Fifteen stone woman swaps biscuits for vegetables to lose a THIRD of her body weight and is crowned Miss Slinky (but still enjoys Freddo frogs and a glass of wine)

  • Zoe Jones, 27, from Pontypridd, tipped the scales at 15 stone at university
  • Said she felt ashamed of her size and made excuses to stay home
  • She lost almost 6st in just over a year and has been named Miss Slinky

A woman who spent years avoiding nights out because she felt frumpy next to her friends has lost nearly 6st to be named ‘Miss Slinky 2015’.

At her heaviest Zoe Jones, 27, from Pontypridd, Wales, dreaded getting dressed up and would make excuses to stay home instead of socialising.

Now she’s dropped four dress sizes, going from a size 18 to a ten, and has been awarded the national title by weight-loss organisation Slimming World.

Zoe Jones reached a 15st while at university in Cardiff

Zoe joined Slimming World and dropped to 9st and is now a slender size 10

Zoe Jones reached a 15st while at university in Cardiff but after now she’s a svelte 9st and a slender size 10

She had always been a little bigger than her friends but piled on more weight both during her time at Cardiff University and afterwards when she left home for good.

Zoe says that when it came to catering for herself she would often resort to convenient but unhealthy options.

‘When I moved out of my mum and dad’s house into my own place, I found cooking for one tricky and would usually end up eating something made from a ready-made sauce that was enough for at least two people.’

‘Then boredom would set in and I’d spend my evenings lounging in front of the TV grazing on crisps and sweets. I was stuck in a rut.’

She soon became insecure with the way she looked and began to avoid social situations.

‘I used to come up with every excuse in the book not to join my friends on nights out because, while I loved spending time with them, I hated how I looked and felt.’

Slimming World names Zoe Jones Miss Slinky 2015

Zoe made it her New Year's resolution to fit into a size 10 so she ditched cakes and biscuits to reach her goal

Zoe made it her New Year’s resolution to fit into a size 10 so she ditched cakes and biscuits to reach her goal

Zoe became so embarrassed with her appearance that she chose to avoid nights out with friends

She confided in her dad and joined Slimming World a few days later

Zoe became so embarrassed about her appearance that she chose to avoid nights out with friends

In July 2013, after confiding in her father how unhappy she was about her size, Zoe became determined to make a change.

‘My poor mum and dad bore the brunt of my bad moods. I was really insecure about my appearance, I’d get upset easily and my confidence was at an all-time low.

I loved spending time with friends but hated how I looked and felt

‘Talking to my dad that day made me realise that the only thing standing in my way when it came to doing something about my weight was me.’

Just days later Zoe joined her mum Helen at their local Slimming World group in Church Village in Mid Glamorgan run by consultant Jo Green.

Although Zoe had tried losing weight through the organisation before, she was determined that this time she would make a permanent change.

‘I’d been to several Slimming World groups in the past and lost around a stone each time, but I never made a long-term commitment to it.

‘This time was different. I wasn’t just going to go to the group to get weighed, I knew I needed the help and support of Jo and the other members to reach my target.

Find out more on how you can develop healthy eating habits

Zoe now loves going shopping for new outfits, joining her friends on nights out and is now a keen runner

Zoe now loves going shopping for new outfits, joining her friends on nights out and is now a keen runner

‘There are so many characters in our group and I found I loved getting to know everyone, even now that I’m at my target weight I still go each week. I always leave with a different recipe or piece of advice from someone in the group.’

Zoe, who works as a contracts coordinator for her family’s business, began following the club’s Food Optimising healthy eating plan, and replaced store-bought dinners with home-cooked meals made from scratch including chilli con carne and Thai curries.

She’s now expanded her cooking skills and regularly tries new recipes.

‘I’ve always liked cooking but I used to make cakes and biscuits. Nowadays I enjoy experimenting with savoury recipes and I love that with Slimming World you can always find a healthy alternative for whatever you fancy.

‘I cook for my friends and family a lot – they always ask for the recipes afterwards.’

Zoe says that despite her change of diet she is still able to enjoy the odd indulgence from time to time.

Follow our top tips on how to stick to a healthy diet plan

Zoe is 2015's Miss Slinky, a prize given to the female slimmer who's had the most inspirational transformation

Zoe is 2015’s Miss Slinky, a prize given to the female slimmer who’s had the most inspirational transformation

‘I think it’s been important for me that I can still have treats too, whether it’s a glass of wine with the girls or some chocolate at Christmas, so I never feel like I can’t live my life or like I’m missing out.’

