Since Becky and I got together I have successfully quit smoking, reduced my alcohol intake to a few glasses a year and even sold the car so that we could use the money more productively and took to the bicycle in an effort to be healthier and even do our part in saving the planet. My one vice or second if you count the fact we have just had our seventh child, is food. Living and working where food was plentiful and cheap has meant that since marrying Becky I had gained several stone even though I cycled and walked everywhere. At my peak I got on the scale and Becky and I would make jokes as it would return an ERR statement instead of a weight and we would put it down to the fact that I was 6’8” tall and that my weight would be greater than most. Deep down however I knew I was too heavy but I enjoyed my breakfast, brunch, elevenses, lunch, tea, afternoon vending break, dinner, desert, biscuits, supper and midnight snack all of which would include baguettes, cakes, cereals, pasties, pies, crisps, chocolates, sweets, bacon, sausages, burgers, pizza and a whole host of other junk foods. Around the house I would keep the food to a healthy diet as I wanted the children to enjoy good wholesome meals but it was definitely becoming one rule for them one pasty for me.
In March Becky joined Slimming World on the advice of her friend and in an effort to show my support I agreed that I would work with her and support her by joining in with her diet.
The first few weeks had an instant affect and the pounds dropped off and I found myself over two stone lighter. I became very enthusiastic, even enrolling with Slimming World as a member, something that up to then I would have never dreamed of doing as I had always believed in the power of self motivation.
On enrolling I set myself a target weight that I would be happy with, and found myself with a higher target to achieve that I originally thought about thanks to the team who explained about body mass and fat and the right weight for someone my height and I sat with Becky and wondered why we needed to sit through all the issues and problems of others in the group. However as the weeks progressed I found the success stories and warnings from others on particular types or restaurant styles of cooking really helpful and motivating and giving my support to others an seeing them get over their hurdles gives me a real buzz that has kept me focused.
I still have almost as many meals as before but now I plan better taking much healthier options but eating enough food to keep me full. Eggs on brown toast for breakfast, several pieces of fruit for brunch, a chocolate high fibre bar for elevenses, salad or pasta for lunch, oven baked low fat crisps in the afternoon and a dinner chosen from the huge selections of recipes supplied in the Slimming World books and on their web site. Even the children have taken an active role, picking out meals they would like and even suggesting alternative ingredients to their favourite food like meat substitutes and sweeteners.
Nowadays I find myself in the kitchen rather in front of the TV or the computer and enjoying taking part in cooking with the kids. My cupboards are now full of spices and base ingredients and not tinned meals. My freezer is full of fresh foods or home made cooked meals.
I have achieved my goal with Slimming World and lost another three stone bringing me down to 15 stone and still attend for Becky and because I enjoy seeing and hearing the successes of the others in the group.
In all I have lost over 10 inches around my waste and I cannot remember the last time a fitted a 34” pair of trousers but I know it would have been over two decades ago. And as for improving my life, well at 44 I am now planning how to be active with my new baby boy who when 18 I will be a healthy 62.