I started Slimming World (SW) in April 2017. The reasons for me joining are numerous. The most important reason was that I believed I had to be thinner to be beautiful, respected and wanted.
So I joined thinking somehow it would cure my self-hatred. However, it made me realise I don’t need to be thinner to be happy. I knew I needed help in making healthier, alternative choices. I realised that no matter how much weight I would lose it wouldn’t change the view I had of myself. I continued to criticise myself and think my body was disgusting.
I clearly have other issues.
My journey with SW lasted 3 months and I lost 2 and a half stones. The first week alone I lost 9lbs and every week after that I was losing about 3/4lbs.
For those that don’t know what Slimming World is, it’s a UK-based weight loss organisation that provides weight management programmes. You pay £15 to join up and £5 every week when you get weighed.
I didn’t go at it alone, and for that I am grateful. I had friends who already attended the program so I tagged along. We would all walk in, queue up, pay, get weighed and that for me was a moment of pure happiness or heartbreak. I was so focused on how much weight I was losing that I wasn’t even enjoying my food anymore.
I was eating what I was advised, and I stuck to it. It’s not complicated, it’s quite simple as soon as you get your head around healthy options A & B. I was one of those that grasped it pretty easily. I exercised every day, I danced, I walked and I ran. I often walked 4 hours in a day; every day, 7 days a week. It hurt, believe me, but the weight just came off.
It’s a different sort of happiness you get when you step on the scales and see that you have lost weight. It’s not the same happiness you get when you eat a doughnut or a burger, but I was happy. I had days when I struggled with food optimising, I’ve been “big” since I was 8 and I didn’t know any different when it came to food. So when my diet went from chocolate and cake to lean mince and vegetables, a part of me struggled.
Food makes me happy, it really does. Who doesn’t love a cheese pizza with extra cheese or a large glass of wine? I know I do.
Back then, I knew that I wanted to commit to losing weight, so I respected the program and I stuck it out as best as I could. Restraining myself from eating all those lovely comfort foods was hard and when I did have an “off” day I punished myself. I would work out really hard and I’d bully myself mentally into believing I was worthless, that I had let myself down, including my SW group.
Those women supported me so much. They believed that I was losing weight with good intentions. I’m not saying SW is bad, but you must go into these programs with a truthful heart, why do you want to lose weight?
It can’t be for the same reasons I chose.
You will fail miserably.
First, you must work on self-love.