My weightloss story

August 2017

My journey from a sad caterpillar to a happy blossoming butterfly

Do you ever get that feeling when you wake up every morning go to the bathroom look in the mirror in absolute disgust and think "Oh my goodness is that really me?" Then it gets worse when you getting dressed, you put your underwear on and stare in the mirror & looking at your reflection terrifies you and makes you feel so sad. You're disgusted with yourself and how bad you let yourself get. Well that used to be me every single day morning and night!! 

I started to realise (myself) how "fat" I'd allowed myself to get in June 2015 when I was on holiday in Egypt with my Mom, sister, best friend & her boyfriend. I was wearing Next size 20 shorts & River island dresses size 20 but telling people I was a size 16. I felt like a hippo around the swimming pool & felt like everyone’s eyes were on me but for the wrong reasons. I was so jealous of how good my Mom, Sister & friend looked in their bikinis and I just felt fat, frumpy and the odd one out. We'd been lucky enough to go on a Sunset Cruise, where we'd managed to see my favourite animal, dolphins, swimming up close to the boat - it was perfect moment. However the pictures were far from it!! This special moment was ruined for me by the way I looked on the boat and I was disappointed in myself in how I’d let myself go. We all had pictures taken on the boat, everyone else’s pictures were lovely, not mine I looked so uncomfortable and totally out of place. All I can see in my pictures is a huge stomach, actually not even one stomach - I have rolls!! I was disgusted with myself! However at this point in my life I always thought I’d be the fat sister/fat friend so I just learnt to live with it. 

This was me in June 15 on the boat 

 Again in June 15, on holiday, wearing my size 20 shorts 

I came back from Egypt and I remember spending hours on Google searching for ways to make yourself look slimmer because at that point I already decided that I was never going to be able to lose weight! I'd already tried that! I'd previously done Slimming World, tried starving myself, tried shake diets, you name it I tried it but nothing worked. I’d also joined the gym a few times and used that as excuse to eat more bad food because I’d done 5 minutes exercise! However nothing worked because I DIDN'T WANT IT ENOUGH. So back to Google, I read chat room after chat room and got tips of how to "look thin" or "feel thin" I'd picked up tips like how to dress slimmer, I’d picked up some great ideas like dressing to match your body type, wearing big hand bags to disguise your big belly. Other tips from chat rooms were things like spend extra time on your hair and make-up that will distract people from looking at your body. Other tips were wear dark colours. I think back now and if only I’d spent the time I did searching "ways to look thin" on actually losing weight I’d have probably have been there much quicker!

In October 2015 I turned 30; I decided to go to Edinburgh with my family and a few close friends. I was super excited to turn 30 just one thing made me so sad, my weight, my image and my self-confidence. And just like any other girl, all I wanted was to find the perfect birthday dress. Well this was a nightmare! I literally must have tried about 50 on but none of them were right, most of them were far too small or just made me feel fatter. The saddest part was when I used to go clothes shopping with my Mom and sister and they'd pass me through dresses into the changing room, in what they thought were my size but at this point I was probably 1-2 sizes bigger. I felt so embarrassed but couldn't tell them so I just used to say "oh I don't like it" or "wrong colour”. Eventually I settled for a dress which was nice but it wasn't my dream dress or what I wanted to wear. What I really wanted to wear was a grey skirt and a white top but I couldn't wear it, the skirt was way too tight and it showed every lump and bump and I just looked so uncomfortable in the outfit that it would have ruined my night. After all I didn’t want to stand out any more than I already felt I did because of my weight and my low self-esteem. 

Left in 0ctober 15 trying on my dream birthday outfit, as you can see I looked pretty uncomfortable. Right April 17 finally getting to wear my dream outfit weighing just over 3 stone lighter.

I had a wonderful 30th birthday with my family & friends & I made memories that will last a life time. However I look back at myself in some of the photos and they actually make me really sad. I felt like twice the size of the others in some of the group pictures. 

 My 30th Birthday October 2015

Shortly after my birthday I realised even more that I had to do something about my weight as it was getting out of control. I was feeling so unhappy and so unconfident that it got to the stage where I didn’t even want to do anything. I thought it was easier to hide away from the world. The only time I went out was with my Mom or sister or my friend Natalie, as I felt they understood how I was feeling without me admitting it. If I felt uncomfortable in public I could easily hide behind them. My friends would ask me out but I felt too uncomfortable so I'd just make excuses that eventually I think they got fed up of asking me (I didn’t blame them).

