When her weight spoiled a trip of a lifetime, Amy Hodgson ditched the takeaways to become a champion slimmer.
Amy Hodgson, 24, was so unhappy with the way she looked on a dream holiday it prompted her to lose an amazing 5st 3lbs.
One success led to another as Amy was also named Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2020, having dropped from a size 16/18 to 8/10.
Liverpudlian Amy admits she’d never felt more embarrassed than when she went to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon spa for the New Year with her boyfriend, Jonathan.
‘Visiting Iceland was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime,’ says Amy. But it was ruined because of how I felt about my weight. I only have a handful of pictures of us there because I just didn’t want to be in front of the camera.
‘Before I gained weight, I was confident and comfortable with myself. In Iceland, I felt embarrassed to be in a swimsuit and when we went to collect our robes I was handed an XXL –the same size as Jonathan!
Amy knew her poor diet was to blame. She’d fallen into the habit of eating up to five takeaways a week.
‘When we got back from Iceland, we both decided that enough was enough and we had to do something about our weight. ’
As luck would have it, a phone call from her sister gave Amy just the motivation she needed.
‘My sister rang and asked if I would join Slimming World with her. She wanted to lose her baby weight but didn’t want to go on her own. I’d tried so many diets in the past but they were all quick fixes – I knew if I wanted to get rid of the extra weight for good I had to make changes for life.
‘Walking into group for the first time on 8 January 2019 was a bit nerve-wracking, but I soon realised there was nothing to be scared of. Everyone in the group was so supportive and welcoming , and it was lovely to have the support of my sister too.
When I stepped on the scales and realised what I weighed, I did have a bit of an emotional wobble. But I knew that I was in the right place to achieve my dream and learn how to stay slim for life.’
Amy soon got to grips with Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan. The idea is slimmers lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived. They’re able to fill up on plenty of ‘Free Food’ – potatoes, pasta, rice, lean meat, fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables.
‘I’d been so used to trying to lose weight by restricting myself that at first I couldn’t believe how much I could eat!’ admits 5ft, 4in Amy.
‘I’d been having four or five takeaways a week before joining Slimming World, and went from barely cooking at all to being the chef of the house!
It’s not just Amy who’s benefited from the change in eating habits and Slimming World recipes. ‘Jonathan didn’t come along to the group with me, but just by enjoying the same meals as me he has lost 21/2 stone!
Now, we enjoy getting active together by going to the gym or taking the dog for long walks in Wales. It’s given our relationship a boost because I feel like I’ve got the ‘old me’ back.
‘I love taking part in Slimming World’s Body Magic programme and getting awards for making activity a part of my routine.’
Another reason Amy’s smiling is that her psoriasis has been helped by her lifestyle changes. ‘Psoriasis is exacerbated by stress and a poor diet – since I joined Slimming World my psoriasis has reduced massively, so I am not as dependent on my medication
Amy’s weight loss has boosted her confidence too. ‘As a teacher, I used to feel really self-conscious about my weight. Children just say whatever is in their minds and I remember one pupil saying I was ‘big like mummy’. It crushed me – I knew he didn’t mean anything malicious but it still hurt.
‘I used to worry about job interviews, too, in case schools wondered if I’d be fit enough to teach PE.
‘When I was at my biggest I felt as though I had lost myself. I wasn’t the bubbly confident girl my friends and family knew and loved.
‘These days I’m brimming with confidence and putting myself forward for things I would never have dreamed of doing before.
‘My long-term goal is to become a headteacher and help children to achieve their dreams. I feel like I’m back to myself – and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.’
Amy’s typical menu before joining Slimming World
Lunch: A shop-bought sandwich with crisps and a bottle of coke
Dinner: Burger meal from a fast food restaurant or a takeaway kebab with chips
Evening: Chocolate, crisps, sweets
Amy’s typical menu on the Slimming World plan
Breakfast: Weetabix with skimmed milk, a mug of coffee and a banana
Lunch: A large homemade salad with a bottle of water and some fresh fruit
Dinner: Pan-fried salmon with sweet chilli dressing, served with rice and vegetables
Evening: Slimming World hi-fibre cereal bar
Slimming World offer: How you can enrol at Slimming World for FREE
Pick up a copy of Woman’s Own magazine to claim this Slimming World offer – on sale now.
Our sister publication is offering you the chance to join to Slimming World’s 19,000 groups across the UK and Ireland before or on Monday 3 February 2020. With this offer, you can enrol for FREE, saving £10/€18, so you pay only the standard weekly fee of £4.95/€9 in your first meeting.
All you’ll need to do is pick up a copy of the latest issue of Woman’s Own magazine (cover date January 27th) and complete the voucher inside. You’ll then need to give it to your Slimming World Consultant when you join a group.
Woman readers can also save with Slimming World Online, which is perfect if you can’t make it to a Slimming World group, or you’d prefer to lose weight with web-based support. Inside the same magazine, you’ll find a code you can redeem online before midnight on February 3rd, saving you £15/€25.
For full terms and conditions, please visit slimmingworld.co.uk/woman-terms.