'I can do this': Woman shares remarkable seven stone weight loss after marriage breakdown

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The 31-year-old supermarket worker channelled misery into motivation when she found herself living at home with her parents following a split from her husband. She made a remarkable difference to her body and mind through simple changes to her diet and exercise routine, helping her lose weight and gain energy.

Vanessa credited her weight gain to married life: “I got comfortable with life and let myself go a bit. I was happy, living together and having your own house,” the Nottingham Post reported.

“I was eating anything, not eating healthily. We had takeaways and were eating out a lot, enjoying life really.”

Forgoing a balanced diet in favour of treats, Vanessa would usually opt for quick, non-nutritious meals.

For breakfast she would enjoy cereals such as Coco Pops or Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes, on top of two or three slices of toast with butter.

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Lunch would be more white bread, with chicken or tuna, whilst dinner would be a frozen meal or takeaway, particularly Chinese.

In the evenings, Vanessa opted for crisps, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks – and “whatever was in the cupboard”.

But the breakdown of her marriage and subsequent moving in with her parents catalysed a real lifestyle change.

Vanessa stated: “I had a lot going on during that time in my life as my marriage broke down, so it was stressful time.

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“I needed something to focus on, so once my weight loss journey started I had that straight mindset to make those big changes.”

Seeing the numbers on the scales drop every few days was a fantastic source of motivation for Vanessa.

“As each week approached I was losing weight, and as I got more into the plan I thought, ‘I’ve got this – I can do this’.

But how exactly did she shed an unbelievable seven stone?

Vanessa joined Slimming World, which initially met in person but then moved online due to lockdown restrictions.

She overhauled her diet entirely, starting off the day with healthy cereals such as Weetabix, Shredded Wheat Bite Size or Bran Flakes.

For lunch she made a Slimming World meal such as lasagne, pasta bowl or soup, and dinner was a hearty and wholesome homemade stew or bolognese.

Rather than reaching for crisps, chocolate or fizzy drinks like she used to, Vanessa started enjoying Slimming World Hifi bars as a post-dinner snack.

Slimming World explained: “Hifi bars are high fibre Slimming World cereal bars that come in lots of different ‘sweet treat’ flavours. “They’ve been lovingly created to help members satisfy a sweet tooth, while boosting their fibre intake and staying on track with their weight loss goals.”

About how Slimming World helped her, Vanessa stated: “You had to weigh yourself every week. I was alright – I was losing and kept my mind focused on where it needed to be.”

And as well as altering her diet, the supermarket worker began an exercise programme: “I was doing two to three mile walks, getting outdoors and getting that fresh air you need.”

Her hard work has definitely paid off, because as well as dropping seven stone, Vanessa has gone from a size 18 to a size 8-10.

“I feel healthier. Before I had no energy, I was tired a lot. As I’ve lost weight, I’ve got more energy now, I can do different things, I can go out more and I’m sleeping better.”

Dieters who hope to embark on a similar journey can follow Vanessa’s top tips for shedding excess weight and keeping it off.

“I don’t really have butter now or use oil. I don’t have as much bread, just two slices. I don’t have a lot of chocolate but on Saturdays once I’ve been weighed I’ll treat myself to some chocolate, a piece of cake or a packet of crisps.”



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