Maureen McAulay joined Slimming World in January 2020, after some encouragement from a neighbour – and has dropped seven dress sizes in just 16 months.
“It’s a person, really, when you think about it.” she said of her dramatic weight loss of almost 10 stone, from 20st 9lb to 10st 13lb.
Initially, she was nervous to join but was made to feel welcome by her group leader, Laura.
She said, “Because I was really big I was embarrassed to go. But she made me feel comfortable and it started from there.”
Maureen, 57, from Llangan in the Vale of Glamorgan, was both conscious of the health implications of being overweight, and also wanted to be able to play with her grandchildren.
“It got to the stage where I felt people judged me when I was out, going out for meals or anything like that.
“Even just going into the shop I used to think ‘Oh people must think I’m terrible because I’m that big.’”
Maureen’s journey to lose the weight was made even more difficult by an overactive thyroid and two leg operations, making her immobile for weeks at a time.
“I was off my feet for quite a long time. I had a lump in my leg that had to be cut out.
“I was off my feet I would say for about 12 weeks. And then I was off my feet again just before Christmas.”
Despite these setbacks Maureen was determined to lose weight, and was helped along with the support of her family and husband.
“My husband helped me cooking meals, he’d bring me breakfast up in bed, something like an omelette.
“He’d also make me the slimming world meals at night time.”
Maureen found the eating habits easy to follow, changing from store-bought jars to making her own sauces.
As with any weight loss journey, it is never completely straightforward.
“I did have good days, and I did have bad days. But I was enjoying losing the weight and was getting encouragement from my family, Laura, and the group.”
Laura, Maureen’s group leader, is amazed by her success. “This year has been exceptional and for some, losing weight has not been their main focus,” she said.
“She has blown us all away.”
Maureen was able to cut out bad habits, such as eating white bread, having takeaways and snacking on biscuits, changes which have trickled down to her family’s meals.
“I did eat badly,” she admitted, but now has the knowledge of how to enjoy meals while still being conscious of what she’s eating.
Maureen’s transformation has taken place completely during lockdown, and she’s curious as to see how her new habits blend with lockdown easing.
She has plenty to tick off her list to enjoy, “I’ve got a 16-year-old daughter and we’re so looking forward to going out shopping together.
“I’m so excited to go out for a bite to eat, and just feel comfortable enough. I’m happier again.”
Maureen’s weight loss follows other Slimming World success stories, including the 30 stone woman whose husband had to wash and care for her loses more than half her bodyweight which you can read about here. And the overweight mum who’d never eaten veg in her life loses eight stone in under a year. For her full story click here.