Find out how 21st Portsmouth mum Vicky lost nearly EIGHT STONE with Slimming World and changed her life
Vicky Snagg's weight used to rule her life. She would shy away from social events and public places.
Online shopping was her friend and she hated taking her son Regan to the park because she couldn't keep up with him - just walking made her out of breath.
Weighing more than 21 stone, she was at the lowest point of her life and felt ashamed of what she had become.
In December 2018 Vicky went on a family holiday and couldn't bear to look at the photos that were taken of her. She was miserable and did her best to fade into the background in a men's XXL hoodie.
When her sister Hannah put photos of her on Facebook, Vicky removed tags or asked for the photos to be deleted. At that point, she hadn’t put any photos of herself on social media for two years. A whole two years of memories with her three-year-old son missed.
At Christmas she knew something needed to change and made a promise with her mum Lesley and sister that they would all commit to joining Slimming World at the start of 2019.
They found a group that they could all attend at 9.30am on a Monday morning in Hilsea and on January 14 they joined.
That morning Vicky, who lives in Fratton, was dreading stepping on the scales - she knew it was probably the heaviest she had ever been. But walking into the group they were greeted with a warm, enthusiastic welcome from the consultant and Vicky could see on her sister’s face that they had found the right place. The group were so supportive - it felt like walking into a family.
Being able to choose her own Personal Achievement Target meant Vicky could set herself smaller interim targets at first if she wanted to. It was tempting, but deep down Vicky knew the weight she wanted to get to and the consultant encouraged her to set it – and that it was possible to achieve.
At the first weigh-in the following week, Vicky had lost 4lbs and she was disappointed - not with the loss, but with herself because she knew she hadn't food optimised 100 per cent.
By taking a seat in the group they were all committing just one hour a week to themselves and that rang true with Vicky, as she had spent such a long time not committing to herself and her diet.
She promised herself that she would commit to staying each week with IMAGE therapy and quite quickly she recognised the weeks she was disappointed with her loss, or weeks that were going to have challenges, were the weeks she needed to stay - the group motivated her to keep going and helped her to re-focus.
They are a friendly, fun and supportive group who make everyone feel welcome, respected and valued. At group you are never humiliated or judged and your weight is never disclosed. For Vicky, those weeks where you feel like giving up are the weeks it is most important you stay.
Vicky loves that with Slimming World she never has to feel hungry and has the freedom to enjoy real food - she's still having roast dinner, chilli, spaghetti Bolognese, chicken balti and a cooked breakfast! But now she makes it from scratch and it tastes so much better.
Most importantly for her, she is teaching her son how to eat healthily, getting him involved with cooking. He loves mixing up seasoning.
Before, Vicky would have huge plates of food, cream-topped frappucinos and sneakily eat sharing-sized bags of Maltesers whilst sat at her desk at work.
Now she plans and prepares what she is eating the day before and puts in treats for the times she might struggle. Vicky uses her syns to eat what she really wants and most days still manages a frappucino from Starbucks (but she now has the light version - safely within her syn allowance).
She also loves a Slimming World mint HiFi bar and was VERY happy when they made a return earlier this year!
As well as the diet, Body Magic encourages small, easy steps to increase activity and Vicky started this by cutting out using the lift at work - and making her colleagues do the same in the process.
Then in the summer she started walking to and from work. When Vicky first started she was a hot, sweaty mess by the time she arrived at work (and then had to climb three flights of stairs), but now she finds it is her 'me' time each day and feels it has had a huge impact on her mental health as well as her physical ability.
Last October Vicky went to Florida on another family holiday, but this time six-and-a-half stone lighter. She started each day with an hour in the gym - something she would never have dared to do before.
This time she didn't need to worry about fitting into her seat on the plane or whether the rollercoaster barriers would hold her in place. On her first weigh-in back after her holiday, she had even lost another 2.5 lbs.
This week Vicky, the week before she relaunches her Slimming World group, hit her target with a total weight loss of 7st 12lbs. She walks for 40 minutes a day now and enjoys exercising. That's something she never would have thought possible just a year ago.
Her journey with Slimming World has been truly life-changing and now she hopes she can help other people experience that same fantastic feeling. Join Vicky at St Francis Church, Hilsea on Mondays at 9.30am and 11.30am