Thursday 30 September 2010

Think You Suck At Weight Loss? Think Again!

I recently had someone tell me that they "suck" at weight loss. It got me thinking.

I can relate to what they are saying, because, honestly, that used to be me. I used to suck at weight loss too. Until I didn't.

Finding Slimming World was an awesome moment for me, because it changed my life. Maybe I was just "ready" to change my life, so I found Slimming World at the right time, or maybe I wouldn't have done it without the lessons about healthy eating that I learned through my Slimming World meetings. Either way, Slimming World saved my life.

My health was going downhill very quickly, and making the changes I made, I believe, has prevented me from going to an early grave. And an early grave is exactly where I was headed if I hadn't made changes. I don't know why I didn't make those changes earlier. I don't know exactly what it was that finally made me stop and say, "I have got to make changes. I can't go on like this."

The health problems had been building for a long time, and yet, I hadn't made any changes earlier due to them. I had gone through two previous pregnancies with high blood pressure difficulties arising due to my weight, and yet, I hadn't made changes during either of them. I had lacked energy and had been tired for a very long time, but I still hadn't made changes.

I think it was the day that I walked through the doors at Slimming World that I really started to make real changes, changes that would save my life. The support I found there and the friendships I made there made it easy to stay on the plan. Each week, as I saw the weight dropping away, despite my being pregnant, I felt my resolve to complete this journey strengthening.

I guess the thing that really set me firmly on this journey was taking the first steps on it. With each new goal reached, each milestone achieved, the motivation to keep going got stronger and stronger.

So what is my advice to someone who thinks they "suck" at weight loss? Take the first step. And then take the second. And little by little, you might find out that you don't suck at it after all!

Monday 27 September 2010

I'm On BBC Radio Wiltshire!

I got called and asked to be an "expert" on BBC Radio Wiltshire about a scheme proposed to give money to people to get them to lose weight. (I said I was skeptical that it would work as those people wouldn't stick to it once they got the money and weren't learning anything about losing weight the right way; they were more likely to go on a fad diet and lose weight the wrong way just to get the money.)

You can find it here now (for 12 days). Just click on last today's date (27/09/2010) and fast-forward it 43 minutes.

I'm still giggling about being introduced as "Slimming World's super-duper weight loss person."

Thursday 23 September 2010

I'm In Today's Paper!

The article about me and my weight loss was in today's paper! It was funny because I had forgotten to ask when it would run in the paper and only foound out it was in the paper today when people kept coming up to me (while I was taking the kids to school) and telling me they had seen me in today's paper.

I found where the paper kept the photos on-line.

This is the one they used (without the background) for the article.

Here are some of the others.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Getting Photographed For The Local Paper

Today a photographer for our local paper came over to photograph me. I wore the same dress that I wore for the Woman Of The Year District Finals.

It was so strange and awkward being on that side of the camera. Usually, I am the one taking the pictures. Back when I was really overweight, I hated having my picture taken. I hated seeing what I looked like in photos, and I hated the idea that a photo of me would be a constant reminder of how big I was.

I don't mind having my photo taken anymore, especially now that the bit of loose skin I had on my arms has started to disappear and firm up, but I still felt awkward standing there posing for a picture. And to make matters worse, as I stood there in my dress and high heels, the photographer asked me to JUMP! Yes, I stood in the park, with curious dog-walkers all around and had to take several leaps into the air with my feet kicked up behind me and my arms stretched up high.

To make matters worse, I am FAR from graceful. In fact, the first jump I did, I fell when I landed. Yep, real graceful. The photographer also had to pause and wait every now and then as people out walking their dogs were stopping in the background to have a curious look at what was going on. We had to wait until they moved on.

The photographer also took some photos of me with my baby boy Cameron. (The other kids were all at school.) Cameron is great at being in photos. He just smiles his biggest smile, because he is truly happy when he knows he is the center of attention.

He was a very nice photographer and we chatted about California for a while. For some reason, people always ask me where I am from as soon as they hear me speak. And the ones who don't ask me where I am from, ask me if I am from Canada.

After all of the embarrassing photo-taking, I forgot to ask when the article is supposed to actually run in the local paper. So now I will have to check the paper until it turns up.

Monday 20 September 2010


Tonight was a weigh-in night. I went to my Slimming World meeting already in a good mood because of winning the district finals of Woman Of the Year, but more good news happened while I was there!

I lost 1 1/2 pounds this week, which means I have now lost 140 pounds (10 stone)!!! To top that good news off, I also won Slimmer Of The Week this week and got to bring the bowl of fruit home with me.

Before going to the meeting, I had even more good news. I got a phone call from our local paper and I was interviewed over the phone about my weight loss. The reporter arranged to have the paper's photographer come out tomorrow to take a picture of me for the paper. I really hope that, if I do get written about in the paper, I can help inspire someone else who needs to lose weight. I hope they can see my before and after pictures and realize that they CAN lose the weight, that it is not an impossible task. As I keep saying, if I can do this, anyone can!

Sunday 19 September 2010

Slimming World's Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals

A little while ago in my Slimming World group, I won the Woman Of The Year title for our group. Today, I got to go to Bristol for the district semi-finals.

