Blue House Vets receptionist Nicki Fynney says she probably couldn’t hold one and a half stone in weight, but that’s how much she has lost so far since joining her local Slimming World group.
The 36-year-old mum of two, from Biddulph, began her weight loss journey in August 2019 when she says she felt ‘mortified’ looking back at her holiday photos.
So far she has lost 1st 7lbs and says that her mindset has ‘completely changed’. Before joining, she could no longer fit into her size 14 jeans, and now she’s comfortably wearing a size 10 to 12.
She was also voted ‘Woman of the Year’ in her Biddulph group – with her fellow members nominating her for the title.
“I still have a little bit to go but that doesn’t bother me,” said Nicki, “I’m happy with how it’s going.
“It’s about fixing habits and making simple changes that change your whole lifestyle and mindset.
“I don’t cook with oil anymore, and I no longer have sugar in my tea.
“At work, a lot of our clients bring goodies in, and I used to always eat them, but now I find it so much easier to say no. Someone bought in Lindor chocolates the other day, which are my favourites, and I didn’t cave at all.”
But why did Nicki take the plunge and join her local weight loss group? It was a photograph and a pair of jeans that provided her with the motivation she needed to change her diet.
“I got back from a holiday last summer, looked at the photographs, and I was just mortified. On top of that, I realised that I couldn’t fit into my jeans anymore, so I knew I had to do something.
“I still have those photos on my phone – I’ll always look at them and remember why I started if I’m ever struggling with motivation.”
Sweet-toothed Nicki says she likes to save her syns – food that isn’t classed as ‘free’ by Slimming World – for a treat in the evening.
“Evenings are the time that I would usually go and try to find some chocolate,” explained Nicki. “So I will have something that fits within my syns and I feel like I have had a treat, had my chocolate fix and still remained on plan.
“I have always cooked from fresh, but since starting Slimming World I have changed the way that I cook.
“I don’t use oil anymore, and I have lots of Slimming World recipe books. My husband and two sons are really good and they’re happy to eat whatever I make.
“My children even requested cheeseburger pasta the other day which is a Slimming World recipe and I was happy to make it. I know they’ll wallop it down and I’ll be able to stay on plan.
“I haven’t done too much exercise during my journey, but when I’m at work, I will always volunteer to sort out the dog food deliveries. They are big 12kg bags, usually about 10 of them, and I’ll be the one to carry them all and sort them. That’s my daily exercise!”
Now we’re in a second lockdown, Nicki’s weekly Slimming World sessions have headed online again. But she’s grateful of the opportunity to stay on track.
She said: “I enjoyed the virtual meetings during the first lockdown as it really did keep me on the straight and narrow. I know that if it wasn’t for those, I would have put all of the weight back on.
“With this second lockdown, we will be doing the sessions again and I feel so much more motivated. Before, nobody knew how long we’d be out of group for, but now we know it will just be four weeks, so I think we all feel more motivated.
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“My biggest tip for a new member would be to write everything that you eat down in a notepad. It makes you feel more in control, and if you have a bad week and don’t lose, you can always look back to see where you might have gone wrong.
“A lot of new people can feel a bit like a rabbit in headlines at their first meeting. There is so much information that is given to you, but you will soon pick it up and get the hang of it.
“I feel so much better since starting my journey, and I have so much more energy – I’m not as tired anymore.
“If I think about how much a stone and a half weighs, I’m not sure I could carry it! I feel so much more comfortable now.”