“I thought the worst had come... I was about to walk into a room full of people and admit it out loud. I was fat.”
These are the words of Billingshurst mum Amanda Wyman as she recalled the start of her weight loss journey back in January of this year.
After trying and failing to lose weight numerous times before she was sceptical when she first joined Slimming World, but after losing six stone in just eight months she is now helping others lose weight as a consultant.
“For years I had told myself that I was always big but that getting pregnant and having twins was the reason (I swear) that I was the biggest I had ever been,” she explained.
“The only problem was my twins were at this point coming up on three-years-old and I was just under 18 stone - not really ‘baby weight’ so much as ‘exhausted and eating all the time’ weight.
“I dreaded going to baby groups, even though my girls needed the outlet, because I always was embarassed of my weight.
“I dreaded having to meet new people and usually began by immediately joking about being the ‘fat twin mum’. My back was also giving out on me. I was plagued by lower back problems and always chalked it up to carrying twins, but in reality it was my weight.
“I was sick of it all - of having no self confidence, of not feeling like ‘me’ anymore, of hiding behind my twins as an excuse for the state I had let myself get in.”
After spotting a Slimming World poster hanging outside the local primary school, Amanda summoned up the courage to attend a meeting.
“I was worried it would be a food anyonomous meeting - hi, my name is Amanda and I love mashed potatoes, cakes and wine.
“I was genuinely surprised when I walked in to a big buzzing room with people everywhere. Not one person looked embarassed or ashamed, and everyone was asking each other how they had done that week.”
After listening to her consultant to find out how Slimming World works, learning about ‘food optimising’ (encouraging dieters to freely eat foods that are lower in calories but high in nutrients) and making small changes her lifestyle, she went on to lose 6.5lbs in the first week.
Amanda was still able to eat with her children and husband, and even found a new love for cooking she never knew she had.
“It had been so simple and the plan had fit seamlessly into my kitchen,” she revealed. “I lost more weight, week after week. I was never hungry and I never went without.
“I kept to plan and every week I had another loss and I became even more determined to keep going.”
By May she had lost four stone in time for her family holiday to Spain, where she wasn’t afraid to wear a swim suit without covering up for the first time in her life.
She started enjoying walks with her children, began using a home cross trainer four days a week and even took up running.
She ran the London 5k Colour Run in July despitre the 30 degree heat and is set to do another 5k run this month and the Brighton Half Marathon in a couple of years.
She said: “I am ‘Amanda’ again and now my twins are chasing me around rather than each other while mummy watches.
“Joining Slimming World is the best thing I have done and I am now thinner and healthier than I have ever been in my life. I found my sporty side, I still love food and through food optimising I enjoy my meals every day. I’ve made amazing friends through going to the group meetings every week and I have a fantastic network of support.
“I am now a better example to my girls, a happier person and I have proven to myself when I am determined to do something I will do it.”
Having been a member of Slimming World, Amanda feels she can fully relate to members and understand the ‘joys and challenges’ of losing weight in her new role as a consultant.
She welcomed members at the re-launched Billingshurst Slimming World group for the first time on Tuesday Ocotber 9. The meetings will take place every Tuesday at 5.30pm and at 7.30pm at St Gabriel’s Church Hall, East Street.
Call 07368 246087 or email AmandaCWyman@icloud.com