“Everybody found the pandemic months really challenging, even the consultants” she said.
Louise had already regained some of her weight after a cancer scare in 2019 and then during the first lockdown gained even more weight with the stresses and uncertainties that she experienced.
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“I wasn’t taking care of myself,” she admits, “and I was still struggling mentally with the cancer scare. I was out of control and stress and comfort eating.”
When the first lockdown was coming to an end and Slimming Word groups were going to be allowed to reopen, Louise began to panic about seeing people in her groups.
“I couldn’t possibly face people knowing that I had regained nearly four stone in total," she said. "I began looking for another job so that I could hide away and not face all my members.
"I was disgusted and disappointed in myself because I felt I should be setting an example for my members. How could I help them if I was struggling too?!”
After some consideration, Louise realised that she loved her job and she loved who she was and how she felt when she was eating healthier and feeling slimmer.
So she decided to join as a member again and start fresh. She was honest with her members and told them how much she had struggled but that she was making a fresh start with all of them.
“My members were wonderful,” Louise said. “They totally accepted me without any judgement and even said how they valued knowing I was human too.
"It also gave many the courage to come back and make a fresh start also. So we were really on this journey together and that’s the value of the group. We all support and encourage each other. There just isn’t anything else like it.”
Louise had a second cancer scare in 2020 but was determined that this was not going to stop her.
“I was stronger mentally and I had the support of my Slimming World group and Colleagues which helped me stay determined,” she said.
She is now nearly back to her target weight but says she is not putting pressure on herself, but rather being kinder to herself and allowing her the time to get back to healthy habits that can last a lifetime rather than a quick fix.
“I feel amazing!" she said. "I’m back in control and back to my chirpy, confident self. I’m loving Food Optimising again and eating lovely healthy meals and yes, even a chocolate treat each day too!
"Our plan is so generous and liberating, it’s just amazing that I can lose weight while making meals for my family and enjoying a treat so I never feel deprived or hungry.
"I’m more active now too and really enjoyed cycling trips during the summer months. I feel like Slimming World has saved my life and my sanity!
"Not once have I been judged or made to feel bad about myself. At Slimming World, we really do understand the psychological struggles of the slimmer and we work to help them overcome these while learning to change our unhealthy habits.”