Jane's Weight Loss Success Story

Jane is living in the Dordogne in South West France. She moved there with her husband John in January 2010 after redundancy gave them the opportunity to make changes they’d always dreamt about.

Jane's Weight Loss History

Jane's weight started to increase when she gave up smoking in her mid-twenties. She says,

‘I always seem to remember being conscious of my weight.’ Something that a lot of us can identify with!

Jane’s Tips

Log every day – be honest – you are only lying to yourself

Exercise every day

Use the Forums

Try new recipes

Ask for advice and take on board what is said

Enjoy your new regime and keep focused but if you have a bad day, get back on board the next day and keep going

Jane was overweight during her 20s and 30s but not significantly. Then her 40s saw significant weight gain. She says,

‘The excess weight made me feel very frumpy and old-fashioned and affected my moods because I never felt good or confident about how I looked.’

‘I felt so useless because I wasn’t able to control myself where food was concerned.’

She says that she did seem to carry her weight quite well so perception of others was that she didn’t weigh the amount she actually did.

Wake Up Call

Jane’s wakeup call came when she was about to turn 50. She says,

‘My life seemed to have revolved around being fat and not so fat and I was fed up with the yo-yo dieting. I was also becoming concerned about my health and felt it was time I took better care of myself.’

Eating Habits

‘My eating habits were quite poor from about 16 onwards when I was training to be a hairdresser - lunches were very rushed and left me with a bad habit of eating very quickly.' says Jane.

In her thirties Jane changed jobs and became a sales representative; eating was always on the hoof during the day with carbohydrate-heavy food forming a major part of her diet.

‘Then I found myself working in an office and found I could be a little bit more in control of what I was eating.’ Says Jane

Unfortunately, Jane's office was in the town with M&S, Greggs, all manner of sandwich and pie shops just a few steps away! Living in France throws up different challenges for Jane with bread being a major weakness of hers – all that lovely fresh French bread!

Some Weight Loss Success

‘Like most long term overweight people, I have tried all the usual routes. In my thirties, I did the Cambridge Diet with some success.’

Then Jane tried Weight Watchers and managed to lose over 40lbs. Maintaining it was a problem though and, like most, Jane ended up gaining more than she lost.

With her fiftieth birthday looming and a wonderful cruise to celebrate booked, Jane heard about Lighter Life. She was saved! Jane says she remembers thinking that this would be the answer to all of her weight loss problems! Or so she thought.

‘I lost 5 stone in 5 months and was ecstatic. 

However, I was not prepared for eating again properly and

I didn’t understand the screwed thinking Lighter Life had left me with until I found WLR a few years later.’

Jane kept returning to Lighter Life for the next 5 years with varying weight loss success but found it increasingly difficult to sustain long period of not eating. Jane says,

‘I knew it wasn’t really the answer to healthy, long-term weight control. I gained 4 of the 5 stone I lost over the next six years.’

Depriving Yourself Does Not Equal Weight Loss Success

It became increasingly obvious to Jane that depriving herself of food was teaching her nothing about how to survive post weight loss healthily and successfully.

‘Just before I found WLR, I was at an all-time low, 4 stone overweight and considering surgery. So I decided to try discussing surgery with my French GP...

‘He told me that losing weight was simple – eat less than you use and exercise! I left his office thinking he was very insensitive to overweight people.’

‘I have visited him recently and I couldn’t wait for him to weigh me! He congratulated me on my weight loss success ‘without surgery’! I came away realising that, although I thought my GP had been insensitive, he was actually right.’ Jane says.

Jane’s Motivation to Lose Weight

One of Jane’s good friends has had a lovely figure all her life, been active and watched her diet. She was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. Jane says,

‘She was a year older than me and it hit her very hard – if there was anyone I had aspired to look like, it would have been her. It made me think how much I wanted to improve my health and conquer the weight. I just didn’t know where to start this time.’

Jane was so fed up with the constant battle going on in her head of looking and feeling fat, feeling useless because she couldn’t control herself where food and drink were concerned, never feeling attractive and so on and on.