First off, my day began and, knowing they were going to be weighing me again when I got there, I debated spending some time on the elliptical crosstrainer in the morning, but, after being awakened twice during the night because of my children, I was way too tired, so I decided not to bother.

Last night, I had tried on a dress of mine. I had never worn this dress before. The last time I had tried it on, at the same weight I am now, it had been too tight to zip up. Now, even though I am still the same weight, I was able to zip it up, which shows me that all of my fitness and exercise is paying off in inches even when it's not paying off in pounds-off anymore.

The dress' pattern was not one that goes well with my coloring. I am very freckled and this dress was a leopard print. Fortune was with me in that my 16 year old daughter had the exact same style of dress in a different color. It had black and white stripes going down it. She was willing to trade with me, and the dress was flattering enough, so I decided to wear it today.

My Slimming World consultant came and picked my husband Robert and me up to take us to the competition. Once we got there, we weighed in and then were split into groups. There were 21 of us there, and we were split up into groups of 7 to tell our stories. We were given pieces of paper with numbers on them to determine what order we would speak in.

I drew number 4, so my turn to tell my story came fourth. I was nervous, and with only five minutes to tell my story, I felt like I had left a lot out. I tried so hard not to get weepy, but when I started to tell these new people my story for the first time and detail how poor my health was before losing the weight and how hard it was to be a good mother when I had no energy and was in pain with every step I took, I couldn't help getting a bit weepy thinking about it as I told it.

After telling our stories, we were sent out of the room to have some coffee or tea while the judges picked nine of us, three from each group, for the district finals. Then we all went back into the room where we were given plaques stating that we had made it to the district semi-finals. Then the nine finalists were called out. My name was the first one called out.

This meant that I went to sit in a circle in the middle of the room with the eight other finalists and we all had to tell our stories again, this time with everyone in the room listening. This time, the paper I drew said 2 on it, so I went second.

Some of these women's stories were so touching and really moving! Some of them had been through so much, and it was incredible to hear their stories of hope and how they overcame obstacles in their lives. It was an honor to be in the room with these other inspirational women.

I couldn't help being nerovus. Both times I spoke, it felt as though I had goofed and not done very well, but Sharon (my consultant) told me I had done fine.

Then we had to leave the room again and wait for the judges to make their decision. Only two would go through to the next round.

We were called back in and we all sat and waited. The first name was called, and she was a very pretty woman who had told a great story about her experience losing weight through Slimming World. The second name was called and it was me! I was so pleased and honored!

I got another engraved pen and paperweight, a framed certificate stating that I had won and an absolutely beautiful bouquet of red roses.

I had a fun day, made some new friends and now, I get to go to Slimming World headquarters in Derby for the Woman Of The Year finals. I am really looking forward to it. Some of you may remember that Robert and I got to go there for the Couple Of The Year 2010 semi-finals, got through the final round and then lost out to another deserving couple. We really enjoyed that and so I have a bit of an idea of what to expect this time.

Two things I want to remember about today:

1 - One of the women who got to come from one of Sharon's other groups was really wonderful and said that being shown my before and after photos and told about how much I exercise inspired her and is what really got her to start to exercise. That meant so much to hear! She said she will come to our later-at-night group soon and I hope she does!

2 - One of the members of my Slimming World group has recently joined to become a Slimming World consultant. Today I was informed that, during her interview, when asked what inspired her, she mentioned me and the weight loss I have achieved. That was so awesome to hear, and I will be sure to give her a hug when I see her tomorrow at our group meeting! (Everyone in our group are friends with one another. It's hard not to be friends with them all when they are all so terrific!)

(I am really so pleased and happy about winning this stage that I am over the moon and dancing around inside right now, but I'm still able (I hope) to maintain my outward composure, so you wouldn't know it to look at me.

Some photos from the day:

Receiving my award:

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals 19 Sept

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals1 19 Sept

All of the semi-finalists:

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals2 19 Sept

All of the finalists (with the district manager):

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals3 19 Sept

The winners with their consultants:

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals4 19 Sept

The other finalist and me:

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals5 19 Sept

The judges and the "counters" (the ones who kept track of the time we had to do our speaking):

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals6 19 Sept

There were three of us there from three of my consultant Sharon's groups, and this is a photo of all of us with Sharon:

Woman Of The Year 2010 District Finals7 19 Sept

The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone there today, whether winning the competition or not, are winners for having lost weight and become healthier.

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Ten Things Children Can Teach Us About Staying Active

1. You don't need music or a dance floor to dance.


2. Skirts are meant for twirling.


3. Climbing trees and building treehouses is a great form of exercise.

Tree climbing

4. You don't need a car to go places, all you need is your own two legs.


5. If you need to get somewhere fast, ride a bike.

Riding A Bike

6. Running is not just for exercise; it's also for fun things like playing tag.

Gabby in motion

7. Any hill, no matter how small, is great for jumping off of.


8. Water was meant for splashing in.


9. There is never a suitable reason not to climb on the climbing frames at playgrounds.


10. Never give up your sense of playfulness.

Surfing for beginners by BFG