The Big C - when life flashes by…

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How Slimming world changed her life…

In July 2015, Tracey had a normal day planned. Having felt poorly for a few months with bowel problems, an awaited hospital appointment time had finally arrived. That day changed Tracey’s life forever.

Tracey was tragically diagnosed with bowel cancer. Tracey needed MRI and Cat Scans to diagnose the seriousness of the dreaded disease and this was very overwhelming. There was no information, at that point as to whether Tracey would even survive. The tumour was the size of a grapefruit, and it wasn’t looking good.

Tracey recalls:

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The New MeThe New Me
The New Me

“In that moment my life flashed by, all the things I hadn’t done, all the things I hadn’t seen, there was a darkness upon me and all I wanted to do was to lock myself away. I had no appetite, everything tasted like cardboard and it was an existence rather than a life over those next 6 weeks”

In September 2015, Tracey underwent a major operation to remove the tumour, which resulted in hospitalisation for almost 3 weeks. She was in Intensive Care and rapidly lost nearly 2 stone over the course of the 3 months. She was weak and timid. She was set up to have a colostomy bag and sent to all sorts of dieticians to guide her with her new life of food. She was living in a new world.

The operation went well and fortunately, a colostomy bag was avoided. She was officially registered disabled for 18 months and life had definitely changed.

In November 2015, Chemotherapy started. Like many suffering patients, Tracey was wiped out, again losing weight uncontrollably.

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Gaining weightGaining weight
Gaining weight

In March 2016, Chemotherapy had to end as Tracey was too weak to cope. She was advised she needed to gain weight, so that’s exactly what she did! She ate whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. With treatment stopping, her appetite had grown and so she munched her way through whatever she fancied. She grew bigger and bigger, gaining weight along the way but didn’t care, she was alive and that was all that mattered.

Over the next year, her life changed again, her husband left her. Tracey remembers:

“I couldn’t help but blame myself and that included my weight gain.”

Tracey was finally given the all clear from Cancer in 2019.

Gaining weightGaining weight
Gaining weight

Over the years, Tracey had joined many slimming clubs and tried all kinds of ‘fad diets’, but this time was different, she wanted to be the best part of herself that she could be. It was time to rebuild her world.

Tracey started Slimming World weighing the heaviest she had ever been. After seeing herself in a picture, she could see that changes needed to happen. She joined a Saturday morning group in Gosport and instantly felt welcomed by the members and her Consultant Lisa. As weekend times are always tricky, Tracey knew the Saturday morning weigh in would keep her on track. Gone are the Friday night takeaways, washed down with wine! Instead, Tracey has learnt to make the meals she loves which fit into her new way of healthy eating. Whether that’s a succulent burger and chips, or Chinese/Indian/italiancuisine, she now has the power in her hands. Friday nights have become a special time, enjoying the food she loves and still losing weight. It’s now the time to prepare for her Saturday morning weigh in!

Tracey lost a staggering 7 lbs in her first week and was over a stone lighter within 6 weeks. As the weeks went by, Tracey was filled with true hope and was thinking, wow! I can do this!!!

Tracey is still on her journey to reach her dream weight. She continues to attend group each week for her weigh in, making the most of spending Saturday mornings with like-minded slimmers: she really is such an inspiration. Tracey says:

“I love my group, it’s the highlight of my weekend, I literally have found my happy place. Listening to people who all have their own weight loss challenge is priceless. It has made me realise, I’m not alone. It’s not always about the amount of weight you lose, it’s about the journey you take, group is such a safe place with no humiliation or judgment. When I am in group, I’m just me.

We are not all in the same boat

We are in the same storm

Some have yachts

Some have canoes

and some are drowning

Just be kind and help whoever you can (Damian Barr)

After what I have been through, I realised life is too short and so I am following my heart.”

Tracey has now been fully trained and will become a Slimming World Consultant in Gosport. She will be starting her first group on Saturday 27th July. For more information visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk

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