At 38, Kirstie Goodwin gained a lot of excess weight brought about her turning to food for comfort because of some issues in the family.
“I’d always been bigger but the weight really piled on after an issue with our landlord meant the five of us had to move in with my mother-in-law, who lived in a one-bedroomed bungalow. It was such a stressful time for the whole family and I turned to food for comfort. We would buy cakes, pastries, crisps and chocolates to enjoy together and cheer us up a bit.”
Another stressful time came when her stepfather got into a serious coach accident while he was away on a school trip to France. The whole family was so worried about him and stress eating got the better of Kristie.
“Eventually we were rehoused and although my stepdad had fairly life-changing injuries, it was a relief to have him home. My weight had become an even bigger issue though, and I knew things were getting bad when simple tasks started to become massive chores.
Because of her father’s history of heart failure, she knew that she’s prone to having the same situation too. She was about to be 35 and worrying about suffering from the same heart attack kept her awake at night. The thought of the consequences of it and the pain it might bring to her family was enough to convince her to join Slimming World. She wanted to be the wife and mother her family deserved.
“Walking through those doors for the first time was really daunting, especially because I had no idea how much I weighed. Having my mum with me really helped though, and I’d been made to feel so welcome at my Slimming World group that I left with a sense of hope, rather than dread.
Joining Slimming World changed her life for the better. She has become a healthier and happier person, and more confident too.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I love my food, so I was amazed when I learned about the Food Optimising plan and discovered that I could still eat all of my favourite foods and that there was no need to go hungry!
“I started to make hearty family favourites from scratch instead of relying on convenience food – so I’d whip up a big chicken curry with rice and veg instead of reaching for the nearest jar. It tasted just as good, better in fact!
Even though she was eating more than she ever did before, she was amazed that the pounds kept on dropping each week. With the right balance, she can still eat her chocolates or chips whenever she likes. The family has benefited too as they’re all eating the same healthy meals.
“Before losing weight my confidence was at rock bottom and I was stuck in a job that I didn’t enjoy. As I lost weight my confidence grew and I bagged myself a job as an auxiliary nurse, which I enjoyed much more. I soon realised that caring for people was my calling in life – and that my heart lay with helping people to achieve things they never thought possible. Becoming a full-time Slimming World Consultant seemed like the perfect fit, and I haven’t looked back since.
She was crowned Consultant Slimmer of the Year and things just get better and better for her.
“There’s no way I would have been seen in a swimsuit when I was bigger, now I love doing a few lengths in the pool, it just makes me feel so good. I also do a weekly session with a personal trainer, which is something I never would have done before I lost weight.
“I’ve learned healthy habits for life and I feel so much happier. It’s not always been easy and there have been times where I’ve had to refocus, but that’s all part of the journey and if anything it helps me empathise with my members more. I find keeping a food diary really helps me and because I’ve overhauled my whole lifestyle, I know I’ll never go back to the old me.”