Success Story: Suzanne
Suzanne's Weight Loss Success Story

At a low point in her life, Suzanne realised she had to make some changes to her lifestyle which included looking at her relationship with food. Using WLR Suzanne has slowly changed her eating habits, built in a regular exercise routine and lost 6 stone and 6lbs in weight.

Success Story: Suzanne

Suzanne, Age 41, Height 5ft 1in (ish)
Start Weight 239lbs (17st 1lb)
Current Weight 149lbs (10st 9lbs)
Goal Weight 134lbs (9st 8lbs)
Weight Lost 90lbs (6st 6lbs) Wow!
Working to Rate of Loss 2lbs per week
Time Taken 4 years plus

Weight Loss History

I have only tried Weight Watchers and eating healthily on my own, under supervision of GP dietitian.

Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?

Once with Weight Watchers, I got down to 11 stone about 10 years ago and then put it back on again.

"This time I am losing it really slowly but I really feel like I am more equipped not to put the weight back on."

How being overweight has affected you…

People assumed I was weak and lazy. I felt unattractive, hated getting dressed to go out because I felt that nothing felt particularly flattering, nothing looked good.

Even though people complimented me I couldn’t accept their compliments as I felt that the clothes didn’t fit me in the same way that it would fit people who were slimmer.

However, having lost weight I realise that to an extent being attractive is a state of mind and that losing a vast amount of weight is not necessarily the solution as loss of weight does not necessarily equal attractiveness/happiness.

Motivation to Lose Weight

The journey has been difficult because I’m not really a motivated, disciplined or consistent person by nature to be honest, and anything that could take a long time bores and scares me in equal measure.

I was at a really low point emotionally and physically five or so years ago and quite a lot was happening to me.

I was trying to deal with homelessness, loss of a company, I started counselling for lack of childhood memories only to discover systematic childhood sexual abuse and added to that I almost died a couple of times from asthma and multiple allergies.

"I realised that I had to change my lifestyle and eating healthily was a major part of that."

Starting with 7 stone to lose was too enormous to think about in one chunk. So in the beginning I just took one day at a time.

I almost didn’t think about the weight loss except for a weekly weigh-in and celebrating as I got down into the next weight bracket (i.e. from 16st to into the 15stones etc).

"When I lost about 3 stone my motivation was probably at its highest as I was starting to get compliments about my weight loss and I could see and feel it."

I was also doing a lot of exercise at the time.

Exercise is a great motivator for me, I find it cuts my appetite, gives me something else to do and I really don’t want to eat too much and undo the good I’ve done exercising.

The hardest time from a motivation point has been the last year, when I more or less stagnated where I was with about 1.5 stones to lose.

"Joining the Christmas Challenge has been a godsend for me. It has totally rejuvenated my motivation."

I think that knowing that you’ve a fixed period of time to do something plus the fact that there is a kind of group camaraderie thing going on works for me.

I think if anything, losing weight has showed me how to develop consistency and discipline and that has given me motivation and I now realise that the discipline that I have learnt through learning to be consistent in exercise and changing my relationship with food have given me a new set of skills for managing my life.

It permeates throughout my day-to-day existence.

Discovering Weight Loss Resources

Like a lot of people on this site I was searching on the internet for a calorie counter, came up with WLR did a free trial and realised it was ideal for me.

How Weight Loss Resources Helps

I naturally like keeping account of things, and being able to work out which foods are good and balanced for me.

"Being able to plug in my food into the diary before I eat it is great."

Entering 100g of fresh tuna and realising that it puts me over my ideal levels of protein but leaves me under in terms of fat and then being able to change that for 50g of mackerel is brilliant.

Reading the message boards really helps me. If I’m down about anything reading the boards really cheers me up.

Just knowing that I can post for help on food or other matters is a moral booster. I get really inspired and motivated by what other people are doing on the boards.

I was really inspired by the stories of people on the site who have taken up running and that together with reading LinsBlake’s success story have motivated me to start the WLR 8 week beginners running programme. I’m currently huffing and puffing through week 4.

"I’ve also started to buddy up with a few people and make some friends and this is making a huge difference."

Sometimes the fact that you know someone will be PM’ing you in the next few days to find out how you are doing can really stop you eating that extra portion of something lethal.

Recently I’ve started using the journal and I’m finding huge correlations between what I eat and how I feel.

Plus it’s also really therapeutic to admit to having a crap day in your journal.

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

I go through phases with the different sections of the website.