Between the Summer and Christmas 2015 I’d put on a lot more weight and even some of my size 20 jeans were starting to feel snug. I was under lots of pressure at work so I’d turn to food to comfort myself and could easily eat a whole packet of biscuits in a day. I’d tell myself it was okay that I was eating lots of foods high in sugar, high fat treats as it was helping me deal with the stress. I’d got into such a vicious circle with food, I’d eat when I was sad to make me happy and I’d reward myself with food when I was happy.

My weight at this point was over 16 stone!!

The final straw for me was at Christmas when a family friend had sent my Mom a picture of me, my sister, my mom and three friends. I was on one of the ends of the group shot & I looked ridiculous. At this point I was sick of been the fat one in every group picture! I looked unhappy (I was unhappy), fat and again twice the size of everyone else. I knew I had to do something to lose weight but still wasn’t sure what. 
The next day (which looking back was spooky) I logged onto my Facebook and was scrolling through my newsfeed and a picture came up of a family friend who had got to her Slimming World target the night before. I am one of those people who believe in signs! So I messaged my family friend and asked her which group she went to. She replied pretty quickly. I remember asking her "what’s the group like”, "What’s the consultant like”, basically..20 questions. I think even then I was trying to make excuses not to join. It was the week before Christmas (I think) so I decided that I was going to enjoy Christmas and literally eat everything I could and then join the first Wednesday after New Year. I stuffed myself rotten in between deciding to join the group and actually joining. Even the night before class I went at got myself a "last supper" a bottle of full fat coke and a massive chip shop tea along with a few sweet treats – I was nearly sick. 

The final straw picture 

The morning of the day I’d decided to join Slimming World I woke up so nervous, again I was thinking "what excuses could I come out with not to join!" I remember driving to the group that night and I remember talking to myself in the car telling myself "you have to do this, you want your life back, this can’t go on forever”. I pulled up in the car park took a deep breath and walked in. I was shaking and felt physically sick inside my stomach. I was so worried that people would judge me and stare at me and they wouldn’t understand how I was feeling. Joanne (the consultant) came over to me as soon as I walked in and she made me feel welcome; I think she could see how terrified and nervous I was and she kept telling me not to worry and that I was in good hands. She was very reassuring. That was it, the start of my journey I wrote on my form something along the lines of "I no longer want to be a sad caterpillar I want to blossom into a beautiful butterfly”, I also remember another turning point that night for me, I remember getting on the scales for my initial weigh in, and seeing the fact that I weighed 15 stone 13lb I was so embarrassed but I turned to Joanne and said "I’m never going to see that number again!”.

I got home that night and my sister was like "right stand over there”! She took my phone out of my hand I knew she was going to take a picture, I remember thinking "please no pictures”. She said to me, “One day you’ll thank me for taking these pictures. This is Day One on a road to the new you!” 

  My first day of Slimming World Jan 16

My first week went so well, I ate loads of delicious healthy foods and for the first time in my life I stuck to the plan 100% and it showed when I weighed in. In my first week I’d lost 5.5lbs! I was over the moon! Then in week 2 I’d managed to get my 1/2 stone award and that’s when I started thinking "this time round will be different”. The truth is I’d done slimming world before in the past but I hadn’t really stuck to the plan. I think I’d only joined previously to please my family as looking back, I certainly wasn’t ready to lose weight!! Week 3 was different I was away on a four day conference in Bristol and I had no control over my food, the days were really long. The first day I stuck to plan and then I pretty much gave up and just ate what I wanted. By the time I got home four days later I felt sick in my stomach and actually couldn’t wait to get pack on plan. From the Friday night to Wednesday night weigh in I was golden. I cut back on my ‘syns’ (In Slimming World you're allowed up to 15 syns a day, which are your treats) to try and do as much damage control as I could. I was actually super happy when I got to class and only gained 2.5lb. I was straight back on plan the week afterwards and lost 4lbs as I knew this time I was going to lose weight and I wasn’t going to give up. 

At the end of February I took a massive step (for me) and decided to dedicate my Instagram page to my weight loss journey. I even posted my weight which was a massive thing for me and I promised to post my weight every week. That was another amazing decision as Instagram has been a huge life line for me. I’ve become friends with so many people I’ve never even met in person! It’s a great way to share ideas and feelings. It’s also helped improve my confidence massively. 

