Being the mother of the bride spurred this happy slimmer on! Read how she lost 2.5 stone thanks to Slimming World…
Margaret Ivery, 63, is a retired childminder who lives in Holywood, County Down, with her husband, David. Margaret is 5ft 7ins tall and weighs 11st 8lbs, having lost 2½st in time for her daughter’s big day. Here’s how she did it…
“My weight crept up so gradually, I didn’t really notice until I’d put on more than 5st,” explains Margaret. “When David and I married nearly 41 years ago, I weighed only 8½st, and even after having my three daughters I went back down to a size 12. Then came middle-age, my new lifestyle as a childminder, plus a liking for chocolate biscuits and cakes. By 2014, I was finding trousers were getting tight. Despite being unhappy with the way I looked, somehow I seemed unable to do anything about it. I tried all sorts of strict diets, but none of them were quite right for me, and I just ended up feeling disappointed and hungry. I’m not sure whether I’d ever have found the motivation to lose weight if it hadn’t been for a very happy event: my daughter, Katherine, announced her engagement to her boyfriend, Stephen. At first, all I thought about was how thrilled I was for them; they’ve known each other since their university days and are such a lovely couple. Then, with the wedding booked for September 2015, conversations in the family turned to outfits and dress choices… Including what I might wear as mother of the bride.”
The fear of dress shopping motivated Margaret to slim down for the big day: “I couldn’t stand the idea of clothes shopping and staring at myself in changing room mirrors, trying on lovely outfits that didn’t fit,” says Margaret. “I didn’t like the thought of posing for pictures when I felt so uncomfortable with myself. Like most people who are bigger than they want to be, I disliked the limelight, and usually made my excuses and escaped when the cameras came out. I knew there’d be no avoiding the photographs at my own daughter’s wedding, though. And I also knew this could be the opportunity to tackle my weight, once and for all.”
Margaret turned to Slimming World to help her: “Because quick fixes hadn’t worked for me in the past, I decided to give Slimming World a go to see if I could form some new, healthier eating habits,” says Margaret. “I wasn’t aiming to be a size 10 again, or the same weight I was when I was 18 – I didn’t think that would suit me now I was in my 60s. If I could lose a stone or two, though, and feel confident, elegant and sophisticated on Katherine’s big day, I’d be more than happy. I didn’t really know what to expect when I walked into my group for the first time, so I was pleased with how straightforward the eating plan seemed. I was encouraged to eat filling meals like pasta, or roast chicken and vegetables.”
Margaret was pleasantly surprised when she started cooking at home: “I read my Slimming World book from cover to cover in my first week and found the Food Diary a helpful way to keep track of what I was eating,” smiles Margaret. “I made a Slimming World spaghetti carbonara and diet cola chicken, and enjoyed fruits like strawberries and mandarin oranges whenever I wanted to snack. I lost 3lbs in my first week and 1½lbs the week after. After three weeks, I could feel my clothes getting looser, and after about two months of steady losses, I’d dropped over a stone and could see the difference. I had much more energy, too. I’d spent years feeling guilty about over-eating, now I was proving to myself that it’s never too late to break a cycle and turn things around – even a two-week holiday didn’t throw me off track.”
By April 2015, Margaret got ever-closer to her target. “I was just 5lbs away from my 11st 8lb target weight, and I decided it was time to shop for my wedding outfit,” beams Margaret. “I had a wonderful day trying on all sorts of different styles and colours, before eventually settling on a tailored blush-pink dress and jacket with a matching hat. I was so excited when the size 14 fitted perfectly. Less than a month before the big day, I reached my target weight. It’s hard to describe just how good it felt – I was so happy and proud.”
Everyone warned me that Katherine’s wedding day would rush by, so I tried to appreciate every moment. Sure enough, it was all over far too soon. Or so I thought… Alison, our youngest daughter, has just announced her engagement and, while she hasn’t set a date yet, it looks highly likely that
I’ll be dusting down my mother-of-the-bride outfit sometime in 2017. One thing’s for certain, though – I’ll definitely still fit into it!
Read on to find out how to make this Slimming World Cheesy Mushroom Pasta!
(Image credit: Slimming World/Gareth Morgans)
Thickly sliced Portobello mushrooms and penne swirled through creamy soft cheese make this dish a filling lunch or main meal!
Ready in 40 minutes
500g Portobello or large field mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 level tsp wholegrain mustard
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
150ml vegetable stock
350g dried penne
110g reduced fat soft cheese, with garlic and herbs
3tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
3tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Finely grated vest of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the mushrooms, mustard, garlic and stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the stock has nearly all evaporated and the mushrooms are soft.
Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain and add to the mushrooms along with the cheese, chopped herbs and lemon zest. Toss to mix well.
Season to taste and serve immediately.
Recipe taken from Slimming World’s collection. To discover more recipe inspiration, or to find your nearest group, visit slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.