A couple of weeks ago I found out the wonderful news that I was nominated for Woman Of The Year at my Slimming World group. It was a total honour and it all felt a bit surreal because the very first week I joined the group a year previously it happened to be the week of Woman Of The Year too. I remember being so inspired by the nominees telling their stories. They talked about their struggles and the little tricks they learned along the way. There were plenty of tears and the feeling in the room was of determination and support. I left the group feeling really motivated. I imagined what it must feel like to be the person that people get inspiration from. What it must feel like to be able to say you lost a lot of weight. The girl who won the award had lost 3.5 stone and I remember thinking that that was such an impossible amount of weight to lose. Accepting that I would never really lose that much but still feeling motivated to do something positive for my health.

 

Fast forward one year later and I got the call that I had been nominated. Even better – my sister had been nominated too. I was absolutely delighted for us both. Between us we had lost over five stone and we couldn’t have done it without eachother. Thursdays had become our little night out. We looked forward to sitting in group and enjoying our cup of tea and Slimming World bar. The chats, inspiration and laughs were always flowing. A year later and that is still the case.

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In the end I was honoured to be the winner of Woman Of The Year at my group. I would have been delighted if my sister won but the little sweetheart actually said “Tracey is my woman of the year so I hope you vote for her” in her speech. Seriously, you might know now why she is my best friend by choice. She is the most gorgeous person inside and out.

 

In my speech I talked about losing the weight slowly. You know how in that first week of joining the leader will often tell you how much the weight adds up if you lose X amount per week? I distinctly remember hearing that if I lost a pound a week I would be down over 3.5 stone. Well, guess what happened? In EXACTLY a year I lose exactly 52 pounds. Is that not just mental? I can’t get over it. Now I didn’t lose it in exactly that way but over 52 weeks I was down 52 pounds. I’ve spoken many times about the fact that I regularly have gains. I’d say I have at least one a month but I think what matters is how you deal with it. I get straight back on plan and make a plan to lose it in a week or too. I just make the decision, make a plan and get on with it. In some weird way it kind of makes the gains worth it. I can have a little blow out. Enjoy the random event that comes my way, eat what I fancy and deal with the gain quickly. Some weeks I am up a pound and other weeks it might be 2-4 pounds. I generally have my biggest loss of the month the week after followed by a loss of a pound or so on “normal” weeks. It all adds up and I can’t believe it has added up to over 3.5 stone in just one year. It is a life-changing amount of weightloss for me and has improved my health and confidence beyond words.

 

I found these photos the other day. I was looking back on baby photos of my little cousin who will be four soon. I found it difficult to recognize myself in the photos. I never realized that I needed to lose more than a couple of pounds. I remember feeling OK a lot of the time. Putting on a brave face and pretending I was confident and happy. But in private I was comfort eating, balling crying and feeling depressed about the way I looked and felt. Sore from carrying the extra weight. Emotionally and physically drained.

 

                     

 

And then I look at this. I had 30 minutes to get ready for the Netflix Screening of Siege Of Jadotville. I quickly picked out a dress from my wardrobe. A dress three sizes smaller than I was this time last year. I felt confident and happy in my own skin and I cannot tell you how much of a difference that has made to my life.

 

 

And guess what? This handsome divil has jumped on the bandwagon too. He is doing his own thing and had shed a tonne of weight in the last couple of months. Together we have made our little family happier and healthier than ever before. You can’t put a price on that.

 

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