In April 16 I went on holiday with my Mom I felt so much better having lost some weight. I was determined to try and stay on plan as much as I could even though it was an all-inclusive holiday. I think because I had done so well in actually losing weight for the first time in my life I was scared that I’d put it all back on in one holiday! Normally when I went on holiday I’d eat whatever I wanted, full fat fizzy pop, chips and fried foods at every meal. I’d eat at every given chance using the excuse “I am on holiday”.  So I decided I’d make sure that all my meals had 1/3 salad, fruit or vegetables, that id eat bread at one meal a day and chips & pudding (if I wanted them) at one meal a day too. I even did some exercise on this holiday & I don’t just mean walking to the bar to get a drink. I can honestly say I didn’t miss out on anything food wise and I came back 0.5lb lighter. I’d have normally put on anything from half a stone to a stone

In July 16 it was time for my next holiday, id managed to lose 1.5 stone and get my club 10 (I’d lost 10% of my body weight) just before I flew to Spain with my Dad, Step-mom and little brother. It was on this holiday that I started feeling quite proud of myself and I actually started feeling a little better in my bikini. I began comparing my bikini pictures on this holiday, back to June 15 when I was on the boat, and it really made me realise how far I’d come. Again on this holiday I told myself I was going to enjoy myself but not over indulge. I ate lots of fresh fruit, meat & ate some of the nicest fish ever. I came back 0.5lb lighter I was over the moon & again I can honestly say that I didn't deprive myself of anything, I had dessert everyday, bread, chips & cocktails!

Mind set - one thing I have realised on my weight loss journey that its mind over matter. If you want something enough then you'll do anything to achieve it. I am one of those people that if I want to succeed in something 100% I’ll do whatever it takes to smash my goals but I have to want it 100% otherwise there is no way I’ll do it!!

August 2016 was time for my belated 30th birthday trip, which was 2 weeks spent across America in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It was so nice being able to wear size 14/16 instead of, like in Egypt, size 20. I felt so much more comfortable wearing shorts and strappy tops. I wasn’t so nervous about how the photos were going to look, I knew they'd be some bad ones (that’s life), but I wasn’t stressed where I had been before. I had an amazing time in America, ate everything I wanted, stuck to water in the day and actually did eat lots of healthy foods it was all about eating everything in moderation. Again I was over the moon with loosing 0.5lb after my first weigh in back from the states. (I know - 0.5lbs loss after every holiday!) 

Las Vegas August 16 

September 2016 was an extremely special month for me Slimming World wise. This was the month I’d managed to get my 2 stone loss award and to be nominated Woman of the Year 2016 by my group was an amazing feeling. To know that I’d gone from feeling lower than low about myself to actually being that person that was inspiring other people to feel better about themselves and to help them lose weight, well that’s a feeling money couldn’t buy! I remember sitting in group that night and it came to my turn in discussing my journey and I broke down, literally broke down. This was the first time that I’d admitted out loud to anyone the way being overweight had made me feel and the reasons for joining the group. It was definitely an emotional evening but an evening I will never forget in my life. 

September 16 – Woman of the year in my group

My group (Aston Manor cricket club) have been amazing they are the best Slimming world group I could have ever asked for. I call them my Slimming world family and each member of the group will forever have a special place in my heart. Their love and support has been amazing and I know without their support I wouldn’t have stuck to plan. I looked forward to going to group every single week to see everyone. I loved listening to people’s stories, ideas and plans. Image therapy is the key part of losing weight with Slimming world. There is always someone who has the right things to say and I never ever left group on a low, always on a high. It was image therapy every week that kept me inspired. I had a few bad weeks in my time, weeks where I broke down in group because I hadn’t got the loss that I wanted. There was one week where id tried so hard, I had stuck to plan 100% and I’d had an unexpected gain of 1.5lb I was devastated (March 15) I told myself "that was it I couldn’t do it anymore - I was a failure!" I remember driving straight to McDonalds and ordering a large meal and full fat coke. I was devastated!! The day after I was half on plan and still so frustrated at my tiny gain. The day after I received a card in the post from Joanne my Slimming world Consultant telling me not to give up. If I hadn’t received that card I promise you I would have given up. I was straight back on plan and the week after I got my 1 stone award. 

In October 2016 I turned 31. I remember it was the Saturday before my birthday and I had an outfit all planned to wear to London with my family to have afternoon tea and cocktails to celebrate my birthday. I was super excited. I got up nice and early that morning, did my hair and makeup and went to get dressed in the outfit I’d planned in my head – however it was way too big!!! I was so stressed out! I literally emptied my wardrobe trying everything on but nothing fitted or looked right (this was a good thing now looking back). I was so upset and about to cancel my day out when my sister gave me a dress to try on, I put it on and I felt amazing. She turned round to me and said "you do realise that dress is a size 12" I was speechless!! 
Then on the day of my birthday I remember going out for a meal with my Mom and sister and I wore a gorgeous pink leather skirt and high pink glittery shoes, this was another turning point for me. As a tall person I’d always tell myself that I was a fat giant and pre Slimming World even though I loved heels I hated wearing them as I just felt giant and felt like I’d stand out more. On my birthday I felt proud, I didn’t care that I was the only one in heels! 

