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Success Story: Leigh

Leigh's Details
Age 21
Height 5' 2"
Start Weight 11st
Current Weight 9st 2lb
Goal Weight 8st to 8½st
Weight Lost 1st 12lb
Working to Rate of Loss Started 2lb per week, now 1lb per week

Leigh Now: I feel so much more confident and attractive!

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Dieting History

None really

Have you Lost Weight Before and Regained the Weight?

When I left school and started college I lost about a stone without doing anything. Because it wasn’t intentional I didn’t really trust it though and sure enough my weight slowly started creeping back up - and up and up and up, okay you get the picture.

How Being Overweight has Affected you…

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, I have always been just that little bit “chunky.” I don’t think I really realised just how much it bothered me until I started losing weight. I seemed to immediately become more confident and outgoing. Before I would keep myself to myself quite a lot and generally try to fade into the background, friends of friends would forget they’d met me before when introduced (for the third time). I didn’t even speak up very much in work and never felt like I fit in, now I’m far more outspoken and jokey with my colleagues.

I don’t think my weight really stopped me doing anything but it did affect the clothes I would wear. Skirts were a bit of a no-no (especially short ones), strappy tops were definitely out because I had a thing about my arms, even just sleeveless tops were a rarity. I hated summer and rarely went to the beach (and I live right on the coast) because I didn’t want to have to wear swimwear in front of people. I felt self conscious all the time. I remember going out once and there being a girl out wearing the same top as me and I just felt uncomfortable the whole night because in my head everyone was looking at us and thinking I looked like a big fat pig in it compared to her.

Motivation to Diet

I had a pair of trousers that I’d bought a size bigger because they were meant to be quite fitted but I wanted them to be baggy, and they’d started to fit me. A lot of my other clothes were getting a bit too tight. I was in a sort of limbo where a 14 was too small and a 16 was too big (but fitting better all the time) so I had a choice and I really didn’t want to have to go up a dress size. I’m a bit of a shrimp so I don’t carry weight very well, it just didn’t suit me and I hated being that big. I couldn’t stand looking at myself, I avoided mirrors and cameras like they were actually something that could cause physical pain.

It didn’t help that my boyfriend at the time was one of those annoying skinny people that can eat what they like and not put on any weight. The fact that I was fatter than him really got to me, when we went anywhere I felt like people were looking at us thinking “God look at them” when of course they weren’t.

I think the thing that gave me the final push was a friend I hadn’t seen in a while losing about 4 stone. It was a “if she can do it, I can do it” kind of thing and I just really didn’t want to be “the fat one” – that makes me sound awful doesn’t it?

The thing that’s kept me going is how great I feel for losing the weight, I feel so much more confident and attractive. The comments and compliments when people start noticing always help too and make it that little bit easier to resist the “bad” foods (well most of the time anyway).

Discovering Weight Loss Resources

I’d decided that I was going to lose weight but was mainly planning to do it by exercise. I thought I already ate fairly healthily so I just wanted to find out how bad some of things I eat were. I looked online to find out about calorie content in certain foods and WLR came up. I signed up for the free trial and thought it was so good that I became a full member before the end of my first day.

How Weight Loss Resources Helps

I think WLR is so good because it’s not a diet, it’s a re-education. It makes you aware of what you’re eating and you find out that some things you thought were good for you really aren’t. Weighing things also made me realise how much I was eating, I was quite easily having double (maybe even more than that) the recommended portion of pasta and my cereal bowl always looks so empty now compared to what it used to - but it still manages to fill me up. Finding out the amount of calories in a jaffa cake was a bit of a shocker too. Just being more aware of food and how much you’re eating makes a huge difference, really makes you think twice before you bite into that cream cake. Even when I’m treating myself now I always have a look at the nutritional information before I buy something because even if I’ve got loads of spare calories it just feels like such a waste using most of them on one thing.

The support from other members is invaluable and without it I think I may have given up a long time ago, knowing that other people go through the same things that you do really helps and stops things getting you down so much.

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

Initially I only really used the food and exercise diary’s but I started using the message boards because of last years Christmas challenge and now I’m completely hooked. I get withdrawal if I can’t get on the boards, yep, I’m that sad! The support from other member’s is great and I feel like I’ve made some proper friends. If you have a question, need some advice or just need to moan you can guarantee there will be someone there to help or just to listen and let you know you’re not alone. I’ve found that having a WLR “buddy” (or bully if you will) really helps make me get my bum in gear and be good or do some exercise.

Leigh's Dieting Tips

  • Set yourself small goals and give yourself a treat when you reach them (best not to choose a chocolate bar as your treat though – unless you’ve got the calories of course)
  • Exercise. I cannot recommend this enough, it makes all the difference! It gives you more to eat and it just has so many health benefits and of course there’s the toning and we don’t really wanna be light but squidgey do we? You’re also more likely to keep the weight off if you’ve been doing exercise and have built up some muscle because it burns more calories – so you can eat more, yay! My mum calls me a born again exercise freak because I champion it so much (and this is the girl that became an expert at forging her mums signature to get out of PE at school). Now being fit is almost as big a thing for me as being thin, I just couldn’t go back to being how I was.
  • Don’t deny yourself anything. If you want some chocolate, have some chocolate. Just choose better - curly wurly’s are my thing (117 calories - is it dreadful that I know that?) but there are fun size bars and things like Freddo’s, chomps and kit kats that are also quite low in calories. And if that’s not enough and you need the hard stuff (sometimes only a big slab of dairy milk will do) or your vice is the odd bottle, I mean glass, of wine then you can do some exercise to get the calories – I have been known to go running, do Tae Bo, go on the rowing machine and jump around on my rebounder to try and make up for a night out on the town.
  • Go down a plate size. It really does help you have smaller portions - or at least feel a bit less disappointed with the one's you weighed out.
  • Drink lots of water. It’s good for you and fills you up to help stop you snacking.
  • Make sure you take your measurements. There could be weeks (or even months) where the scales don’t show a loss but you could be losing inches so measure yourself or you could end up getting disheartened for no reason.
  • Routine helps. A lot of people struggle at the weekends (myself included) but I’ve found that if I try and get into a routine I’m a lot better on the food front and less likely to just wander into the kitchen thinking “hmm, what can I eat?”

I think the most important bit of advice that I can give is don’t look at this as a diet. Think of it more as a lifestyle change, a way of living healthily for life. I think if you think of it as a diet you’re more likely to feel deprived and cave. Small changes soon add up to big changes and you soon don’t even notice – I now eat and prefer wholewheat versions of most things, drink skimmed milk and there are some fantastic “diet” foods (Skinny Cows to be but one example) and I can’t imagine going back to full fat things and white bread, pasta etc even if I knew I could without ever gaining an ounce

The Weight Loss Resources tools can help you break the yo-yo diet cycle. Keeping an online food diary and learning about eating healthily really puts you in control. You can try it free for 24 hours

Take our FREE trial »

* 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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Take our FREE trial »

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