We’re back with another Pinch of Motivation! This time it’s the turn of Jonathan to tell us his Slimming World story.
In these Pinch of Motivation articles, we’re asking a series of questions to get an idea of how people approach their Slimming World journey. We want to know what obstacles they’ve faced and how it’s changed their life for the better.
Our Pinch of Motivation on this occasion is courtesy of Jon.
Jonathan is 41 and has been dabbling with Slimming World for around 20 years. He’s bounced from losing weight, to putting it back on, to losing again. Now, however, it’s time for Jon to shine with his amazing weight loss.
We asked Jonathan a few questions to find out about his Slimming World journey and what affect it’s had on his life.
When did you decide that enough was enough and you wanted start following Slimming World?
I have been doing Slimming World for close to 20 years on and off, but always gave up or got bored of it. I think it’s because I was very much doing it on my own.
In my very early thirties I gave it a proper go and did well, losing almost ten stone. But I began to let things slip at this point and the weight slowly crept on again.
At around this time my Mum was found to be very poorly and within a matter of weeks she passed away. All the weight I lost went back on in the next 4-5 years.
2014 was a terrible year for me. I started suffering from severe anxiety, panic attacks and depression. This was following a sequence of events at the beginning of that year that I posted about recently on the Pinch Of Nom Facebook group.
I was barely functioning as a person at some points. At the tail end of 2014 I had to have an emergency operation on my back for a problematic abscess I had suffered from. The operation apparently carried more than a 50% chance of of me suffering a stroke.
Thankfully all went well and when I had recovered enough I swapped my Slimming World group to my current group in the January of 2015. That decision literally saved my life!
Did anyone influence you to start following Slimming World?
No, it was completely of my own volition.
How did your first week go following the plan? Any surprises?
Having done it for many years on and off (back in the red and green days), I thought I knew what I was doing.
However, this time I actually listened for probably the first time, as I was determined to make it work this time.
I was so surprised about how different the plan was to remember. Gone were the red and green days. Things I had thought of as free foods now had Syns, I had lost touch clearly and that surprised me.
How much have you lost in total, and how long has this taken?
I’ve lost 15st 8.5 and it’s taken around 3 years to achieve.
What was the reaction from friends and family when they started to notice you losing weight and following Slimming World?
My Dad and brother have always supported me, and this time round my Dad also started to come to group with me.
I was cheeky and said I would take him out for dinner, but actually brought him along to a food tasting evening at my Slimming World group!
My Dad lost 6 stone and got to target in just over a year. My friends have always been fantastic and have encouraged me at every step of the way. As the weight has continued to come off, they have been astounded at the transformation.
My brother very recently got married and I was so honoured to do my part as his best man. On the day of the wedding my uncle asked my dad who the best man was and why it wasn’t me. My Dad pointed out that it was in fact me!! It was the best compliment ever that my uncle didn’t recognise me!
What’s the one thing about Slimming World you wish you knew before you started?
The community. The group pages on facebook, other pages, and of course the Pinch Of Nom Facebook group!
I think the reason I failed so many times before is that I felt I was doing it alone, but this time round I engaged with other people and it’s one of the best feelings to know you are not alone.
How has joining the Pinch of Nom facebook group and other social medias helped you with your Slimming World journey?
The outpouring of support is phenomenal, and the response to some of the posts on the Pinch Of Nom Facebook group and on my Instagram have quite literally given me the lift I needed at the time i’ve needed it the most.
Through posting on social media, I’ve had people contact me privately and quite a few of them have now become very close friends. We are all in this together and that shared experience really does mean a lot.
What’s your favourite Pinch of Nom recipe, why do you like it so much?
Using the Weight Watchers wraps as pasties… my god! Wow! This blew my mind. It gave me a way that I could use my Syn free leftovers as a snack instead of a meal.
What would usually last a day at best as lunch would now last a few days as snacks that would count as a Healthy Extra because of the wrap.
There are lots of other recipes, but this is the best one for me!
What has been your favourite non-scale victory?
Actually being able to buy clothes in a high street shop or supermarket.
Actually being able to see something and to touch it before buying it instead of looking at thins online and hoping they are the same as the picture (invariably, they tend not to be).
Lastly, what affect has joining Slimming World had on your life?
Quite simply, I have one. I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t changed to my current group.
The physical change is astounding, 26 inches from my waist (so far), 9 inches from my neck, 30+ inches from my chest. I still have a while to go until I’m at target (approximately 4 st) so I intend adding to these losses.
The major physical change has been to my energy. I used to get out of breath walking from my desk to my car at work which is about 20-30 seconds walk. It used to take me 5-10 minutes and I would need to have a break to catch my breath.
Now I go for a 4-5km walk every lunchtime (even in the rain) as I missed out on it for so long.
The biggest change is in my confidence, my ability to talk to other people instead of hiding away like I did. It was really hard for a someone as big as me to hide!
Even though I was surrounded by friends and family who cared about me, I was extremely lonely and felt like i couldn’t talk to any one. I shied away from social interaction. Now that’s a thing of the past!
Need some extra help & motivation on your Slimming World journey?
Come join our Facebook group! We have over 580,000 members, who want to help you! You wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun would you?
You might just find the inspiration you need from our awesome members. If you’ve joined already why not invite any friends that may find it helpful?