Sarah Feels Great After Losing 4 Stone
Sarah's Calorie Counting Success

From leading a sedentary lifestyle and snacking too often, Sarah has taken control of the calories in her diet, lost 4 stone in weight and now competes in Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing).

Sarah Feels Great After Losing 4 Stone

Sarah, Age 24, Height 5ft 6in
Start Weight 14st
Current Weight 10st
Goal Weight 10st
Weight Lost 4st
Working to Rate of Loss 2lbs per week

About Sarah

I have recently qualified as a primary teacher, having originally graduated with a Music degree.

I'm much more active now in the classroom than I was studying music as I am constantly on my feet and moving around.

"Being a musician is, in contrast, a fairly sedentary lifestyle. On the downside, staff rooms tend to contain large quantities of chocolate to keep the staff sane!"

I certainly gained the most weight once my husband Paul and I started to become more secure in our relationship, perhaps just from feeling comfortable and happy.

Now Paul tries to help me with my eating since he's the cook in the house, but we're both far from perfect so there are often major temptations to deal with.

Dieting History

I've always been chubby, and as such I've been dieting on and off for most of my life.

I tried Rosemary Conley and Weight Watchers as a teenager, and various attempts at self-restriction over the years.

At the start of 2005 I decided to make a change and lost 4 or 5 lbs myself through exercise. I then joined Slimming World and lost more weight between May 2005 and June 2006.

Both Weight Watchers and Rosemary Conley worked for me at the time and I lost a little bit of weight, but felt constantly hungry.

"I found they pushed me towards some unhealthy relationships with food, such as deliberately starving myself."

I also felt that the way they specified a 'healthy' weight for me was unrealistic. I don't think I'm designed to weigh 9 stone.

"Going it alone never really worked for me as I always lost motivation and whenever I fell off the wagon I gave in and didn't get back on again."

Slimming World, on the other hand, was extremely successful for me at the time, and I didn't put the weight back on in the 6 months between leaving Slimming World and joining wlr.

It allowed me to eat a lot of food whilst losing weight so I didn't have to deal with being hungry, and whilst I considered joining them again to lose this final bit of weight, I didn't feel like a group, or the kind of eating plan offered by them would suit me any more.

How being overweight has affected you…

Being overweight seriously affected my already pretty poor self-esteem and I have never really felt comfortable with my body, even now, and I still find it difficult to accept that I look good.

Oddly, however, it took me a very long time to admit how bad I had gotten, and I still have pretty mismatched perceptions of myself then and now.

"I found it impossible to buy clothes because I couldn't stand the sight of the lumps and bumps I had, but obviously couldn't magic them away with the “perfect” pair of trousers."

I often used my weight as a kind of punishment or reward system, saying things like 'When I'm a bit lighter, I'll get a gym membership/go back to training' because I was too embarrassed to be seen by all those healthy people, or 'I won’t buy any new clothes because I intend to get slimmer' and then never did.

Motivation to Diet

Originally I just couldn't stand to look at myself any more. I felt uncomfortable being naked with my partner, and avoided photographs at all costs and I just didn't think that was any kind of way to live as a 21 year old.

"Now I train in Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing) and I really love it. It's a great way to get healthy and build your self-esteem."

I've started competing and as such I need to meet specific weight categories. If I'm too heavy I don't get to fight, so that's a good motivator!

It's as much about being healthy now as it is about being slim.

Sarah Before

How Weight Loss Resources Helps

Counting calories helping me to get a better perspective on my diet and create a better relationship with food, so that I can eat the things I want, just not all of them and not all the time!

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

I use the food diary and calorie database every day, and I use the message boards. There's a lot of support and knowledge to be shared and taken advantage of there!

Lifestyle Changes

I can go into any clothes shop now and guarantee that I will find something in my size that will look good, and which I will actually feel confident in.

I can look at myself in pictures and in the mirror without cringing and feeling the need to draw the curtains and never leave the house again.

"I don't feel ashamed of my appearance any more. There's nothing I wouldn't feel confident doing now because of my weight."

I'll join any club, take part in any activity and I'm much better at talking to strangers now that I feel proud of who I am and what I've achieved.

"I'm also learning how to take a compliment."

When people offer me a compliment about my figure I can believe them, instead of assuming they are making fun of me, and I can look them in the eye, smile and thank them.

Diet Changes

It's not so much about meals as it is about snacks for me. I always ate reasonably healthy meals. I just ate too many calories, and too often.

Typical Breakfast

Before: Raspberry flapjack and Red Bull ( c.500 Kcal)

Now: 2 Weetabix with skimmed milk and raspberries (c.170 Kcal) And I wondered why I was overweight!

Exercise Changes

I now train in Muay Thai 6 days a week, generally 7 hrs per week. I cycle everywhere, clocking up about 35 miles per week.

I try to run/stumble 3 times a week – c.5km per run.

Why do you think wlr has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?

I think by giving me control and awareness of the food I'm eating, its calorie and nutritional content, and by showing me that I can eat “normally”, and still lose weight.

Sarah's Calorie Counting Tips

My main tip would be this: losing weight is not easy, but neither is it complicated.

I mean that people tend to ask me a lot how I lost the weight and reactions are generally split between jealousy and disbelief when I explain that to lose weight I ate sensibly and exercised regularly.

I think the people who are jealous think that I mean that it was easy, when it really wasn't. It isn't easy to take control of your diet when you've been so out of control for so long, and learning to say “no” to things is seriously hard.

The people who don't believe it think that there must be more to it than that, when there really isn't– eat less calories than you burn and you will definitely lose weight.

Just don't go overboard – eat your calorie allowance, don't be too hard on yourself, and remember it's necessary to have a treat occasionally!

Also, it's not the end of the world if you fall off the wagon every now and again, so long as you get back on again straight away.

Sarah Now

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* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.

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