She says,

‘I am a very fortunate lady who has the opportunity to buy nice clothes and over the years have wasted a lot of money on various sizes of clothes because of my constant yoyo dieting.’

At 56 Jane was beginning to noticing her mood swings and feeling unable to move as easily as she should. Especially with the new house in France – there was a lot of physical work but she just couldn’t do what she should have been able to do as she’d become so overweight.

Jane's Details
Age 56
Height 5ft 6ins
Start Weight 14st 6lbs
Current Weight 11st
Goal Weight 11st 7lbs
Weight Lost 3st 6lbs
Time Taken 7 months

Discovering Weight Loss Resources

Jane had discovered WLR a few years before when she purchased the calorie bible and scales from us and, since then, has been receiving regular emails with tips and advice about losing weight.

‘Up to February this year I’d always quickly looked and then deleted the email but this time something was in tune in my head and I looked at WLR in a bit more detail.’

‘I thought, at first, that logging food would be a real pain and that I wouldn’t do it properly but after I had done the free trial and made the decision to get on board I have never looked back.

Jane says,

‘Within the first few days it became increasingly obvious to me that I had just bought into a very powerful weight loss tool.’

Although Jane had initially thought that logging everything she ate and drank would be an absolute drudge, she quickly realised that logging forms the basis of learning how to eat within your personal levels and about how to make informed, sensible decisions in and around all food and drink.

‘I learnt very quickly how to make the most of my 1100 calorie allowance that the site had set me at and managed to keep within my allowance. This was totally down to the food finder, recipe database and Your Recipes facilities.’ Says Jane.

The exercise resource forms the second part of this powerful tool according to Jane. She says,

‘How can you possibly adopt a healthier lifestyle and hope to lose weight without exercising to help.’

In France, exercise classes are few and far between so Jane was a bit stuck as to what to do. 

She has a young dog so walking was an everyday occurrence which both dog and owner enjoyed – that was her answer! Walking forms the basis of Jane’s exercise. She then found out about Couch to 5K from reading the forums on WLR and explored the NHS site, downloaded the podcast and started to run for the first time in her life! 

This certainly helped Jane's weight loss and it gave her so many more calories to eat. Another thing that she says WLR has taught her is that exercise earns more calories.

Jane says,

‘From all the tools WLR offers, the most powerful for me is the Forums.’

When Jane first joined she thought the Forums wouldn’t be for her.

She says, ‘I was wrong again!

I started to lurk around the threads and immediately had a major light bulb moment! Hey, there are people here who are writing EXACTLY how I feel.

What on earth have I been doing for nearly 40 years trying all manner of clubs, meal replacements, exercise regimes, fast fixes, tablets etc. etc. when all the time there was WLR.’

Not only was Jane learning that you have to use more calories than you eat to lose weight, exercise to increase the amount you can eat and eat whatever you want as long as you remain within your allowance but that there was a whole load of other people out there having the same light bulb moments as her.

Changing Habits – Staying off the Booze

The thread that has had the biggest impact on Jane is Staying off the Booze (SOTB) on Changing Habits. When Jane first started to read this thread, it was there that she felt she had really found people who were experiencing the same feelings as her around booze.

Since Jane's move to France, drinking had become a huge part of her social life as most socialising is done in each other’s houses. Her wine consumption rocketed along with her weight. Her moods were changing too while drinking and she felt it was all getting more and more out of control.

SOTB was where Jane found ways of getting to grips with some of these issues by joining the people on that thread. Like a lot of us, Jane found that she got totally out of control around food while drinking to excess and giving up alcohol has had the biggest impact on her journey so far.

She says it has made losing weight much easier, her mood swings have stopped, she can maintain control and no longer wake up feeling hung-over! All positive.

Over the last 6 months, Jane has learnt to have the odd drink and when to stop, now drinking is an enjoyable thing again that she does in moderation. She says,

‘The support from SOTB’s members has been invaluable. I have learnt so much from these people

... and continue to do so. I do now have a drink but only with dinner which is mainly red wine but not every day and stop when I have stopped eating. I don’t drink white wine anymore as I think this is a real demon and causes a lot of problems with us ladies it seems.’

