Success Story: Sarah

Sarah viewed her weight loss journey as a change in lifestyle rather than a diet; using WLR's calorie counting tools she has lost 2½ stone...

Success Story: Sarah

Sarah, Age 42, Height 5ft 7in
Start Weight 13st
Current Weight 10st 2lb
Goal Weight 10st 7lb
Weight Lost 2st 12lb
Working to Rate of Loss 1lb per week

Dieting History

I’ve tried F-Plan, WW and Atkins (which I hated) and also spent a lot of time over the years trying to ‘cut down’ and ‘eat healthily’.

I was never very successful though. I never managed to stick to anything for very long either.

Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?

Yes – whenever I lost any, it usually went back on again fairly quickly. My weight always used to relate to my current state of mind too.

When I was happy, I lost weight, only to pile it back on when I was low and started comfort eating.

How being overweight has affected you…

My weight has yo-yoed over the years (especially during the mid-1990s when I had my two daughters) but I was in reasonable shape when I stopped smoking in September 2003.

Despite my best intentions, I then piled on the weight - I think I put on about 2.5 stone overall and apart from the fact that I had to keep buying bigger clothes; I hated what I saw every day in the mirror.

"My self-esteem and self-confidence have always been pretty low and being overweight just made it a whole lot worse."

I wouldn’t put a swimming costume on at all which meant I disappointed my children by not taking them swimming and not swimming with them on holidays.

I felt very uncomfortable at social events, especially formal ones.

I just didn’t feel as if I ever looked nice and I didn’t want to let my husband down (not that he ever thought I did but I always managed to convince myself that I looked dreadful compared to everyone else).

"I always wanted to hide under baggy clothes and also physically hide in the corner of pubs and restaurants."

Parties were always a nightmare for me and I would hate to have to get onto a dance floor – which was a shame because I always used to love dancing.

Motivation to Diet

I want to like what I see in the mirror, be able to wear fashionable, colourful clothes and feel good in them - and to be healthier and fitter to prolong my life as much as possible!

Discovering Weight Loss Resources

A colleague of my husband’s was using it and he e-mailed me the website address one day. I did the three-day trial and was hooked!

How wlr's Calorie Counting Tools Help

The food diary is so helpful. I thought I was eating healthily until I entered an average day’s intake into it.

I was eating fairly healthily – but I was eating far too much! I’ve consequently become far more conscious of portion sizes and the fat content of my food.

"I am much more motivated to exercise too – because it means I can eat more!"

I’ve never been a very active person but definitely make much more of an effort now to fit exercise into my hectic life.

I haven’t got to the point of doing any one activity on a regular basis yet but hopefully I’ll get there soon.

I eat loads more fruit and veg than I did before – and enjoy it too!

"I’ve cut out bread and potatoes almost completely which is something I thought I’d never be able to do – bread is still one of my biggest weaknesses."

I don’t eat as many sweet things and have found ways of satisfying my sweet tooth with low-cal foods.

If I do get a chocolate craving, which isn’t often these days, I can usually satisfy it with a fun-size bar instead of a huge great big one – major progress for an ex-chocoholic!

I drink lots of water now, which was always difficult for me before. I used to be addicted to caffeine-free diet coke which I only drink now occasionally – so there’s another bad habit broken.

"I can now eat out without overdoing it - I know what to avoid and can even say ‘no’ to puddings!!"

I feel as though I am in control because I’m more aware of the effects of my food and drink intake on my body, and know how to counteract over-indulgences!

I have lost the weight at a rate of 1-2lbs per week and it’s getting more difficult now that I’m closer to my goal.

I had a couple of ‘blips’ along the way because of two holidays in two months this summer, during both of which I put on a few pounds (loads of red wine, French bread and brie!).

However, it didn’t take me long to lose them when I got home and got back into the routine of filling in my food diary and sticking to my calorie allowance.

"The flexibility of being able to change your rate of loss was really useful."

There were times when I found it really difficult to stick to 1100 cals/day for a weight loss of 1.5 lb/week so changing that rate of loss to 1lb/week and getting another 200 cals/day made all the difference.

The wlr culture has made me think of all this as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet.

I feel empowered to achieve my goal weight and maintain it permanently. I’ve broken some really bad habits and started some good ones, like:

  • eating more fruit and veg
  • being as active as possible
  • drinking less alcohol
  • eating smaller portions
  • drinking more water

I firmly believe that even when I reach my target weight, I will continue doing all these things so I’m going to be leading a much healthier life.

I’ve learnt an awful lot about food, metabolism, exercise and the way our bodies react to what we put into them from reading articles and information on the site, as well as from the message boards.

There’s so much knowledge out there amongst the other members and because of the things I’ve read on the boards, I’ve been encouraged to try new types of foods and different ways of exercising – which is a real achievement for someone like me who has always been very unadventurous with food and completely disinterested in any exercise that wasn’t horse-riding!

"The message boards and other wlr members have been a huge source of support for me."

I don’t think I would have done it without them all to be honest. It is so important to be able to communicate with people who are all in the same boat, and with those who have already achieved their target weight too.

An extra bonus which I didn’t expect is that I have made lots of friends who have become very important to me.

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

I use the food diary daily and find it invaluable – and the food database is so comprehensive too.

I also love entering stuff (especially ironing!) into the exercise diary and finding out how many extra calories I can eat!

The calories history screen is really useful for keeping track of your weekly consumption and the amount of exercise you’ve done.

I’ve never found a need to use the food planner but I do read the message boards daily. I post messages less now than I used to but still find reading the boards entertaining, motivating and uplifting.

Sarah's Calorie Counting Tips

  • Fill in your food diary daily – and be honest! – however bad you’ve been
  • Target yourself with increasing your average daily intake of fruit and veg – mine has gone up from about 4 to 8-10 per day.
  • Try to enter something into your exercise diary every day. It’s not always easy but every little helps!
  • Use the message boards when you’re struggling – everyone’s so supportive and the responses you get always make you feel better.
  • Eat regularly and always have breakfast – skipping meals usually means that you end up being really hungry and going on a binge!
  • Make sure you drink loads of water
  • Treat it as a permanent change of lifestyle, rather than a diet

I have wlr to thank for educating me about developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which has enabled me to lose weight.

I know that maintenance is bound to be a bit tricky but I now feel better equipped to deal with controlling my weight.

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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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