“DIET” is a word on many people’s lips at this time of year- they’ve overindulged a bit too much at Christmas and are desperate to get back into shape for spring.
Well after going on her own life-changing weight loss journey- one which saw her lose 82lbs - a Longformacus woman has started up a new group to help others achieve their goals.
Rebecca Mills has all the credentials to be a highly successful Weight Watchers leader having shed just under six stone in nine months after embarking on a get fit mission in April 2010.
Having steadily put on weight since her teens, Rebecca decided that enough was enough and actively sought after Weight Watchers classes in the region. With none in Berwickshire, she travelled to her nearest in Haddington and from the very first meeting she attended she showed a determination that anyone would be proud of.
Speaking to ‘The Berwickshire News’ about her journey to being the happier, confident woman she is now, Rebecca explained: I had always struggled with my weight since my early teens and then when I went away to university the weight piled on as I lived on a diet of burgers, chips and pints down the student union.
“Even when I left university, my unhealthy lifestyle continued and my weight kept creeping up. I tried a number of times to lose it, without much success. I tried every diet I could, from the cabbage soup diet to the negative calorie food diet and even hypnotism!
All the diets I tried were faddy and I could not stick to them, never mind the fact they made me miserable! It was a day in July 2010 that was the turning point for me. I was trying to get dressed to go out and none of my clothes fitted. They were all too tight for me, straining everywhere.”
And it was on catching sight of herself in the mirror looking overweight and unhappy that spurred Rebecca on to make some serious changes and embark on a weight loss programme which has definitely changed her life.
“It was the first time I had really looked at myself in a long time,” she recalls. I decided I was not going up another dress size and had to do something about it.
“I was really nervous when I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting; I think it was the fear of the unkown more than anything, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
“But I needn’t have worried! The leader was so welcoming and the other members were really supportive too, we were all in it together. Over the weeks, I learned how to make changes to the way I ate and lived my life and the weight kept coming off. I gained more energy, and I just loved being able to buy new clothes in smaller sizes.
“The key was to break the weight loss down into smaller chunks rather than think ‘right I need to get all this weight off as soon as possible!’ I’d set targets like dropping another dress size or wanting to fit into a different size of trousers.”
Rebcca admits that she never thought nine months from signing up for Weight Watchers she’d lose 82lbs although with the weight dropping off quite quickly she realised that her weight loss would be fairly substantial if she stuck to her healthy eating plan.
“It’s not about cutting out everything you enjoy eating, it’s about having a balanced diet.
“Most fruit and vegetables have zero points so the Weight Watchers plans encourages you to include more of these in your daily diet.
“I lost a stone within about a month of having my first weigh-in and I thought to myself then that I was taking a big step in the right direction.
“Once I lost the 82 pounds I thought it would be quite hard to keep off and although it’s a big adjustment to begin with, going from losing weight to maintaining it, fortunately I’ve stayed the same, give or take a pound or two.”
It’s not just on the outside that Rebecca’s massive weight loss is obvious, she says it’s completely changed her whole outlook on life.
“I feel good in my clothes now and I feel good in my own skin,” she enthuses.
“I was very shy when I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting but now I’m leading meetings and giving presentations myself - I can’t quite believe it! I’ve had the support of my friends and family, particularly my boyyfriend who has lost four and a half stone himself.
“We’ve completely changed our lifestyle; we’re not planning on running any marathons just yet but we do a lot more walking; we’re always out with the dogs.”
And Rebecca’s advice for anyone that was unsure about coming along to her class at The Guy Roberts Room at Duns Swimming Pool every Wednesday at 7pm is : “You’ll find there is absolutely no need to be nervous.
“Come along and try it whether you just want to lose a extra few pounds you put on over Christmas or a lot more.
“I’ve made friends for life out of Weight Watchers and honestly, if I can do it, anyone can.”
To find out more about the new Weight Watchers meeting at Duns Swimming Pool call Rebecca on 07559472486.