Jane also likes the Advice and Support message board because she says it is chockablock full of good, sound advice - as is both Fitness and Exercise and the Running thread. She thinks,

‘Some of the people on WLR are so empowering with what they have managed to achieve and continue to be shining stars and inspirational to me.’

Exercise Habits

Having read on the Forum that HRTs and pedometers are helpful, Jane has purchased both and uses them all the time to motivate herself to move more! She says she can count on one hand how many times she hasn’t managed her 10,000 steps! She says,

‘I love these little motivators.’

What Makes WLR Different?

After many years of trying all manner of things to lose weight, it took WLR to teach Jane about calories. She says,

‘All other regimes I had tried had taken the very thing that we need to learn away and covered it up and called it ‘points’ or ‘red or green’ or ‘shakes’ or some other form of ‘easy’ way of losing weight.

… We must understand calories to form a method in which to lose weight successfully. This very point is what never ceases to amaze me in the fact that it’s taken so long for me to realise how simple it is. Yes, it does take time and effort but I really feel I am learning about nutrition and how to remain within a healthy weight band for the first time in my life.’

Weight Loss Plateaus

Jane says this hasn’t really happened to her. Once she realised that booze was a trigger for overeating bad food and she stopped, it all fell into place for her. She upped her exercise, found a nice routine food wise and the weight fell off.

With around 8/9lbs to lose, the loss slowed down and Jane had a few weeks of staying the same. She consulted the Advice & Support thread and asked for help which she found very forthcoming. It was suggested by someone, who is always there with very positive comments, that she reduce her loss to 1lb and enjoy an increase in calories to get things moving again. She found it really hard to accept that would work but it did!

Jane says that the Forums are invaluable to her for advice and support and for feeling ‘we are in this together’. She says,

‘Amazing really as I shall probably never get to meet most of these wonderful people but maybe that’s just the thing that makes this so different.’

How Jane’s Life has Changed with Her Weight Loss Success

Jane has just returned from a trip to the UK where she and her husband, John, were invited to a Remembrance Service in Cardiff. She planned some shopping as she needed some new clothes (!) and bought some lovely items that she could have only dreamed about before now.

‘The Remembrance Service was a particularly poignant moment for me as

I can honestly say I have never received so many compliments about how I looked ever in my life before.

I wore a long black dress from M&S (only cost £59 – just goes to show!) and women – both friends and people I didn’t know - were commenting on it all evening! I was gob smacked. I am still getting used to what I see in the mirror when I look at myself – that in itself is very motivating.’

When Jane lost weight with Lighter Life she didn’t get as low with her weight but her body looked so different to now. She says her face looked sunken and gaunt, her hair thinned considerably, the skin on her body was very saggy and she was very tired. This time, thankfully, there is none of that. She says she has so much more energy, can walk and cycle further, do far more physical work and she generally feels so much fitter.

Jane walks her dog at least 3k every day, she runs every other day where possible, and loves cycling with John and Buster (the dog).

What Jane Loves About Her Weight Loss Success

Jane says,

‘Feeling bones! I didn’t realize I had so many close to the surface! And I have a waist!’

Jane loves dressing up and going out, checking her new body out in the mirror and she doesn’t hide when the cameras come out anymore.

Jane’s Weight Loss Success Tips

Try all that’s available on WLR and use what is relevant to you and your new lifestyle. What you need will change as you progress with your journey.

I am now maintaining and my needs have changed but my roots are still in the same place.

Log every day – be honest – you are only lying to yourself

Exercise every day

Use the Forums

Try new recipes

Ask for advice and take on board what is said

Enjoy your new regime and keep focused but if you have a bad day, get back on board the next day and keep going

Jane says,

‘I will be a member on WLR for a long time as I can’t manage this journey on my own.’

Congratulations Jane! Well done on your weight loss journey so far!


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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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