As well as changing her eating habits, Zoe took up running and started attending Pilates classes.

‘Before I lost weight it never occurred to me to do any real sort of activity. To be honest even the gentlest of exercise would probably have been a struggle.

‘I feel like a different person now. I have bucket loads more energy and I love putting on my fluorescents and going for a run on an evening. Me and my best friend Emma completed the Cardiff half marathon in October – I couldn’t stop smiling after I crossed the finish line.’

Since first joining Slimming World Zoe’s lost a total of 5st 12lbs, dropping from 15st 7½lb to 9st 9½lb.

Now she’s been named the club’s Miss Slinky 2015, an award for the female slimmer who’s had the most inspirational transformation, both inside and out.

Zoe says that she is thrilled with her new slender figure and now enjoys hunting for new outfits and regulary goes out with her friends.

ZOE’S DIET BEFORE

Breakfast: Nothing

Mid-morning: Chocolate bar or biscuits

Lunch: Shop-bought sandwich with mayonnaise, packet of crisps and chocolate bar or chocolate muffin

Mid-afternoon: Biscuits or whatever treats were brought into the office, such as cakes from the local bakery

Dinner: Ready-meal with bread and butter, following by a dessert such as ice cream with sauce and toppings

Evening: Crisps, chocolate, biscuits

ZOE’S DIET NOW 

Breakfast: 35g porridge oats with fat-free natural  or flavoured yogurt  topped with fresh fruit

Mid-morning: Piece of fruit

Lunch: Crustless quiche and plenty of vegetables and herbs, or jacket potato

Mid-afternoon: Fat-free yogurt or cereal bar

Dinner: Homemade chilli con carne, Slimming World-style chips and mixed salad. Followed with sugar-free strawberry jelly.

Evening: Small chocolate bar such as a Cadbury’s Freddo and a small glass of wine

‘If someone had told me a year ago that I’d be where I am today I’d have thought they were mad. I still can’t believe it when I go shopping and gorgeous crop tops, skinny jeans and slinky dresses fit me.

‘Now I love dressing up and the girls know they can rely on me to be first on the dance floor. I finally feel like a normal 27-year-old and I’m loving it, in fact I joke I’m reliving my teenage years!’

She added that she is still in shock at the difference she has been able to make both to her body and her confidence.

‘The Christmas before I joined Slimming World I wrote down some dream goals, like New Year’s resolutions, one of which was to fit into a size 10.’

‘It’s amazing to think this January I’ve achieved that. I used to feel invisible and want to hide away but not any more, after winning this award I want to show people that if I can do it they can too.

‘I’m so proud of myself and best of all my family and friends are proud of me too.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2929495/Fifteen-stone-woman-swaps-biscuits-vegetables-lose-body-weight-crowned-Miss-Slinky.html#ixzz3Q7jLPBJy

Back On The Plan – Slimming World

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For those that love their food like me, and DO NOT follow the Slimming World Plan, it really is a great plan to follow.  Its not a diet its a new different way of eating.   the plan has changed slighlty, and its no longer based on red and green days.  Slimming World focuses on what they call FREE and SUPERFREE FOODS, food that you can eat at any time :

  • Fish and Seafood
  • Lean meat and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Fat Free Dairy Products
  • Potatoes, Pulses and Starchy Vegetables
  • Rice, Pasta and Grains
  • Vegetable Proteins such as Quark and Tofu
  • Fruit (SUPERFREE)
  • Vegetables (SUPERFREE)

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So if the thought of a full English breakfast is your idea of a great breakfast to set you up for the day, you could load your plate with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and have as much of it as you wanted…..as it is all FREE ::))

cookedbreakfastEach day you firstly choose your Healthy Extras which consist of 2 categories.

Healthy Extra A (choose 1) which is your milk and cheese etc slimming-world-healthy-extras-a

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Healthy Extra B (choose 2)  which is your cereals and cheeseslimming-world-healthy-extras-b

Then for breakfast/dinner and tea your food plate should look like this :  2/3 of your plate filled with free foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes, fish, meat eggs etc and the remaining1/3 filled with fruit, vegetables and salad52f9378ac65f1973df75afdfa095f145image-1919438462Then there are whats called as SYNS.  This is the naughty bit of for your wine, takeaways , sweets basically anything that is not FREE or SUPERFREE FOOD.  Each day you get allocated 5-15 syns a day.  You dont have to use these each day so for example if you knew you were going out the weekend you could save your SYNS up all week and use them on your night out as in a week you have a total of 115 SYNS.

