After a woman from Swansea was told she would need to lose 12 stone before her chances of having a baby would improve, she set out on a weight loss journey which has changed her life dramatically. Putting the days of secretly eating chocolates and crisps in her car behind her, Beth McGregor from Cwmbwrla has lost 10 stone and is feeling more hopeful that she will start a family with her husband one day.
Beth, 38, joined Slimming World in September 2021 weighing 23 stone. She had tried to lose the weight before but said the amount she had been told she needed to lose by doctors was too daunting. However, she had always wanted to have children in the future with her husband James, 48, who she has been with since she was eighteen.
“It was so much weight that I had to lose, it just felt like there was a mental block because 12 stone is more than another person,” she said. With dreams of being a mother one day, Beth started to take her weight loss journey one meal at a time and started seeing results. You can get more Swansea news and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.
Before joining Slimming World, Beth said exercise was “non-existent” in her life. When her dog needed a walk, Beth would drive to the beach and throw a ball around for her dog to avoid having to walk around. Last year when Beth went to see the beautiful sunflowers at Rhossili in the summer, she said she was too unfit to walk from the carpark to the fields of flowers and had to abandon the trip.
“I remember getting on a flight to America and I couldn’t get the lap tray down and had to ask the stewardess for a seatbelt extender,” Beth said, “I just stood in the toilet crying.” It was a difficult time for Beth as her confidence was low and she was hiding her eating habits from her husband, she said.
“On my way home from work, I’d buy packets of crisps and chocolate from the shop, eat them in my car and hide the packets. I was obsessed with food,” she added. Beth, who works as a local area co-ordinator for the council, said her typical day of eating before she joined Slimming World involved up to four takeaways a week and lots of quick meals on the go.
Here’s a typical day of eating before Beth began her weight loss journey:
A sausage or bacon bap from a cafe while Beth was on-the-go with work meetings.
A battered sausage, chips and a bread roll from the chip shop.
Lasagne with garlic bread or a takeaway which could include kebab meat and chips or beef and black bean sauce with chips and rice from her local Chinese takeaway.
Beth said she would get bored of takeaways because her and her husband would eat so many each week.
Crisps and chocolate
Now a typical day of eating for Beth looks like:
Oat pancakes, breakfast, berries and yoghurt
Salmon stir fry with Thai curry sauce
Hunter’s chicken with chips and salad
Now weighing 13 stone, Beth said she snacks a lot less, focuses on filling, healthy meals and drinks lots of squash throughout the day. But she has not given up on her comfort food and still eats roast dinners, pasta bakes and big breakfasts which might not be associated with “dieting”. Beth sees it as a lifestyle rather than a diet, she added.
Since September 2021, Beth has lost ten stone and still regularly attends Slimming World meetings. Although she was initially worried about being judged for her weight, Beth said the group has always been welcoming and supporting and they are like a family.
As well as enjoying a boost to her confidence, Beth said her health and fitness has improved dramatically and she walks the dog every day as well as going on weekly long walks with her sister. Now, Beth hardly uses her inhaler for her asthma and does not suffer with IBS or heartburn like she did before losing the weight.
Beth recently took part in the Macmillan Mighty Hike and walked 13 miles for charity. The hike ended in Rhossili and was a full circle moment for Beth, considering just 12 months earlier she could not manage the walk from the car park. “I was exhausted but exhilarated, I couldn’t believe I’d done it,” she said.