Sam's Weight Loss Success Story
Sam (aka Samjallen10, formerly SJA15K) Weight Loss Success Story

Sam decided to lose weight for herself when clothes no longer fitted. Read about her 4 stone weight loss.

Sam's Weight Loss Success Story

Sam, Age 39, Height 5ft 8in
Start Weight 15st 8lbs
Current Weight 11st 8lbs
Goal Weight 11st-11st 7lbs
Weight Lost 4st
Working to Rate of Loss

½lb per week

Time Taken 4½ months

About Sam

I’m married with 1 son Josh and 2 cats, Flash (17.5) and Scramble (4)

Josh eats a well balanced diet but I guess the journey really started when he was born when we took a conscious decision to cook things from scratch rather than relying on convenience foods.                  

It was a natural and easy step then, when he was 4, to start really looking at what I was eating and making the real lifestyle change.

I work 9.30 - 3 (but more flexible than that really) for a bank as a business manager.

"In the past I had used my hours as an excuse for not having time to exercise. Once with WLR I realised that actually I could make my working hours work for me."

I build in exercise at either end of the day, walk to all appointments within 2 miles of where I’m working, and if all else fails park 2 miles away and walk in.

What diets have you tried in the past?

Haven’t ever really tried any diets. Half followed Slimming World when my mother in law was doing it but didn’t properly join. Had just let the weight pile on while I thought I was eating healthily.

How has your weight loss affected your lifestyle?

I now sleep better at night. I have fewer tendencies to allow external factors (i.e. other people and their actions) affect my own mood and, as a result, I am not comfort eating.

"Friends and customers have been wowed by the weight loss; several haven’t even recognised me until I spoke.  This reaction never gets tiring, I love it!"

When I was losing the weight which I did really quickly, I found a number of people (usually those thinner than me when I started) saying I shouldn’t go too far, and don’t lose any more will you. 

I found (and still find) this frustrating. I am in control of my weight.

"I occasionally creep up a pound or 4 but quickly get back to logging and lose the excess."

I am on a low weight loss at the moment but am actually really happy with my body shape, particularly as recent kettle bell and 30 day shred sessions have really toned up my tummy area, so if I don’t lose that additional half stone I’m really not too worried.

What has been your main motivation to lose weight?

On 2 January 2009, I got ready for work on a cold morning. The trousers that had fitted me the previous winter wouldn’t do up with a gap of 2 inches. I was disgusted and felt I needed to do something.

I promptly caught the flu and was laid up for a week with nearly nothing to eat.

My husband bought me a Women’s Fitness mag to look at while I was ill as I’d said I needed to do something about my weight. There was information in there along with a food log and that was it.  

I never looked back.

"My motivation to keep the weight off is my own self well being, my husband and my son - in that order."

I firmly believe that unless you are doing it for yourself you either won’t lose the weight or won’t keep it off.

I love the fact that when I hug my husband my boobs hit him first not my belly, and I love having the energy to run around for nearly as long as my son.

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

I use the food and exercise logs regularly.

Sometimes I don’t log all of the time but when I feel the need to regain a little control I am back to logging.

"I use the goals and result page religiously, weighing in every Monday and am on the message boards several times per day."

I think the support gained from other members is invaluable.  We share our lows and highs and often just have a giggle.

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

An MP3 player and that’s about it (although I did recently invest in 2 1.5kg weights for 30 day shred).  Oh and a regular supply of swimming costumes, trainers and fitted t shirts!

"My favourite exercise is walking, followed by swimming and cycling."

I need nothing specialised for any of these and as long as I have plenty of battery life I can chill out, mull over the day and plan the weeks menu’s as I wander along.

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

I haven’t really tried other diets, until that January day I was completely in denial. 

At 5ft 8in, I carried the weight well but was a size 18 trying to kid myself that size 16 clothes fitted.

I just didn’t see the problem in the fact that since being 12 years old a size 14 was the smallest dress size I’d ever had.

Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey?

I didn’t struggle at all during the initial weight loss. I lost the weight quickly and found it easy.

Due to the amount of exercise I have done everything is also reasonably toned for a nearly 40 year old woman who’s had a baby.

Having said that, when my Mum-in-law got cancer a couple of years ago, I did find myself struggling to maintain when hospital visits were part of our life.

We lost her last November and for a couple of months I struggled to find the motivation for anything. 

"At Christmas, however, I gave myself a good kick up the back side and was back with the program, quickly losing the half stone that had inched its way on to my hips and tummy; my jeans were decidedly tight."

I find that weekly weighing really works to keep myself focussed, despite the copious exercise I am currently doing I am at a bit of a plateau but as I am happy with my shape and the way my SIZE 10 clothes fit, I am not too worried.

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

I was in a rut at work, and had been for a couple of years.  Losing the weight gave me the confidence to see that I can change and I am now, 3 years later, about 2 thirds of the way through an OU maths degree. 

I want to be a teacher and have the confidence to go for what I want.

I have loads more energy. I’m known as ‘the lady who walks’ locally. I am prepared to give anything a try.

"Last summer I did North Yorkshire 3 peaks despite being scared stiff of heights."

I want to walk Hadrian’s Wall and am not worried about finding company; I’m quite content to do these things on my own.

I wear fitted clothes all of the time now. I love browsing sportswear shops and can now wear knee length boots for the first time in my life - my calves were always too fat before.

Exercise routines adopted?

  • I walk every Tuesday morning 4 miles
  • Kettle bells Wednesday evening
  • Walk & Run 5 miles while Josh is at Taekwondo on Thursday evenings
  • Family swim Friday (I do 40/50 lengths while the ‘boys’ mess around)
  • Walk 4 miles on Saturday morning
  • Walk 4-6 miles Sunday

Any one of these sessions can be interchanged with an extra swim / a bike ride or a run depending on what we’re doing as a family.

Sam (middle) at Race for Life
Sam (middle) at Race for Life

What do you love about your body now?

My bum, and my legs - they’re really tight and toned.  And no double chins.  And the muscles in my arms.  And the fact that my belly’s nearly gone and abs are starting to be defined.

  Before After
BMI 32.1 24.6
Dress Size 18 10
Chest 44in 37in
Waist 41in 28.5in
Hip 44in 37in
Body Fat 32.1% 21.6%

Sam’s Tips

"One of the things I found really important, especially at the start was to be organised and really plan ahead for the week."

Living with a husband and son meant that I needed some treats in the house, I just made sure they were things I didn’t like so crisps that I didn’t like and biscuits that weren’t my choice. 

Making a pack up for lunch instead of nipping next door to M&S for a sandwich that would turn into a sandwich, crisps and a pudding. 

And getting tomorrow’s tea ready tonight so that when I get in from work I just need to bang it in the oven. 

Also, I cut back considerably on my drinking BUT I still had a small glass of wine every night – I think if you’d said I couldn’t have a drink I wouldn’t have done it!  That was my one little treat.

Plus, remember:

  • The MOST important thing is that you have to buy into the journey.  It’s a lifestyle change and there is no going back, EVER.  You have to want to do it for you because if you’re doing it for someone else you are setting yourself up to fail.
  • Take heart in the small successes; don’t let setbacks get you down. 
  • And use the forums, it’s a fantastic community with a wealth of support just waiting to be utilised.
"I wear fitted clothes all of the time now."

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