Achieve your dream goal weight with Slimming World
Date published: 19 October 2021
Wayne and Joanne Helliwell before and after their Slimming World journey
Joanne Helliwell joined Slimming World to support her husband, Wayne, who lost an incredible 4.5 stone thanks to the magic of Food Optimising. Inspired, Joanne has now launched her own group in Littleborough to help others achieve their dream goal weight and transform their lives the way Wayne has.
I joined Slimming World in January 2018 to support my husband, Wayne, with his weight loss. He’d tried all kinds of diets in the past and although he’d lost some weight, he would quickly put it all back on again. I also hoped that it would help me lose those few stubborn pounds I couldn’t shift since having my two children.
We knew we needed a plan that was sustainable. Our mental health was also suffering with busy jobs as Wayne is self-employed and I was in a stressful role. I was snapping at the kids, and family time was very rare due to feeling tired and sluggish.
After seeing the Slimming World voucher in Bella magazine, we decided that this was worth a try – the night we walked through the door of our Slimming World group was the best decision of our lives.
We walked into the biggest warm welcome from our consultant Rachel Swatkins at Butterworth Hall, Milnrow, and our lives completely changed for the better.
We sat and listened intently to the new member talk and we were hooked; I couldn’t believe we could eat so much food and still lose weight! It didn’t stop there: not only could we eat until we were full, the support in the room during Image Therapy was phenomenal.
We were not alone, everyone had a common goal, we were all in this together and the support from other members was incredible with handy tips and alternative healthy choices. I knew then that this was the plan for us. So, we signed up there and then to a 12-week countdown: we were committed, nothing was going to get in the way of me getting in that bikini for our holiday to Spain.
I was determined. With books in hand, I ploughed through them and the Slimming World magazine to gain ideas and inspiration to plan my weekly meals. Everything I made that week was delicious, the meals were family-friendly, gone were the days of preparing three different meals. I was even sneaking in extra veg to those family favourites and the kids were none the wiser!
When we returned the following week, we couldn’t believe the number on the scales – Wayne had lost half a stone in one week, and I’d lost 2lb. We were delighted and it spurred us on for the next week. On week two, Wayne had lost another half a stone; that’s a stone in just two weeks. This was definitely the plan for us.
Within a couple of weeks our energy levels had gone up – which was needed with two kids, a house to run and a full time job – I was sleeping better and my skin was vibrant again. Even colleagues at work would comment on how well I looked.
The awards were flowing in for Wayne and I: ½ stone, Club 10, 1 stone, 2 stone. There was always a huge applause from group when an award was achieved, and I felt at home with my new Slimming World group members.
With all the Free foods to eat we never go hungry, feeling satisfied after every meal with the freedom to enjoy real food. We now plan the meals as a family, dirty cajun rice is a favourite, and Saturday is always burger night in our house – who knew there were so many different variations of burger!
Our danger zone is Saturday movie night so we’ve replaced the high sugar/fat snacks to healthy humous with crudities, ploughman’s or chocolate quark with fruit skewers. Nothing is off the menu.
Wayne had hit his target weight when he became unwell. After several trips to the hospital and endless tests, he was diagnosed with a heart condition and was put on tablets to control his blood pressure.
The stress and worry from all of this had hit our little family hard. Then lockdown happened and we were plunged into isolation with the rest of the country.
Mentally we were at rock bottom, but there was something there to keep us going. Slimming World moved to Zoom, weekly support video calls with Rachel and the group were there to keep us focused and kept us on plan.
Now with everyone else we had the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and Wayne, who was constantly working, got himself a push bike. I can hand-on-heart say that without Slimming World and losing four-and-a-half stone, he would have never done this. He was hooked: sometimes he’d be out for a couple of hours doing ‘just 30 miles’ that day.
Wayne’s health improved and he no longer needed to take any heart medication. I couldn’t believe the impact Food Optimising and Body Magic had on our physical and mental health. I even joined him on occasions on a Sunday morning for a bike ride along the canal.
I knew then that I wanted to make a difference in the local community by helping others to achieve their dream weight goals – and when an opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to become a Slimming World Consultant.
I’m opening my own group at The Beach Pub & Carvery, Lake Side in Littleborough on Fridays from 22 October at 9.30am.
See you there - Joanne Helliwell
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