Family holiday photo that helped Crawley mum lose five stone

Geri then and now
Geri then and now

Crawley resident Geri Maloney is celebrating losing almost five stone after seeing a photograph of herself on a family holiday.

Geri, from Broadfield, decided to join Weight Watchers UK (WW) in August of last year and has gone on to change her relationship with food for good.

She explained: “I’ve been overweight my whole adult life. My clothes size kept creeping up and although I was never happy with my size, I just accepted it. Every now and again I would attempt to lose weight; I would lose a stone, feel great and then put it all back on again.”

Following from pregnancy, Geri had gained more weight and decided to change from vegetarian to vegan, in the hope that the plant-based diet may aid her weight-loss.

However Geri still found that she struggled, “as veganism is more mainstream now there are so many unhealthy options available that it is very easy to still eat junk food, which I did, and therefore didn’t lose weight. I would very rarely look in a full-length mirror and always tried to avoid having full-length photos taken because I would hate seeing myself.

“I gave up on wearing nice clothes and adopted a uniform of leggings and baggy tops which I thought disguised my weight, but when I saw a photo of me holding my daughter, I thought about what she would think of it when she is older. I didn’t want her to look at it and see the mum who was too unfit to run around after her once she learnt to walk, or never wanted to go clothes shopping.”

Geri knew that she had to make a change, and after seeing a banner advertising her local Broadfield WW Studio, she plucked up the courage to sign up.

“It was one of the best decisions I have ever made; walking in was a little daunting but the welcome that I received from my coach, Sharon and the rest of the members, made me relax in no time. I walked out feeling totally inspired and like I could take on the world!”

Since joining WW, Geri has learnt new healthy eating habits whilst still enjoying her vegan-friendly food.

She said: “In my first week I learnt how to use the WW mobile phone app, and I had great fun walking round the supermarkets scanning all my favourite foods, and was surprised by how many of the foods I loved were not off limits. The WW programme has encouraged me to start cooking more using some of the zero-point foods like tofu, lentils, chickpeas and beans – they’re so versatile and really good for padding out meals to make me feel full and satisfied for longer.”

The WW programme builds on the SmartPoints® system, and the company says it makes it the most flexible and liveable programme ever.

“It encourages you to enjoy food with freedom, find what moves you physically, and gives you the skills to shift your mindset so you can focus on what really matters on your weight loss journey - taking care of yourself and living your life the way you want to.”

Coach Sharon Ashborn said: “I love Geri because she’s so funky and hip! She brings sparkle to the room, encourages and supports our other members and always contributes to the meeting talks. The best part is she inspires and amazes me with her vegan diet, and how she has continued to follow it alongside the WW programme. As Geri continues to attend my workshops, I will continue to support and encourage her to continue with the fantastic work she has done so far to ensure she will stay on track and take control of her goals for good.”

Visit www.weightwatchers.com/uk to find out about other WW Studios in your área.