Lisa Fox, 49, of Allen, Texas was an active and healthy child growing up. A lack of video games and computers in the 60s and 70s led her to constantly be outdoors, riding bikes and playing with friends. Despite a fairly healthy diet of mainly home-cooked meals, Lisa’s issues with food began early on as she would frequently overindulge when she really enjoyed something.
A little on the heavy side from grade school on, Lisa’s weight didn’t become a real issue until she reached her 30s and 40s when her poor diet and inactivity began to catch up with her. Snacking was her downfall, often reaching for things like chips and desserts. And for meals she loved anything covered in cheese and cream sauces. These unhealthy habits meant the fruits and vegetables she purchased would often go to waste as she rarely chose to eat them over more indulgent options.
Things changed when Lisa reached 200 pounds. Not knowing where to turn she knew she had to do something. Desperate, she began a considering more drastic options such as weight loss surgery, believing it would be the only thing that would work for her. Around that time a friend of Lisa’s recommended she try Slimming World – a diet program that originated in the UK in the 70s and had since became available in the U.S.
Slimming World isn’t a meal delivery service or supplement company. Rather, it offers support from health professionals through meetings (both online and in person), and advice on healthy eating options and how to stay active. Members also have access to Slimming World magazine, which is now the best-ever selling diet magazine in the UK. In this way, the company seeks to surround members with peer and professional support in reaching their personal health and weight loss goals.
Lisa was skeptical at first, assuming it was a gimmick. So she waited a few months to see how it worked for her friend. “Sure enough, her weight kept dropping week by week,” said Lisa. “I finally decided it was time for me to get on board and I haven’t looked back.”
Unlike other diet programs that require expensive supplements and counting calories, Slimming World worked for Lisa because she found the program sustainable and easy to incorporate into her lifestyle. “I was immediately impressed with the amount of food that is considered ‘free,’ and can be eaten without counting, weighing or measuring,” she said, adding that she loves enjoying unlimited fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and even foods like rice, pasta and potatoes without worry.
The program worked and these days Lisa is down to a slim weight of 120 pounds. Even though she reached her 80 pound weight loss goal in December 2012, Lisa plans to continue with Slimming World as she finds it a healthy, sustainable way to eat. To keep active, Lisa enjoys walking her dogs and doing regular circuit training workouts. She also tries new activities like Zumba so she doesn’t get bored with her routine.
Besides feeling more in control of her daily habits, the biggest change Lisa has seen is an increased level of confidence, which has affected almost all areas of her life. “I used to get very frustrated when shopping for clothes or even getting ready for work. I felt that nothing I tried on looked good on me,” she said. “Now I can experiment with more fashionable clothing and I enjoy putting outfits together. I also have far more confidence, which allows me to be more social. I feel good and I think that comes through in how I interact with people.”
Whether people choose Slimming World or another weight loss program to reach their health goals, Lisa encourages people to find something that’s sustainable. “Don’t waste your time with extreme, fad diets or diets based on gimmicks such as pills, shots or pre-packaged food. They just aren’t realistic,” she said. “Make up your mind to change your lifestyle. Your heart and your joints will thank you, and you’ll be amazed at how great you will feel!”