Real bride Leanne from Leeds lost 3.5 stone in time for her big day! Read her incredible story and try out a scrummy Slimming World recipe for yourself…
“Until I had children, I was always around a size 10-12 and I never bothered weighing myself,” explains Leanne. “During my first pregnancy, though, I felt permanently tired and hungry, and by the time Stella was born, I’d put on 3st. I’d expected to lose weight running around as a new mum, but by her second birthday, I’d actually gained another 2st. It was so upsetting. I was exhausted, I hated the way I looked and I couldn’t find nice clothes to fit.”
It wasn’t until Leanne went to see her GP that she realised her weight gain had a medical explanation. “A blood test showed I had an underactive thyroid that was probably contributing to my tiredness,” says Leanne. “My GP explained that with regular medication I should start to feel more energetic, and find it easier to lose weight through healthy eating. I joined my local Slimming World group, met lots of lovely new people, and ate loads of satisfying foods like pasta, potatoes, curries and stews. I got back down to a size 10 – and stayed there.”
After getting back to a healthy weight, Leanne was delighted, but her weight loss story took another turn. “I got together with my fiancé, Christian, and within a year we’d moved in together and were expecting our son, Jaxson,” says Leanne. “Life was great. There was just one little problem – now that I was pregnant again, I found my weight going up faster than I’d expected. I was having cravings for fried chicken, high-sugar fizzy drinks and chocolate (all of which I gave in to on a regular basis!). I’d moved house and stopped attending groups. History repeated itself and I was left with 3st to lose when Jaxson was born in April 2014.”
When Christian proposed during Jaxson’s christening, Leanne had a new motivation to lose weight – her wedding! “With the date set for April 2015, my thoughts turned to photographs and dresses. I really wanted to feel happy with the way I looked,” explains Leanne. “I found details of my nearest Slimming World group, went along the following week and within two months my first stone was gone. After that I lost a steady 1-2lbs a week, and by Christmas I was around 10st 7lbs. I was so determined to look my best before shopping for a dress, I didn’t try anything on until a month or so before the wedding! By then I’d got to my target weight of 10st, and I chose a gorgeous fitted dress, which showed off my newly slim waist and shapely hips. I nearly cried with joy when I saw myself in the mirror. The big day itself was so perfect.”
Determined to maintain her healthy lifestyle, Leanne made a conscious choice to not gain weight again. “This time I carried on going to group as a target member. Then, last September, I became a Slimming World Consultant,” smiles Leanne. “I often meet new slimmers who think that they won’t be able to lose weight because they have thyroid problems, until they see I’m proof that they can!”
Story taken from Slimming World Magazine on sale now on newsstands and in Slimming World groups. To find your nearest group, visit slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000. Words: Rosalind Grainger
Tuna steaks on a niçoise salad
READY IN 30 MINUTES
150g green beans, trimmed
125g baby spinach leaves
½ cucumber, diced
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tuna steaks
Low calorie cooking spray
Freshly ground black pepper
100g jar anchovy fillets
(fillets to be drained, rinsed and roughly chopped)
For the dressing
1 garlic clove, crushed
100ml fat free vinaigrette
Finely grated zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
Small handful of finely chopped Fresh tarragon
About 30 minutes before you want to cook, light the barbecue. Put the eggs into a saucepan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked but the yolk is still slightly soft in the centre (or to your liking). Lift the eggs out using a slotted spoon and refresh under cold running water and set aside.
Meanwhile, blanch the green beans in the same water for 3-4 minutes, then refresh under cold running water and set aside. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside. Put the cooked green beans, spinach leaves, cucumber and tomatoes into a large shallow bowl and toss together.
Spray the tuna with low calorie cooking spray and barbecue over a direct medium heat for 6-8 minutes, turning once. Grind over a little black pepper. Meanwhile, add the anchovies to the salad. Peel and quarter the eggs and scatter them over the salad, then drizzle over the dressing and serve with the hot tuna.
*Pregnant women, the elderly and babies are advised not to eat raw or partially cooked eggs.
Recipe taken from Slimming World’s Little Book of Summer, which is available to buy in all Slimming World groups in the UK and Ireland, priced at £3.95/€5.95. To discover more recipe inspiration, or to find your nearest group, visit slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.