November and December came and to be honest I really struggled, I felt like I’d got in a bad rutt! From the end of September when I got my 2 stone award to Christmas I was chasing my 2.5 stone award and I was getting so frustrated!!! I remember writing on my Christmas wish that I wanted my 2.5 stone award. I’d tried so hard the last weigh in before Christmas I had been 100% on plan and I really thought I’d done it, I was gutted I only needed 2lb and I lost 1.5lb. I fought of the tears in class and tried to concentrate on the positives. But to be honest I was still super angry!! I was flying out to Dubai with my family for New Years just after Christmas so when I left class on that Wednesday I decided I was off plan, I was rebelling as I was so annoyed id missed my award!! So a week before I left for Dubai and my week in Dubai I literally ate like a piglet! I enjoyed every single second and I knew I was in for a big gain & only had myself to blame! 

I landed back in the UK the night before weigh in and for a split second I did think about missing group but I didn’t. I got on the scales and I’d gained 9lb (my magic -0.5lb holiday loss had gone!) I was disgusted with myself. I got 100% on plan and lost 5lb the week after. Then, for a few weeks, I really struggled and I just couldn’t get anywhere. I hate to say this but I was starting to resent Slimming world and I knew I had to do something as I was scared I’d slowly put all my weight back on. I was terrified especially as it only took 2 weeks to put on 9lb!! I was at work and again another sign, someone came into my office and told me about a new gym that had just opened up down the road and was only £10.99 a month. I thought a gym for £10.99 – what’s the catch? Bet it only has like 2 treadmills and a few bikes. 

The next day I walked down to Pure Gym Snowhill on my lunch time and asked for a tour. As I was walking around I knew that I had to join. It felt like the next thing to do in my journey. I actually left the gym that day and was excited about signing up. I knew however this time it had to be different, if I was joining the gym I had to give it 100% I couldn’t be that girl that I was that just sat on the bike and cycled at level 1-3 watching TV anymore or did 10 sit ups and stopped (that’s what I used to class as a workout).

I decided that I’d get a Personal trainer from the get go, to help motivate me and keep me on track. I went up to the PT board read all the PT posters and decided that I’d email Craig, he'd talked about his passion in helping people and understanding that everyone was different and that he wanted to help people gain confidence. I emailed Craig and told him that I’d lost just under 2 stone at that point and wanted to join the gym to get fitter, healthier and toned and to help me achieve my goal wait. I didn’t want to be the unfit one in the family anymore.

I knew my mind set was different this time round as I’d arranged my introductory PT session with Craig two days in which was scary and I could barely do anything. Then I had my first proper session a few days after. I was super nervous but Craig was very patient and I felt from day one he understood me as a client and from day 1 I feel so blessed & lucky to have had him as my PT. He’s been so supportive and really has helped me work to achieve my goals. I remember him asking me if I was going to do any classes, my initially response was "No way!” but he persuaded me to do his Legs, Bums & Tums class the following week which I did (though I made sure I was at the back in the corner).

Now 10 months on since joining the gym I am a completely different person. I am actually a addicted to it! I am sure if my body would allow it I’d train 24/7! Back in January I would literally hide in the corner or stick to the cardio machines, I’d get embarrassed when Craig would ask me to do weighted lunge walks down the gym, or burpees in front of people or take me in the weight lifting section. In class I would hide in the corner and I would only do Craig's classes (it was like a safety blanket thing, as he was my PT), I was too nervous doing another instructors class. Now it’s completely different, first of all I do not care where I do my squats, lunge walks or burpees, I don’t get nervous working out in the weight lifting section. In class I actually make sure I get a spot at the front. 

Its also really nice how other instructors at the gym and started noticing my progress after just a few months. I remember 6 weeks in, Pav, the Assistant manager, said "you’ve come so far, don’t hide away now, you’re smashing your goals!" This made me proud that other people were noticing my hard work. 

Here are some of my gym progress pictures;

Slimming world gave me the confidence to re-join the gym and that is something special. I have fallen in love with the gym all over again just like I was when I was 21, I get so excited when I am in the gym and that’s because it’s helping my body change so much. Or as I like to call my personal challenge #missionhotbody. Yes Slimming world has helped me lose my initial 2 stone but I have dropped so many inches & my body has transformed so much in just 12 weeks. I am super proud of the person I see reflecting back at me. Another wonderful thing that the gym & my sessions did was to help me believe in myself (Positive Mental Attitude - as Craig my old pt DRUMMED into me).

