me, a person who’s been there all along, hiding inside my body!
For a long time, I wanted to own a Rosemary Conley franchise, but I was told I needed to lose weight!
You see, I was a size-22, and I needed to have a healthy BMI of 25 before they’d take me on!
Finally, in October 2009, I signed up to Rosemary Conley online and lost 1st by Christmas.
In the New Year, I was given an interview date of 30 Jan – and I lost another stone before then, too!
My second interview date was for 6 weeks later, and I was told I had to lose another stone! So I started going to a Rosemary Conley class, which involves exercise as well as healthy eating, and I got within 3lb of my goal!
I was taken on, and before I started training last June, I hit my target, losing almost 3 1/2st in 8 months.
I now run 10 classes a week, and also teach aerobics. People say I look 15 years younger. They’re right – I do!
Then…18 1/2 stone
Now…11 1/2 stone
‘Come on, Dad, say cheese! We’ll put you on Facebook,’ said my teenage daughter, holding a camera.
No way was my photo being posted for all to see! I’d been big for over 20 years. It started when my wife had two miscarriages.
At the time, women were offered support, but not their partners. It affected me badly and I found comfort in eating.
We went on to have two daughters, but I still overate…
Then, last January, I saw an ad for Diet Chef. It did a man’s diet with granola for breakfast, soups or shakes for lunch and microwave dinners. So I signed up, and by May I was down to 12st. Now I’m 11 1/2 st with a 32-in waist!
People I’ve known for years don’t recognise me! I feel like a new man…And yes, I’m now on Facebook!
“‘You’ll always be welcome,’ said the woman as she pressed a flyer into my hand. It was an invitation to join the local ladies’ rugby team!
“Though my family thought it was hilarious, I felt humiliated. So I really did look like a prop forward!
“I’d been so fit in the past, but what with marriage, kids and work, over the years I’d ballooned to a size 20.
“So I started to count calories, began exercising and I lost a stone. But after that, no matter how little I ate or how hard I worked out, I couldn’t shift another pound.
“It was soul-destroying, so I did nothing for the next two years. I didn’t gain weight, but neither did I lose any.
“Then I saw Lemon Detox on the TV and thought I’d give it a go. It worked for me! I have a healthy lunch, then drink the diluted syrup for the rest of the day. I do this for four days and it kick-starts my body into losing weight.
“I then eat sensibly for a month or so, then go back onto the syrup for a few days.
“I’ve done it five times now and I’ve lost over 4st! I don’t know how it works – just that, for me, it does.”
‘Take a look at these pictures,’ said my sister to me.
‘I flicked through them and burst into tears. I looked terrible! I’d piled on the weight in the last three years, I’d had a breast-cancer scare (a false alarm), my father-in-law died, my husband was in a car accident, and my eldest son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
‘I turned to food for comfort. Then a friend told me about Curves, an all-women gym that she’d just joined. I only agreed to go with her to get her off my case! I was surprised to find the women were ordinary, just like me, and I really enjoyed the circuit-training.
‘I started to eat more healthily and now I’ve lost over 2 1/2 st.
‘I always wear trousers, so my greatest wish is to wear a skirt this Christmas – and I’ve got my eye on one…’
We were out walking the dog together. ‘ I always look forward to this,’ said Ian, my husband. ‘What do you look forward to?’
I didn’t answer. He said, ‘Judith, you must look forward to something!’
But I didn’t. I hated myself. I felt permanently angry and took it out on the people I loved. I’d been fat for at least 10 years, yo-yo-ing up and down.
Then I met a friend who’d just lost a stone with SureSlim.
I signed up. I had a blood-test and was given a personal eating plan. It cost me £495, but lasted five months and included a weekly weigh-in and consultation. I lost 10lb in the first week and reached my goal in 15 months.
Now I’m a slim size 14, and feel fit and positive. Last summer I climbed mountains in Scotland. I feel on top of the world!
For years, I’d been looking after other people, rather than myself, and I just kept getting bigger…until I was a size 20-22.
So I bought some scales and got the shock of my life – I was 15 1/2st!
I didn’t eat a lot, but I did eat all the wrong things. I’m only 4ft 11in, and I knew it was bad when I began to feel hot and breathless after activity.
Then someone told me about Slimming World…As I listened, I thought, You can’t possibly eat all that and lose weight!
But I joined and was down a dress size in three weeks!
Now I’m a size-12, and feel 20 years younger!
I eat more than when I was fat but it’s all healthy. I can’t believe it really worked for me, but it’s the best thing I ever did.
“‘Here, try these for size,’ said my mum, handing me a new pair of trousers. My size-18s were really tight, but these fitted a treat. No wonder, they were a size-22!
“I’d started to pile on weight when I got married seven years ago. As well as cooking more, we ate out a lot, and slowly but inevitably, I got bigger… and bigger…
“Though I’d tried diets, nothing worked fast enough for me, so I’d give up.
“Then my husband found Go Lower on the Internet. I decided to try it simply because the food is delivered to your door, a month’s worth at a time. You just heat it up and add some veg.
“The food, all low sugar and low starch, helps you burn fat faster… And it worked for me!
“I lost 3st in three months, and have now lost 4st in all. Now, though I cook healthy meals most nights, when I’m busy, I make sure I’ve got a Go Lower meal in the cupboard so there’s never an excuse for a takeaway!”
‘Come on sis, there’s a sale on!’ said my sisters as they dragged me into a clothes shop.
Hah! I thought. I can’t fit one of my legs into those things! So while they tried clothes on, I felt like a spare part and decided then and there to lose weight.
I’d never lost the weight I’d put on having my kids, and four years after my second was born, I weighed over 17st.
So I joined Slimming World and was amazed at how much I could eat and still lose weight! A lean, full English breakfast and my favourite – a chilli!
