'I wanted a change' - Laois-Offaly woman's incredible weight loss journey
In 2014, just six weeks after the birth of her son, Lisa Foster from Portarlington, was ready to start her weight loss journey.
Having just become a new mother and being out on maternity leave it seemed like a great time to start to focus on herself.
"Life was busy as a new mum but I knew that I wanted to start eating healthy and to change my bad habits before I passed them onto my new baby. I always dreaded shopping and I rarely got into photographs. I wanted this to change and to be comfortable taking my pictures with my child".
It seemed like a sign when a Slimming World leaflet was put through her door, so Lisa, accompanied by her sister, decided to give it a go and joined their local group.
"I had tried other diets but they only seemed to work for a while, I’d get tired of feeling deprived and I'd always put back on the weight but Slimming World was different. After years of counting everything on other diets, I loved the freedom of the Slimming World plan".
The sisters received a warm welcome on their first night at the group which put them at ease straight away and they really enjoyed going to group together every week, coming home and trying some of the recipes and ideas they heard from other people there. Lisa recalls how "that hour every week was my time to focus and plan for my success".
At Slimming World, members are encouraged to choose unlimited "Free foods" such as lean meat, fish, eggs, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit and vegetables.
Lisa really loves cooking meals from scratch for herself and her son. Their favourite is Slimming World Pizza & Chips or a roast Sunday dinner. As a single mother and working full time, Lisa found it so easy to cook as all the free food never needs to be weighed or measured.
This planning paid off when Lisa reached her target weight, losing a total of 3 stone. When people reach a target at Slimming World they qualify for free membership and Lisa continued to attend each week.
"I was maintaining my target so I decided to stop going to the group as I thought that I could keep the weight off by myself. I found I miss the support of other members in the group and the weight was starting to creep back up so I made the decision to return again last January.
“The best thing about Slimming World is that there is never any judgement whether it's your 1st time to walk through the doors or you are restarting your journey and it really felt like I hadn’t been away at all".
Consultants at Slimming World are all members who are specially chosen for the role because of their understanding of all aspects around weight loss.
This time, along with losing weight at the group, Lisa works with a personal trainer two days a week and is really enjoying the changes that both are making in her life.
It has been 5 years since Lisa first walked through the doors of Slimming World and she thought for a while that she would love to pass on her experience to others. "over the years my consultant often said that they thought I’d be perfect for the role and now it is finally happening!"
On Thursday, May 30, she is relaunching the Maldron Hotel Portlaoise 5.30pm and 7.30pm Slimming World Groups.
"I can not wait to get started and I am excited to share in my members' journey - I want others to feel comfortable with themselves and to get their self-confidence back just as I did, all thanks to Slimming World," she said.