A care assistant has found success with online Slimming World sessions to lose just shy of six stone.
Healthcare worker Amy is currently studying on an access course to allow her to move on to university to study nursing. As someone with a busy lifestyle, she says that writing everything down is key – and credits Iceland’s range of Slimming World ready meals for a quick and easy meal after a long shift.
The mum-of-one – to 19-month-old Matilda – still has a couple of stone to lose until she reaches her ideal target weight, but after losing 5st 13lbs she says she is so much happier and has lots more energy.
Amy told StokeonTrentLive: “When I first joined Slimming World, I’d not long had my baby, and I wanted to be fitter and healthier for her. I didn’t want any of the problems that could come with being overweight.
“The first meeting was quite nerve-wracking because you don’t want to step on those scales for the first time, but Laura, my consultant, and my fellow members were all so warm and welcoming. Everyone makes you feel so comfortable.
“I had such a good experience with those first few meetings, and I really enjoyed image therapy after our weigh in, where we discussed our weeks and shared tips and tricks.”
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, all in-person Slimming World groups were cancelled, and Amy admits that she was ‘worried’ during the break between her last physical group and her first online one.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen at first. I was quite worried that I wouldn’t have that weekly weigh in, or the chance to get the certificates and awards every time I reached a milestone, and I knew I was going to miss other people and our image therapy.
“I think we were all nervous for the online meetings because it’s something new and different, and you’re in your own house with other stuff going on. But they have been brilliant and really kept us on track.
“If groups had stopped completely, and we had no online meetings, I might have stuck to plan loosely, but not as well as I have done with the guidance.”
Amy made lots of changes to her diet when she started her Slimming World journey, but still made sure she had regular treats when she fancied them.
“I don’t really have bread anymore, but if I do, it’s wholemeal, and I love making big salads. You can adapt so many recipes to make them Slimming World friendly with just a few simple changes.
Breakfast: Fruit and a low fat yoghurt.
Lunch: Leftovers from yesterday’s evening meal with a big salad.
Tea: A simple pasta dish with lots of veg.
“I don’t have jar sauces anymore. They are really high in syns and you can make them yourself so easily – and they’re always so much fresher. If you want your sauce a bit more spicy, you can do that, you can make it to your taste.
“There is so much free food available on Slimming World so you have so many options – there’s so much you can do. Iceland’s Slimming World ready meals are also great for a quick, syn-free meal, which is perfect for when I finish work late.
“I love a Sunday dinner, so I will always use my syns for a Yorkshire pudding and some gravy every single week.
“Chocolate is also my go-to for a treat, but nothing is off limits with Slimming World. If you like to have a drink at the weekend, you can do that, as long as it’s all in moderation.”
Once she’d lost some weight, Amy decided to give exercise a go, something she never did at her biggest.
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“I jumped on the Joe Wicks bandwagon in the first lockdown, but more recently I’ve started Couch to 5K. I’m on week seven now, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel for it. I decided to give it a go so that I could become fitter and tone up a little bit.
“Since losing weight, my confidence has grown massively. At my biggest, there’s no way that I would have gone running outside, in the daylight, but now I love it.
“I have so much more energy now. I feel healthier, my breathing is better and I even sleep better!
“I’ve really struggled with clothes over the past year because I’ve been unable to try things on in the shops. I don’t know what size I am anymore, so I’ve bought a lot and had to return them. I can’t wait to go shopping again and be able to try different things on.
“My style has definitely changed and I’m more confident in what I wear now.”
Amy still has a bit more to lose before she reaches her end goal, but for now she’s enjoying the journey and taking it one day at a time.
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“At the start of my journey I was averaging about a stone a month, but it’s definitely slowed down now. I don’t mind though, I’m going to keep going and I’m excited to get to target.
“My biggest tip for new members would be to make sure that you’re honest with yourself and write everything down in a food diary. Fill yourself up on speed food and don’t be too harsh on yourself.
“Enjoy all of the food that you can eat and reach out to your consultant or fellow members if you are struggling with anything.
“My Slimming World book is basically falling apart because I use it so much – there’s always something new to learn, so use your book and ask lots of questions.”