Other before and after photos

The size 20 shorts are now thankfully too big 

Around May time I decided because I was feeling so good in myself and found myself spending all my free time on Google searching everything fitness, from different training styles, to different exercises, to specific exercises for certain body area. Also, when Craig introduced me to HIIT training and supersets I didn’t just stop there. I went on Google to learn more. It’s developed a hunger for fitness. I came to the decision that because I’d come so far - from that sad, miserable unconfident person to now a much happier, healthier and more confident person, I wanted to give something back. I wanted to help people achieve what I have.  So I started looking at PT courses online and had done some more research on different companies to do the course with. Then again another sign, I was in the gym around 2/3 weeks later and an announcement came on the radio, it said something along the lines of “Pure gym is always looking for new PTs. Do you have a love for the gym and want to share this with others. If so speak to one of the team”. So I emailed Pav for more information, she was so lovely and she arranged to meet with me face to face. She was super keen for me to explore this route and she told me that she’d just become a mentor for PT Academy and told me to take a look. Two weeks later I signed up with PT Academy to do my Level 2 Fitness instructor qualification & my Level 3 PT training course.

I’ve now passed my level 2 and am now a qualified fitness instructor, I’ve done my level 3 Nutritional diploma and Im not far from finishing my Level 3 PT qualification.

I would never been able to do that prior to starting my weight loss journey in January 2016. I was so unhappy and if someone would have told me that I would fall back in love with fitness again and actually be a little addicted to the gym I would have laughed in their face. My life these days is very different – I am happy and honestly I feel like I have my life back and I’m ready to take this next exciting chapter in my life to train to become a PT. 

Ten years ago I was at University studying sports but I dropped out for different reasons and it’s been one of my biggest regrets. Now I have my life back I feel like anything is possible. I have fitness back in my life (it was a huge passion when I was 21) I say to people that my life has been on hold for ten years well it has in many ways because for 10 years I hated myself. It makes me sad that I allowed myself to miss out on so many different opportunities because I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. However it’s all different now as I have the confidence to do anything I please! 

My Mom also now admits how worried she was about me pre-slimming world and how unhealthy and sad I was getting. She'd tried to encourage me to lose weight before but as I said previously I wasn’t ready!! Now she is even more proud of me. My sister cannot believe how much my body as changed and how I fallen back in love with fitness and about to start my course!! My family and friends have been so supportive and they are super proud of me and they love my new addiction to fitness. 

I’m so excited now about life now and what the future holds! I am so much happier these days and have so much passion for life! I stand proud of the person I have worked so hard to become. I tell everyone that is even thinking about losing weight to do it as it does change your life. I sometimes think where I would be if I hadn’t joined slimming world. Well I know I’d still be super unhappy, super unconfident and I’d probably be 3 stone heavier. I would never have had the courage/self-confidence to do the things I’ve done this past six months and one things for sure I would never have joined the gym. And no way would I have had the confidence to sign up to start a brand new chapter in my life - my PT course. I am also in the process of finding out more information on becoming a SW Consultant, I have so much passion now for fitness, and healthy eating and losing weight that I really want to give something back. If I can help someone else feel as amazing as I do right now then I know I’ve done the right thing. 

One of my biggest accomplishments on the way is knowing that I’ve inspired other people to lose weight and to join the gym/start some form of exercise. I have messages from people I don’t even know on Instragram saying “because of you I’ve lost 10lbs” I have had friends join SW and friends join the gym because “they want to be like me.” So to know that I have been others’ motivation is priceless. I get so much happiness helping people and this is why I know I’m doing the right thing by training to be a PT, it will be hard work and tough financially but I know it will be worth every minute studying and every penny financially. 

I am so excited to start my new career as a Personal Trainer and help other people feel as good as I do. I am so excited!! I am also so thankful to everyone that has supported me from day one of my journey, my Mom, my sister and all of my family, my friends, Craig my old PT for encouraging me to believe in myself & helping me fall back in love with the gym, to Pav for introducing me to PT Academy & believing in me & being one of the most supportive sweetest people ever!!! 

Dreams really do come true & I really want everyone know that if I can do this so can you!!!

Here is my proudest picture of my whole journey -

Left 6th Jan 16 my first day of sw and right last week getting to my target weight (-3 stone) i did go on to lose another 7lbs after this

Other before & progress/after pictures

Losing weight has changed my life and I'm so proud of myself for turning my life round!

Sammie xxx



Post a Comment

Search This Blog