How turning 60 led to 3 ½ stone weight loss for Horsham woman

Turning 60-years-old is what spurred a Horsham woman on to overcome her unhealthy eating habits and lose almost four stone.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 3:34 pm
Julie Whittingham from Horsham before and after her weight loss SUS-200701-153017001

Julie Whittingham celebrated her milestone birthday in March last year, and is now 3st 7lbs lighter and on her way to making her salsa dancing dream a reality.

She said: “I was feeling really down in myself at the size I was.

“Of course, I knew if I wanted things to change I would need to do something about it, but it wasn’t until I was at the spa – a lovely birthday surprise – completely self-conscious and uncomfortable in my size 18 swimsuit, that I had my lightbulb moment.”

A few weeks after the spa day, Julie contacted the LighterLife centre in Horsham and chose to follow the LighterLife total plan so she could lose weight quickly and take food out of the equation for a little while.

She was 8lbs down at her first weigh-in and was enjoying not having to prepare her meals and for the first time in a long time she says she wasn’t constantly thinking about food.

“It was such an exciting moment to see what progress I could make in just one week. It definitely spurred me on to succeed,” said Julie.

“Every week I would go along to my group run by Hazel - my LighterLife counsellor – and joined in with the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) mindfulness activities.

“Through the sessions I learnt that I’d been stress eating for the last two decades and although I knew how to lose weight I’d never been given the mental tools to keep it off.

“One of the main changes for me was recognising that I could change the way I viewed food.

“I realised I was the one choosing what I ate - no one was forcing me. High calorie foods gave me instant gratification, but the inevitable weight gain led to a loss of confidence and dampened my usual sparkle.

“My weight problem affected my everyday life. I wouldn’t take my jacket off at work as I was very conscious of my weight gain.”

“I’ve always loved socialising with friends and family, either going out for coffee or meeting up for dinner.

“Before my LighterLife journey, I used my social life as an excuse to eat what I wanted and didn’t think about the consequences of gaining weight.

“Now, if I meet up with my friends for coffee, I avoid the calorific cakes and instead have a LighterLife bar in my handbag ready and waiting.

“Another thing I love is visiting different countries but when I look back on my photos from past cruises I was shocked to see that I’d cropped them all to just show my head and shoulders.

“My dream has always been to join the dance classes on the cruise ships, but I’ve always felt too self-conscious.

“Now having lost almost 4st, I will definitely be signing up for the beginners dance class to live out my Strictly Come Dancing dreams.”

To find out more about LighterLife, visit