I recently met up with my class member Debs to have a chat about her incredible weight loss journey. Debs has recently met her target weight, this is her story.
1. Massive congrats Debs, you must be so incredibly proud that you've made it to your goal weight!! How much did you weigh when you started your weight loss journey?
14 stone, 7 ½ pounds.
2. How much weight in total have you lost?
4 stone, 7 ½ pounds.
3. How long did it take you to lose the weight?
11 months of steady weight loss. I got to pick my goal weight so I chose 10 stone because it was a round number and I liked it!!
4. At what point did you decide that you needed to start losing weight and getting healthier?
There were a lot of reasons. First of all I hated the way I looked, not only that but whenever I was out in public I could feel people looking at me and judging me. I also had a lot of negative issues in my life that I couldn’t control, and I thought if I can control this one aspect of my life then it’ll give me something to focus on. One day I was on my lunch break at work and I went on the Slimming World website, I saw that I could join the group that evening and I went there straight from my shift.
5. What kind of struggles have you had to deal with through your weight loss? What were the greatest obstacles?
I found it easier to start with because it was something new. My issue is that if I get a taste for something then I want more of it, so I had to cut everything out, no treats! It’s actually tougher for me now because I’m working on maintaining my weight, so there are fewer restrictions.
6. What keeps you motivated and on target?
Knowing that every week someone is going to weigh you!! I would let myself off or find an excuse if I weighed myself at home so going to Slimming World pushed me to stay on track. I liked that things were moving forwards so the thought of going back to where I was kept me going too. I also found that fitting exercise into my routine really helped – it was like I had a new lease of life. It gave me a purpose and I’d look forward to my evening classes, especially as I got better at it and really started to feel the benefits.
7. How do you overcome temptations and naughty treats?
I can picture in my head what I used to look like in the mirror, and that completely puts me off. I’m good at mentally putting myself off food! I’ve also tried so many new foods now that I wouldn’t have done before. I used to have ketchup on everything and now I never have it.
8. What would you say have been the key factors to your success?
Exercise!! This has become one of the biggest parts of my life and the benefits are better than you can imagine. I don’t think that people can properly understand the benefits of exercise until they’ve tried it. Doing exercise consumes your thoughts from the moment you start as you focus on yourself and you give yourself that hour a week to be kind to yourself and do something for you, no one else. It gives you a reason to smile. I have also had a lot of support and encouragement from people around me. I met Jennie at my first Slimming World session and she is now my very good friend. It was Jennie and Kim who told me to join Burlesque Fitness at K Fit. I had told them that I’ll go after my holiday, and then once my holiday was up I had no excuse! It was their persistence that made me go to the class in the first place.
9. I've seen you in classes and know first-hand that your confidence has grown and ultimately you look so much happier. Have you had any other breakthroughs throughout your weight loss journey?
I’ve had a few breakthroughs! Confidence is a big one for me. I can now go to buy an outfit in a shop without breaking down into tears in the changing rooms. One day I went to SuperDry and I didn’t believe that their hoodies would fit me. I tried one on and I could zip it up! I can now look at a photo of me and I don’t feel like I’m filling the picture, and it’s funny that people who haven’t seen me in a while barely recognise me. It was a big breakthrough the day I found my collar bones!! During this time I’ve also changed my job and I now work locally so that I have more time to exercise. The first time I managed to do a proper sit up was a big breakthrough for me. And just the other week in Boxercise we played a game where mid-exercise we would have to drop to the floor and come back up again – that was something I never could have done before losing all the weight and getting fitter! Sometimes I have to take a second look at myself to remind myself that it’s me and I re say things over in my head as I can’t believe who I am and how differently I think.
10. Now that you've met your goal weight, do you have new health and fitness aspirations?
To keep challenging myself with exercise, and see how far I can go. Before I lost the weight I used to get out of breath walking up the stairs and now I exercise 4 nights a week, between 1-2 hours a night. I’m just excited to try new things as what I am doing now I couldn’t have dreamt of doing before.
11. What do you love most about exercise?
The way it makes you feel. Exercise doesn’t just change your appearance, it changes who you are on the inside which is probably even more important. It’s that feeling that builds your confidence and changes your life in so many ways which impacts me every day.
12. What do you love least about exercise?
Nothing, not even the ache the next day!
13. If you could go back and speak to Debs from 1 year ago, knowing that now you've reached that target and that it was all worth it, what would you say?
Do it. It is so much more than losing weight, it has changed my life. It gives you the will to change more – now exercise is a big part of my life, I’ve made so many new friends, from that I have a better social life too. I didn’t have a life before, and Debs from a year ago wouldn’t have believed that this was all possible. From the 1st time I managed to pluck up the courage to go to Burlesque Fitness the welcome I received was so overwhelming that I knew from that moment that I could be a part of the K Fit exercise family, which is something so amazingly special. For the first time in my life I wasn’t judged or criticised for how I looked. That feeling of being accepted is what made me want to come back week after week, and that’s what changed my life.
14. What would you say to anyone who wants to go on the same journey as you?
If I can do it, anyone can. I had such a low opinion of what I could achieve, and I’ve shocked myself completely. It changes your whole perception of life – what you can do and what is achievable. I’m unrecognisable to what I used to be. Its hard work but your rewards are so worth it. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that I love my life right now and that’s something I never ever thought I’d say.