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Lesley's Weight Loss Success Story

Lesley's Details
Age 56
Height 5ft 4in
Start Weight 82.5kg (13st)
Current Weight 66kg (10st 6lb)
Goal Weight 67kg (10st 8lb)
Weight Lost 15kg (2st 8lb)
Time Taken 16 weeks
Working to Rate of Loss 1kg (2lb) per week reduced to 0.25kg (½lb) per week
View Lesley's Vital Stats

Lesley Before (13st) and Now (10st 6lb)

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About Lesley

Had 3rd knee arthroscopy (both knees done over period 4 years) in September 2011, so I was able to walk, swim and go to the gym and generally be far more active than I had been for about 8 years.

Over this time the weight had piled on and at heaviest I was 13st 9lb. I left work at the end of December 2011 to lead a less stressful lifestyle as well as to give more attention to my very fit and healthy 94 year old father and my 86 year old Mum-in-law, who has just had a hip replacement and is therefore quite immobile.

I have always been a keen swimmer and walker but the knee problems had made this very difficult. I play lawn green bowls, both indoor and outdoor for clubs and regularly compete in matches.

My husband is a very fit and slim person – always has been. He can eat anything and never puts on weight. We have 2 daughters who no longer live with us; one takes after me and is prone to putting on weight, the other is very slim and takes after her Dad.

We try to eat healthily but I think it is portion size which I tend to lose control over and I do like my wine!

Until December I had a very stressful job in teaching. I was the Specialist Teacher of Dyslexia running a unit attached to a mainstream secondary school. I loved the teaching part of my job but the budget cuts and continual stress of trying to make dyslexic students achieve targets in literacy, which for them was very difficult, made work a battle.

The wine bottle would come out far more frequently than it should have done after a hard day in school.

What diets have you tried in the past?

I have done Weight Watchers, Rosemary Conley and Just 4 Weeks, where I attended classes.

On my own: Atkins, Rosemary Conley

On all diets I manage to lose some weight, the most ever being one stone, then I stop the dieting and the weight plus more goes back on.

I never enjoyed going to the classes, there was always more sitting around waiting than positive encouragement and help, unlike WLR where the forums are very supportive and there when you need them

Tell us how your weight has affected your lifestyle and other people’s reaction to you.

My husband has never worried about me being overweight, which I suppose didn’t encourage me to do much about it. However now that I have lost so much he is really positive and flattering!

When I was eating too much and gaining weight I just bought bigger clothes, I intended to lose the weight eventually – but never lost much. I was finally in size 18 trousers and 18/20 tops, whereas in my 20/30s I was size 12/14.

When overweight I didn’t like looking in mirrors, having my photo taken or trying on clothes in stores. I would only buy clothes from M&S because I could try on at home and take back if they made me look too fat. People always said I never looked as heavy as I was; I carried the excess weight very well! Perhaps they were being kind?

What has been your main motivation to lose weight?

My daughter is getting married on July 7th 2012 and for the last 18 months this date has figured in my mind; I knew I must do something about my weight before then.

I told my daughter a few years back that I would need at least 6 months’ notice of any wedding so that I could lose weight. I intended to start dieting last September but then had my knee op, so having decided to leave work at the end of 2011 and being able to exercise again, after Christmas was the big starting point.

Unfortunately my knee has got worse again and I am going to need yet another arthroscopy to mend the cartilage and clean it out, that will make 2 arthroscopies on each knee!

Which tools and resources do you use regularly on WLR? Which tools do you find invaluable?

I always log my food and exercise. I found that this has made me very aware of what is going in my body and therefore the amount I needed to do eat/drink in order to lose weight.

I think that this has been the best bit for me because although I’d dieted before and tried to count calories in the past as this is all done electronically it is so easy. One has the daily allowance and it’s as simple as that, eat up to the allowance over the week and you will lose weight, do some exercise and you can treat yourself with an extra glass of wine or chocolate!

I haven’t changed what I eat, just been far more conscious of portion size and making sure that I stick as close to the allowance as possible. Initially the weight dropped off but over the period of time I have reduced my weight loss per week as it has become harder to shift the pounds.

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Have you purchased any products or fitness equipment that have helped you with your goals?

Only a decent set of scales to weigh on.

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

Logging all my food online and keeping a very close account of the calorie allowance, increased when I have been able to exercise.

Drinking plenty of water – it really does help. Watching the graph go down, which was very steadily in my case.

The forums, especially the weekly weigh in one when you see what the others who weigh on the same day as you are doing and can support and encourage each other. I have a buddy but to be honest she hasn’t kept in much contact but I have teamed up with another WLRer (I only know her through WLR) and we have become good friends exchanging daily messages and being supportive.

Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey?  What has kept you motivated?

I have lost each week but sometimes only a small amount. The times when the loss is low are frustrating and I have found that by eating a bit more and shaking your body up a bit usually helps, as well as the prunes! I have posted before on the weigh ins about eating prunes helps to get the body working well! Upping the water intake also helps.

My main motivation has been the wedding, but also I am now getting so many comments about how good I am looking that it is really a boost to one’s confidence. Looking at the pre-weight loss photos are very painful, makes me realise how large I had become.

Since losing weight can you give some examples of how your life has changed?

I spend a lot of time on the WLR site, logging and reading posts! I have had to buy smaller clothes and even smaller ones now that I am near goal.

I feel confident when walking around and am not trying to hide away. I enjoy buying dresses, not that I have much occasion to wear them.

I’d love to go on a cruise and be able to wear lovely dresses with confidence, which I now feel that I could do.

Exercise routines adopted?

Before my knee started to play up again in February this year I was going to the gym 3 times a week and walking about 10 miles a week. Now I am swimming at least 3 times a week, no breast stroke just front/backcrawl and I can also cycle as it is not weight bearing,

What do you love about your body now?

My waist has re-appeared and yet my bust hasn’t shrunk too much! My husband says I now have an hour glass figure.

Do you want to include anything else that you feel is relevant and supportive and would help others?  Tips to share?

Drink lots of water, log daily, read the posts on the forums. Treat yourself but keep an eye on those calories.

Lesley's Vital Statistics

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Weight 82.5kg (13st) 66kg (10st 6lb)
BMI 30.7 25.1
Dress Size 18 14
Chest 116cm 103cm
Waist 94.5cm 81cm
Upper Arm 35cm 28.5cm
Thigh 60cm 53cm
Hip 111cm 99cm
Body Fat 35.2% 27.7%

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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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