LESLEY Halbert is celebrating after losing over 3 and a half stone and gaining control of her diabetes.

Lesley’s inspirational story supports research revealing that losing weight with Slimming World is successful in supporting patients who have type 2 diabetes to lose weight and manage their glucose control.

Lesley who attends an Ayrshire Slimming World group, joined in February 2019 after feeling very uncomfortable in her clothes while on holiday.

She says: “Enough was enough, apart from the fact that I hated the pictures of myself from the holiday, the impact on my health was huge. I was diabetic, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol too.

“Being overweight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I like to fit to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath. I always felt like I was lacking energy, I felt like I was on a slippery slope to gaining more and more weight and I didn’t really see a way out.”

Lesley decided to join her local Slimming World group. She says: “Walking through those doors was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I was embarrassed about my size and scared that I might be the biggest person there. I needn’t have worried though, everyone there was so friendly especially my Consultant Sharon. The group were so welcoming too.

“Since then my fellow members have become real friends and I honestly don’t think I could have done it without their support each week. They helped me with recipes and tips and if I was ever struggling they were always there to remind me why I’d wanted to lose weight in the first place and how far I’d come since first stepping through the doors.”

Cumnock Chronicle:

Lesley followed the Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and started cooking healthy meals from scratch. She swapped fatty meals for cajun chicken, pasta and many more tasty meals. She says: “People think slimming means going hungry, yet it’s not like that at all with this healthy eating plan. I love food and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’ – in fact, people are always surprised at how much food I have on my plate and can’t believe I’m losing weight eating so much delicious food and without ever feeling hungry. I can tailor the plan to fit my dietary needs and I can do this with support from my consultant, group and partner.

“This means I still enjoy all my favourite meals like burgers and chips and roast dinners and steak with peppercorn sauce I’ve just learned how to make small changes like eating lots of vegetables, using lean meat or cooking with low calorie spray instead of oil or butter.”

Today Lesley’s lost a total of 3st 7.5lb. She’s also more active nowadays and regularly walks over 10,000 steps a day – despite working in an office.

“Thanks to the changes I’ve made my health has improved dramatically and I have drastically reduced the diabetic medicine I take down to one tablet a day, I no longer take any medication for my high blood pressure and my cholesterol is completely normal now.

Sharon who runs the Ayrshire Slimming World group, says: “We know the obesity crisis is a ticking timebomb, and type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity too. We believe the support you get from being in a warm, empowering group environment is key to helping you eat more healthily and becoming more active too.

The changes we’ve seen in Lesley are incredible. I hope her success will inspire other people in Ayrshire who’d like to lose weight and improve their health by forming new lifestyle habits and become happier to take action.

There’s a warm welcome waiting at Slimming World and, just think, if you start today you could feel like a completely new person just like Lesley.