Food

Losing Weight: To Group, or Not to Group?

slimming-world-stickers

Yes, that’s the question. The answer is largely down to personal choice, but since this is something that’s particularly close to my heart, I thought I’d weigh-in on the topic. No pun intended. Oops.

I’ve lost 7 stone 5lbs now; 103lbs or even 47kg if that’s easier to imagine. This has been a thoroughly life-changing loss, and I owe this all to Slimming World. My BMI’s gone from a massively unhealthy 40.9 down to a healthy 23.3, and with it has come a huge range of benefits, most of them totally unexpected.

I’ve struggled with my weight for all my adult life, which considering I’m approaching 40, seems like a really long time. I’ve tried all the major diets, including Weight Watchers and the Atkins diet, and experienced small, fleeting weight losses and disappointing gains after my motivation has gone and my appetite for junk has come back. I’d gotten to the point of giving up and resigning myself to the idea that I’d be overweight and unhealthy for life; it was just my body type and my busy lifestyle wouldn’t let me succeed at losing weight.

I had tried Slimming World online previously and failed miserably, taking it as yet more proof that ‘diets don’t work’. I decided to go to my local Slimming World group, something that I never dreamed I’d do; it was so far out of my comfort zone and the thought of baring my greedy soul to a room of strangers was terrifying.

11 Reasons Why I Love My Group

So now I’m sitting here a UK size 10 rather than a size 24, so why did it work this time? One of the main factors was actually going to a group every week. Here’s why:

  • Taking time out of a busy week to focus on yourself is a really nice self-care habit to develop. It’s just 90 minutes out of a whole week, you can afford to spend it on making a positive change.
  • Make friends! If you’ve got a long journey to go on, it’s lovely to build friendships with people and have them share the joy in your losses with you. You’re doing something amazing and you should celebrate that.
  • Get ideas to try throughout the week. A year on and I’m still picking up great ideas every week, whether it’s new ranges coming out in supermarkets or how I can get the most alcohol for my points allowance, it’s all useful!
  • Being accountable helps your motivation. There’s absolutely no naming and shaming in a group session, but you know you’re going to get weighed-in so if you’ve not had a great week, seeing a small gain helps you to get back on track.
  • It’s a multi-tasking opportunity for busy people. In quiet moments, I plan my meals for the week to make sure I’m on track and able to deal with the inevitable bumps in the week.
  • You get a really useful record of your progress, which is brilliant to keep you motivated to reassure yourself that progress will happen on those slow weeks. Someone else to do the weighing helps you to be completely honest with where you stand.
  • Move away from weighing yourself at home, which sounds counter-productive, but it really isn’t. Home scales are nowhere near as accurate as the ones your consultant will have. Getting weighed in once a week helps you to really focus on the difference in weight over a week – this is much better than weighing yourself every day or after a splurge, which only highlights those natural blips in weight we all have.
  • Turning up each week and seeing some familiar faces helps you to commit to making a change. It’s so much easier to give up if you’ve only got yourself to answer to.
  • Personally, I love the certificates and stickers! I’ve collected Slimmer of the Week, Slimmer of the Month, Woman of the Year, Miss Slinky, Greatest Loser and those half-stone awards.
  • Hi Fi Bars. Oh my god. They taste far too good to be allowed on any ‘diet’, but then again, Slimming World isn’t a diet, is it? These have helped me though many sweet cravings!
  • If like me, you’re lucky enough to have an amazing consultant, this really makes the difference. It’s helped me to develop a positive attitude and a healthy approach towards losing weight. Maybe this is the main reason why it’s best not to go it alone?

I’m sure this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s certainly a good start. So if like me, you’ve decided that you need to make a change, then this could be it. Do something different; after all, if you do the same as you’ve always done, you’re going to get the same as you always get. Find your local group here.

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