I do best with my weight loss when I am really strict about entering my food into my diary.

"I try and enter everything. I always enter my exercise, I feel proud every time I see the exercise calories in my diary."

The message boards really give me support and motivation.

Occasionally I will go into the chat room about 10pm. You can strike up some mad interesting conversations in there, not always about food.

There are some really interesting people on WLR! It can be like going to a great drinks party where everyone is friendly and you are guaranteed good conversation.

I’ve never entered the chat room without virtually every single person in the room stopping to say hello to me.

Suzanne's Tips for Losing Weight

I don’t think my tips are any different from all the others that I’ve read (weigh your food, at least in the beginning etc) but here are some in no particular order that have particularly helped me:

1. Drink water every day. Preferably 2 litres over the space of each and every day.

I really find that a lot of the times when I think I want something to eat, it’s thirst. If you don’t like water try build up to 2 litres slowly over the period of a couple of week. Or replace water with herbal tea.

It will keep your system cleansed and I find that I actually lose more weight when I’m drinking a good amount of water. I

f you can steer clear of the fizzy drinks (even the low cal ones), they’re just not that great for your poor old hard working body.

2. Do some exercise on a regular basis if you are physically able.

Set your exercise level at something you will be able to keep up in the long term.

It’s better to do a small amount of exercise 2 or 3 times a week for the rest of your life than start off doing something 5 days a week but give up after 1 month.

3. Eliminate the word ‘diet’ from your brain.

Look at using WLR as a way of eating healthily for life. Don’t look at it as going on a diet, otherwise when you come off your diet you are more likely to put back on the weight by going back to your old eating habits.

4. Eat foods that keep you balanced and craving-free.

A lot of the time that we crave foods it’s because we are addicted to certain products i.e. sugar.

If you can cut them out and replace them with healthy alternatives e.g. fruit sugar instead of cane sugar, you will find that your body will become more balanced and you will start to want foods that are good for your body.

Eat a large portion of salad or vegetables with every meal.

5. Look at your relationship with food.

I think the biggest realisation that I had was that I had to change my relationship with food. I would (and still do sometimes) comfort eat, especially at night.

So now I keep my favourite fruits (currently strawberries 450g is 124 cals) for a late night snack.

Work out what’s good for your body and when to eat it. I find that 5 or 6 small meals in a day really works for me, it stops me getting cravings for things.

I also find that eating raw only after about 8pm really helps me.

If I do go out for a late evening dinner and eat a heavy meal for some strange reason I wake up the next morning more hungry than I would usually be.

6. Start your day off with a large mug of warm water with lemon juice.

It’s gentle on your stomach, is great for your skin and cleanses your body.

7. Don’t skip breakfast (preferably a sensible one).

It really sets you up for the day.

8. Chew your food well and sit down to eat it.

Chewing your food properly gives your brain enough time to know that you are full and makes it easier for your stomach to digest.

I think we should chew each mouthful 35 times. I still struggle with this one!

9. Know what your weaknesses are and put a plan in place to combat them.
I’m fine so long as I stay within a good routine of writing down what I eat, reading the message boards, doing exercise and not putting myself in stressful or upsetting situations.

But I found that as soon I stopped I would blink and realise that I’d fallen off the wagon for weeks and sometimes months.

Now if I don’t enter my food for a couple of days I try and keep a note of it, and if I’m too scared to enter the food in I read the message boards until I get the courage up to go back to entering in my food diary.

I also enlist the help of friends both at WLR and outside to remind me to get back into a good routine.

10. Remember that something done everyday for a month will become a habit.

So build good habits with your food and exercise.

11. Get support to keep you going.

I have an exercise buddy, we meet three / four mornings a week to run in the park. Knowing that I have to meet my buddy is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning.

For me if I have some one to work with it helps me to keep going, so I have an exercise buddy and now I’ve found my weight loss buddies on WLR it’s brilliant.

We give each other support when we are down and it’s great to have someone to celebrate with when you lose that elusive 2lb.

12. Don’t beat yourself up for falling off the wagon.

If I religiously followed all the tips above I’d have been at goal a long, long time ago, but hey each time I fall off I learn something new about myself.

I think I’ve talked enough, but if I can do it, anyone can do it.

"Work out what’s stopping you losing weight (it’s not always just as simple as eat less) and figure out how to deal with what’s stopping you losing weight."

Oh yes and something for when you’ve “only” lost a pound.

Have you seen how much a pound is – look at a pound of butter, that’s a lot of 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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