Leanne Parrott, 25, who is a research scientist from Derby, has lost 3st 5lbs with Slimming World
While I’ve never been particularly slim, I kept in shape by doing lots of exercise – walking, cycling and especially playing netball.
Then I tore the cruciate ligament in one knee, and that’s when my unhealthy habits caught up with me.
I put on two-and-a-half stone in less than eight months. My portion control was non-existent. Every meal I ate was huge.
I snacked on chocolate and cakes, drank wine to cheer myself up in the evenings and never passed up the opportunity to indulge my passion for cheese.
I’d look at pictures of me with my friends on Facebook, and it was clear how overweight I’d become.
At the time, I was living with my boyfriend. I knew neither of us was happy in the relationship but I was scared to end it as I thought I would never meet anyone else.
I dabbled with various weight-loss methods from calorie counting to meal replacements and never stuck at any of them.
Meanwhile, my friend Charli had been going to Slimming World and had lost quite a bit of weight, so I gave it a go.
It was great to have her there for moral support, although everyone was very welcoming – especially our consultant George.
I felt a bit intimidated at the thought of cooking from scratch. I was used to tipping my bolognese sauce out of a jar – the idea of making my own never occurred to me.
But thanks to all the advice and helpful chat at group, I learned a huge amount. Now whipping up a healthy home-made meal is second nature.
The plan worked – quickly! I lost 4lbs in the first week and after a month, I’d lost a stone. People started to compliment me.
My friends and family were very supportive. Feeling in control of my eating and my weight had given me the confidence to end my relationship, and I moved back home.
Then last summer I persuaded another friend, Aimee, to join. She wanted to lose weight before a holiday and now the three of us encourage one another all the time.
We cook meals for each other and often eat out together. It’s a big help to have close friends who understand why it’s important to you – particularly when everyone else is ordering dessert or another round of drinks.
And if one of us feels tempted by a slice of cake or large glass of wine, we’ll text the other two for moral support.
Admittedly, there’s been the occasional week when I’ve gained weight.
I always know the reason why, though. The support of everyone at group perks me up again and I just vow to do better the following week.
And it’s been easier than I thought to change my eating habits.
I still enjoy a treat or two on Saturdays after I’ve been to group – the difference is I’ve swapped the wine and beer for spirits and low-calorie mixers.
One year on, I’m just a few pounds off target. And I’m determined to get there very soon! After that, I’ll definitely stick to the plan and keep going to group. I feel so much fitter and healthier now.
Losing weight helped speed up my recovery from the operation I had to fix my knee.
And I’ve had a lovely time replacing my wardrobe. These days it’s so nice to be able to choose outfits because I like them, not just because they’ll fit.
My confidence has grown and grown. I’m now in a new relationship with someone who makes me feel great about myself.
Height: 5ft 11ins
Starting weight: 15st 6lbs
Weight now: 12st 1lbs
Weight lost: 3st 5lbs
Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/customer/www/bestslimmingworld.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/flex-mag-edit/single.php on line 230