I love my food and being on medication it does increase your appetite, and I’m not an angel on this but following slimming world gives me the choice of being in control of what I eat and you know that most of your food intake is healthy.  Its the flexibility of the SYNS that give you that feeling of not being deprived of treats, such as a night out or take away etc

If your looking for help and support with any part of diet, fitness and health come and join our Facebook Group From Blogging to Jogging.  There are lots of members all at different fitness and health levels, with one aim to get fit and healthy.

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Come and join us ::))

http://www.slimmingworld.com/

From Blogging to Jogging – Week 2

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Week 2 of “from blogging to jogging” and already Hannah and I are delighted that so many people have taken part.  This week were we absolutely thrilled when we were featured in Tots 100 feature of Top 5 Healthy Blogs http://www.tots100.co.uk/2015/01/09/fresh-five-blogs-for-a-healthy-2015/ To be recognised by such a distinguished site was fabulous, so Thank you Tots 100.

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My week starts tomorrow as tonight I went to Slimming World.  A new plan has been introduced in order to kick everyones weight loss.  They are phasing out your red and green days so you can basically eat carbs and proteins together.  I was delighted to win a prize tonight…….. a fabulous fruit basket, so I’ve got my fruit sorted for the week.  My fitbit has been tracking all my excercise all week, and I am happy with what I have reached.Planning is key at Slimming World so I’m now going to plan as many meals as I can for the week and look forward to a good weight loss this week.

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I will keep posting encouraging posts on Instagram http://www.pinterest.com/emma4facs/bloggingtojogging/ and linking them upto Twitter under the hashtag #bloggingtojogging and remember to post how you are going on with the linky on Hannahs blog http://www.buddingsmiles.co.uk/index.php/lifestyle/health-beauty/169-blogging-to-jogging-linky-2.html

Good luck everyone and have a great week ::))

Review of Fitbit

This has to be the best gadget I have had in a long time…….. I love it.

I originally bought this for the hubby, but after him wearing it for a few days it started to annoy him.  So I got given it ::)) And how glad I am.  In the past I’ve bought all the pedometers, wore them for a while then straight into the drawer.  With the Fitbit you wear it around your wrist and there are different sizes so do measure your wrist.  It clocks every step you walk your activities all day.  The charge/battery life is fab and lasts for around 7-10 days so your not constantly putting it on charge.  Its also a watch and has an alarm clock so will wake you up on these freezing cold mornings.  When your out walking it has caller id so you no who is ringing your mobile without looking at your phone….just look at your Fitbit and it tells you ::))

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The best feature for me is that it monitors your sleep.  I have a lot of trouble sleeping, due to medication I am on, Fitbit logs all your sleep activity tells you how long you slept, how long you were restless.  So for me this has been a God send.

You can download the app from the app store and check how your progress is going, and also receive weekly emails on your progress too..

A fab must have for 2015

From Blogging To Jogging

So its a new year, and with that is….. the predictable New Me ::))

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I am currently a member at Slimming World and have been for a while, but not being as successful as I would like.  I’m on a lot of medication for Epilepsy, Chrones Disease, Depression and even though  Slimming World say medication doesnt afect weight loss I am really struggling. Me just looking at food and I put weight on and I just have to accept that to lose weight I DO need to excercise and make it part of my day.

I’m a member at my local gym and I generally try and go straight from taking the kds to school.  My best classes are spinning and have been doing them 3 times a week before Christmas.  OBviously I havent been for a month so have got to relly get some motivation to go back.

One of the present bought over Christmas that I love is the new Fitbit that is out.  If you have enough money to buy one do get this.  It is fabulous.  It tracks every move you make, counts stairs you walk up and down and the best thing for me is it monitors your sleep pattern which is a huge problem for me. It even lets you know when somebody is phoning you.  I paid £120 for this but it has gone down to around £60 I saw the other day so is a real bargain.  I’m so surprised by the amount of steps I take in a day just being in the house.IMG_1111

So the plan this week is to get into the swing of the new plan at Slimming World plan and to follow it as much as possible.  The kids go back to school Monday so the gym will be calling and hopefully on my way to a good weight loss this week.

