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Weight loss is difficult enough, but not having the right kind of support can lead to failure. Retired Civil Servant Doris Cairns, 64, from Seghill, Northumberland lost her husband Mick in November 2020. But she says losing weight with the support of her local Slimming World group kept her going and gave her the confidence she desperately needed. As a result, she lost four stone.
Speaking about her weight loss journey, Doris said: “I joined Slimming World in January 2020 weighing 14st 8lbs.
“I felt sluggish, I was a size 20, I had constant heartburn and felt frumpy and unhealthy.
“I’ve been a yo-yo dieter all my life and seem to have always been trying to lose weight without any long-term success.
“I’ve tried everything, I even tried the cabbage soup diet but they were all short fixes.
“This time, I was determined to lose weight not just to look good, but to improve my health,” she added.
“Losing weight during the pandemic was quite tough, especially as I was looking after my late husband Mick who died with terminal cancer at the end of November 2020.
“Mick encouraged me and was over the moon when he saw how well I was doing.
“While everyone else was baking banana bread and putting on weight, I joined Slimming World and lost four stone.
“Seeing Mick battle with his illness made me realise none of us know what’s ahead of us health-wise but I do know that being at a healthy weight and having a degree of fitness helps you fight any battle that you may face in life,” Doris explained.
“The truth was I wanted to be a fitter and healthier person, someone who could deal with any problem thrown at them.
“Which is exactly what happened – when Mick died in lockdown, I had to deal with everything myself and I feel so proud that I didn’t buckle under the stress and start comfort eating.
“Being a member of my Slimming World group has helped me deal with my problems and face the future with positivity.”
As for the physical benefits Doris experienced since losing weight, she revealed: “Now I’ve lost four stone, the constant heartburn I suffered from has gone completely.
“I make a lot of my own meals from the fabulous Slimming World recipe books and I’m eating much more fruit and vegetables and fish.
“My favourite meal is Slimming World hot and spicy salmon stir fry with cauliflower rice or chicken and leek risotto.
“I have a particular fondness for red wine so as soon as I found out what an impact my two bottles of red each week were having on my weight loss, I soon cut back to one glass a week.
“Joining Slimming World has shown me a new way of eating and yet as soon as I stop going and think I can do it myself, I put weight on.
“It’s the support from going to group each week which keeps me on track.”
In terms of exercise, Doris said: “When we were given an hour to exercise back in March 2020, I started walking for an hour every day.
“Although I was out of breath at first, I now walk five to six miles without feeling it.
“I find it incredible that I’ve lived in this village for most of my life and I can’t believe the walks I’ve enjoyed here which I knew nothing about.
“I would rather walk somewhere now than take the car and next year I’m hoping to walk the Hadrian’s Wall Walk for Prostate Cancer with a friend which I would never have considered doing before I lost weight.”
Overall, Doris has gone from being a size 20 to a size 12.
She said: “I never really enjoyed buying clothes and now I love it.
“I wasn’t able to get to the hairdresser as much over the last year, so I decided to stop dying my hair and now I love my natural grey hair. I feel great, I have more confidence, I love getting out and about and enjoying life. I feel like a different woman.”
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A typical day of eating for Doris:
Before joining Slimming World
Breakfast: two slices of white bread with jam and butter.
Lunch: two slices of white bread with butter and cheese savoury with heaps of mayo
Dinner: Steak and kidney pie with tinned peas followed by a trifle with cream or a custard slice with one or two large glasses of wine
Snacks: biscuits, cakes
Since joining Slimming World
Breakfast: one slice of wholemeal bread, spinach, smoked salmon and a poached egg
Lunch: homemade Slimming World quiche with plenty of salad
Dinner: Slimming World burger, Slimming World chips and lots of salad, diet lemonade with sugar-free cordial
Snacks: apple, pear, banana
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