I lost 5 1/2lb in the first week, and 19 months later, I was 8st lighter and a size-10!
I started swimming, then jogging an even ran a half-marathon!
Last September, I got to the semi-final of the Slimming World Woman of the Year, and I was the regional finalist. Me!
But, best of all, I just loving buying size-10 clothes!
I’d met a new man so I had a contraceptive injection – but in 9 months I’d gained 5st!
My wedding to Robin came and went – it was the best day of my life, but I felt like a huge meringue in my dress.
By May 2007, I struggled to fit into a size-22, and, at 5ft it was a strain on my body and my confidence.
I’d considered a gastric band, but then I heard about the Cambridge Weight Plan. So I signed up and in 7 months lost over 6st!
In place of food, I had shakes and soups, bars and porridge and in all I lost 8st 9lb. Now I’m a size-8, which is the smallest I’ve been in my life.
When I catch sight of myself in a shop window, I still can’t believe how great I look and feel. It’s like a fairytale!
Knowing you’re fat and admitting it are two different things!
I’d been putting on weight but chose to ignore it, until last April…I looked in the mirror as I got ready – and stood back in horror!
Then, while in Boots, I saw the Tony Ferguson Weightloss Programme – replacement shakes for breakfast, soup or a bar for lunch and a healthy meal for dinner.
I was delighted to lose 8lb in the first week – and I didn’t feel hungry at all!
Best of all there’s a 24-hour helpline, and, once I’d registered, they’d ring me once a week to see how I was gettng on, and send me positive, encouraging e-mails that really helped to keep me going.
I lost just over 4 1/2st and managed to reach my goal weight in just five months. People say I look 10 years younger…Well, I certainly feel it!
“I’d been dabbling in dog agility – it’s a class where you guide your dog around an obstacle course – for years. But I’d started to find that I was really struggling to keep up with my border collie as she raced around the course.
“I decided it was time to up my game and lose the weight that was holding me – not to mention my dog – back!
“And there was a lot of weight to lose.
“I’d first started piling on the pounds a few years back, after my dad died. My mum was poorly, I was feeling depressed – and so I turned to food.
“But if I really wanted to succeed with the dog agility, I’d need to increase my own agility.
“So I upped my dog walking and replaced my breakfast and lunch with Slim.Fast shakes, and then I’d eat normally in the evening.
“That was in the May and no-one even noticed until the following New Year – and by that time, I’d lost 4st!
“I carried on getting slimmer and fitter, and after 14 months I’d managed to lose nearly 9st.
“These days, I swim and play squash as well as training my dogs, we also go to shows most weekends – where I must walk 10 miles or more going between the rings! I would recommend the sport to anyone – it’s great fun, and for me, it certainly beats going to the gym.”
I’m a typical yo-yo dieter. I lose some, but always pile it on as soon as I go back to my old eating habits! I’m either really good or really bad!
When a friend suggested key2weight, I decided to give it a go…
This meal replacement programme means total abstinence from regular food. I won’t pretend it was easy – the first three days especially – but I lost 9lb the first week and that spurred me on.
With shakes, soup or bars for each meal, I wasn’t tempted to be naughty and didn’t get cravings.
Twelve weeks later, I’d lost nearly 3st. It was the best feeling ever to put on a pair of white, size-12 trousers for the my 25th wedding anniversary.
I now stick to healthy eating on weekdays, and allow myself some treats at the weekend.
Seems to be working!
“Oh dear, I couldn’t stop eating! I’d start the day with a chocolate croissant – but finish the pack!
“I first started putting on weight while at university. With deadlines to achieve, I was stressed and found food a comfort.
“But it was while I was working at the NHS (to help with tuition fees), that colleagues asked me to go to Rosemary Conley classes with them.
“So I did – and I really liked the plan. It’s not a diet, it’s about healthy eating forever.
“I even embraced the exercise part of the class! Then I joined a gym, started cycling, and took up running – something I’d never done before.
“I lost weight steadily, and reached my goal after 1 1/2 years, losing 5 stone 5lb in all. I still can’t believe I’m a size 8-10, and, these days when I fancy a croissant, I’ll have it – but just the one, mind!”
“Well, there it was in full colour, on 5 January this year. I was looking at my Christmas photos and I was fat. I’d been a tiny 8-10, but recently I couldn’t stop eating. It was as if my on/off switch had broken.
“I started to feel ill, and even when I was doubled up with stomach cramps, I put it down to being a pig!
“I felt dreadful over Christmas, so straight after, I went to the doctor. He said it was gallstones. But I was determined to lose weight, and I signed up with The Cambridge Weight Plan. I had replacement meals – either porridge, milkshake or soup. With the low-calorie intake, I lost 10lb in the first week and 20lb in three weeks.
“It was only when I introduced normal food back into my diet that the cramps returned. By May, I’d lost 4st 6lb. But I couldn’t live on replacement meals for the rest of my life, so I had the gallstones op.
“I feel amazing. The best thing is shopping. Last week, I tried on a size-12 dress and it was too big…I was thrilled!”
“‘You’re obese,’ said the nurse at the GP’s. I’d gone for a routine medical…
“As I’m only 4ft 11in, she told me I was seriously putting my health at risk.
“Back home, I gazed at myself in the mirror and tears rolled down my cheeks. To everyone else, I was bubbly Gail but, inside, I felt sad and ashamed.
“It was a turning point. A week later, I joined a gym and lost 7lb.
“Then I heard about a diet called All About W8. So in December 2008, weighing 13st 7lb, I gave it a go.
“I started on the Rapid Programme and lost 7lb in my first week.
“Seven months later, I’d reached my target weight of 9st. I went shopping, tried on a size-10. As I stared in the mirror, I cried again – but this time tears of happiness as I’m just so proud of myself.”