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I have teamed up with the lovely Hannah from @BuddingSmiles and we will soon be launching a #bloggingtojogging linky so that anyone who is wanting to get fit, watch their weight etc can join in.  I think its a lot better when you are supported when trying to lose weight, its so daunting, but when you have support of others doing it, you dont feel so much on your own.  So ladies and gents come and join in Have you got any health and fitness goals or resolutions? Any tips for me? Please comment below or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Epilepsy, Weight Loss and Slimming World

Being on the never ending cycle of losing weight……. I’ve rejoined Slimming World…….again.  I’m very familiar with the plan as I have done it before.  Being on a lot of medicine, ie for Epilepsy, Chrones etc I don’t seem to be losing weight as quickly or successfully as other members do, and am feeling really disheartened.  A question I have asked my lovely leader Pat is “Does being on medication hinder weight loss?”  I’m also hearing from a lot of ladies who are on medications Epilim, Keppra, etc that no matter how much they are trying they are not losing weight despite trying everything.

Having researched this my only finding is that being on these medications DO increase your appetite.  Slimming world have always stated its abut making wise food choices……… so in my case I should be opting for an apple, hifi bar rather than a club or cheesecake.  Making good food choices and planning ahead.

So for all those people who take regular medication and are struggling to lose weight, here is an inspirational story from Daniel who also has Epilepsy and is on medication to control this.

“Losing weight helped me take control of my epilepsy”

“Losing weight helped me take control of my epilepsy”

Daniel Hassall from Sandbach, Cheshire has epilepsy and would regularly suffer up to 30 seizures a day. Since joining Slimming World and losing 5st his seizures have reduced dramatically and he’s thrilled to be able to live a much more normal life. Doctors are amazed at his transformation and he’s been crowned Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2014.

“I’d struggled with my weight ever since I was diagnosed with epilepsy aged five. I put on weight as a side effect of the drugs I was given, and it was definitely coupled with bad eating habits too.

“Over the years I spent a lot of time in and out of hospital. I’d suffer up to 30 partial seizures a day and one grand mal (full) seizure every couple of weeks, often leaving me with lasting side effects such as memory loss, extreme tiredness and low self-confidence.

“Things had got pretty bleak and I was miserable, I felt like I was always just waiting for the next big seizure. While I was lying in my hospital bed I overheard the doctors saying that perhaps some of my seizures could be weight-related because my weight and my epilepsy together might be too much for my heart and my brain to cope with. Then another patient Richard, who’d actually gone blind because of his epilepsy, told me that he and his wife had lost 8st with Slimming World and that had really helped him. I became determined to do something about my weight – it felt like my only option.

“I was apprehensive about joining a slimming club and instead tried other weight-loss methods including dieting alone and going to the gym. Unfortunately the diets left me feeling hungry and my fitness regime had disastrous results as I suffered six grand mal seizures. I knew I was going to cause myself some serious damage if I carried on, so I remembered what Rich had said and went to Slimming World with my mum.

“I’d put off going to Slimming World because I thought I’d be in a room full of women and I was so nervous that I don’t think I said more than one word to anyone, but my Consultant Julie and all of the other members were really welcoming – and they weren’t just old women!

I soon started to feel more comfortable and now I love going to the group every week. I’ve made so many friends and they’ve been a constant encouragement.

“I’ve always been a sucker for fast food because I wasn’t much of a cook and it was quick and easy, but I’ve learned about healthy eating at Slimming World. I’ve realised that it doesn’t mean starving yourself and there are lots of healthy meals that are really simple to make – I love having a big bowl of tuna pasta and can make a great chicken curry and rice.”

“I lost 6lbs in my first week and I’ve lost 15 inches from my waist altogether, going from 47” to 32”. As I lost weight I was able to start exercising without triggering a seizure and I’m now teaching martial arts as a volunteer.

“Slimming down has had a huge impact on my epilepsy – my doctors can’t believe it! They thought there might be a link between my weight and my epilepsy but they never expected losing weight to make such a big difference so they’re delighted – and so am I. Walking into my Slimming World group was without doubt the best decision I’ve ever made – it’s changed my life – and I really want to share my story with other people who have epilepsy to make them aware of what a difference losing weight could make.

“Before I lost weight I was a shadow of the person I am today, back then I’d never have dreamed I could stand at the front of a group of people but now I’ve got a new level of confidence and that’s thanks to my Slimming World group. I’ve always felt like an outsider because of my epilepsy and my Slimming World group is the first place I’ve ever felt worthwhile and part of something. I’ve found true friends in Julie and the other members and I’d tell anyone who wants to lose weight, especially to improve their health and quality of life, to go for it – they won’t regret it!”

– See more at: http://www.slimmingworld.com/success-stories/daniel-hassall.aspx#sthash.6l4cBGFs.dpuf