Big Loss Posts

Foodstagram Slimming World

It can be a bit scary thinking about joining a weight-loss class like Slimming World, especially if you’ve never been before. So I thought I’d share some information about what actually goes on, so you’d know what to expect.

You can find out where your local class meets by checking the Slimming World website (UK site/Irish Site). You don’t need an appointment, or to contact them ahead of time. Just turn up and say you want to join. There are new members joining all the time, so there may well be other people starting at the same time as you.

First Visit

On your first visit, I would say you need to be fairly punctual for the start time of the class. The Slimming World consultant will have a special table set up for newbies, and they will use the first half hour to explain the Slimming World plan to you. They will also give you a number of books that give you all the information you need about the plan, and a membership card.

The membership card is used each week for you to check in, pay your weekly fees, and weigh in. The card will also have details that allow you to login to the website and access all the online information.

While you’re getting your introduction chat, all the other existing members will be arriving to have their weigh-in. They’ll be going to a different table where there’s a bunch of computer gear, and depending how busy the class is, they might need to queue up. First off they check-in with their membership card and pay their weekly fee, and perhaps buy some of the stuff for sale in class.

You can buy copies of the Slimming World magazine (at a discounted price), recipe books, and different flavoured high-fibre bars. The bars seem to be really popular with group members, but are not a mandatory part of the diet plan.


After check-in comes the weigh-in. Members may need to queue up again at the scales. Here you’ll hand over your membership card and book, and when instructed you jump on the scales. There is a display on the desk to tell you your weight, and the person doing the weigh-ins will be able to tell you how much you have lost (or gained, or maintained) in the last week. They will write your progress in your book, and an electronic copy of the weigh-in will be stored on their tablet computer.

Once you start to lose weight and reach a milestone (half a stone, one stone, one and a half stones, etc.) you’ll win an award, which consists of a sticker and certificate. If this happens, the weigh-in person may ask to keep your book, as they like to announce the awards to the whole class.

All the weigh-ins for existing members happen in the first half hour of the class, while you’re getting your introduction chat. As a first-timer, you’ll be added into the computer system and get your first weigh-in at the end of class.

Class Talks

At the end of the half-hour the class talk starts. Feel free to sit anywhere – there is no allocated seating! The consultant will make some announcements about awards won, and any company news. They may also initiate a guided discussion on a particular topic. You should feel free to join in the conversation if you want, or keep quiet if you feel a bit nervous – whatever’s good for you.

The consultant will then go round each person in class to talk about their progress this week. They will announce your weight loss this week (if you lost) and your total weight loss to date. They will never announce what your current weight is – just how much you’ve lost. The class members will then generally clap to congratulate the member. The consultant may then ask how your week went – if you did anything in particular, or cooked something nice, that you might want to share with the class – or if you had problems that the class or consultant might be able to help you with.

It’s a pretty informal and supportive structure, and if you’re really nervous about talking in class you can have a quiet word with the consultant and they’ll not call out your progress.

And that’s it. Once the consultant has finished going round everyone then the class is over, and you can leave (unless it’s your first week, and you still need to do you first weigh-in). Depending on the size of the class, the whole thing lasts between 60 and 90 minutes (including the weigh-in half hour), although some people do discretely leave early if they have pressing engagements. Some people also weigh-in and they leave straight away, but I don’t think those people get the full value from attending the class.

Common Worries

It’s not unusual to be worried about coming along for the first time. I was worried about people judging me or being unkind. However, everyone’s there for the same reason, and as such they are all friendly and supportive. You will also see all shapes and sizes, and both young and old people in class. There might be someone looking to lose 10 pounds, and someone else looking to lose 10 stones, and lots of folk in between.

And although classes are dominated by women, there are some men that attend as well – so don’t be scared off if you’re a bloke like me. I go along with my wife, as we’re both trying to lose weight, but there’s also men that come along on their own.

You can also speak as much or as little as you prefer in class, but I always think that you get out of things what you put in. And so you’ll find that if you ask questions or offer helpful advice, you’ll get a lot more out of the class.

I hope that was of some help. If you have any questions about anything I might have missed out, feel free to write them in the comments.

Slimming World

A big pot of tomato sauce (useful for spaghetti bolognese or pasta dishes), a frying pan full of quorn mince and loads of veggies for a cottage pie, potatoes to be mashed for the cottage pie, and a chicken and chickpea curry in the tupperware containers.

Foodstagram Slimming World

The week comes around quickly, and before I know it I’m faced with the prospect of another weigh-in.

The scales at home show that I’ve lost a couple of pounds, but the scales in class – which seem to be possessed by a very mean-spirited devil – always seem to show a different weight, and mostly not in my favour!

I can’t stand the thought of that warm but pitiable smile from the person operating the scales, when they tell me in hushed tones that (yet again) I’ve maintained or even put on a few pounds. I can’t stand the thought of the consultant joyously announcing to the class my TOTAL weight loss – which, as everyone knows, is code for “he’s been pigging out again”!

So, to make sure I definitely get a loss – any loss – in class, I put myself through a punishing series of trials, to shave off a few ounces from my body before going to class:

  • I will always have a pee and a poo before class. I don’t want anything from this morning’s breakfast to be still in my system!
  • I will stop drinking at lunchtime, because any liquids after that will not clear my system before the class. The up-shot of this is that I’m nearly faint with dehydration by the time I step on the scales, but at least I can look forward to a lovely cup of tea (in a disposable cardboard cup) afterwards.
  • I will assess the weight of my clothes, and discard any heavy ones. The consultant is very much against people stripping off completely for their weigh-in – she thinks it will traumatise people and put off new joiners from staying. So, on the basis that I need to wear something, I need the clothes to be light. Last week at home I weighed myself twice – once with my shirt on, and once without – and I was a whole pound lighter without the shirt. I must have really heavy clothes!
  • I will empty my pockets of keys, wallet, mobile phone, loose change, old bus tickets, pocket lint, and anything else that’s in there. I’ll also divest myself of a belt – as long as my trousers fit well enough not to fall down during class.
  • I will walk or cycle to class, because it’s never too late to fit in a bit of body magic. And of course, I can sweat a bit more fluid out of me!
  • And lastly, I will kick off my shoes. But then again everyone does that!

Of course, I fully realise that if I did all this every week, not only would it cease to have any benefit, but it would be really bad for me. I’m sure deliberately dehydrating myself is not something that would be encouraged,

So at the end of the day, I would need to lose some actual weight from my body to see a loss on the scales. And that, I guess, involves following the bloody plan.

My Story Slimming World

The first week is usually a good one.

You dive into the Slimming World healthy eating plan – or “Food Optimising” as they call it – and you follow all the rules, and at your first weigh-in, you get some good results.

My first weigh-in saw me lose 7 pounds, and so I got my half-stone award staight away.

Obviously not everyone can lose half a stone in a week, but when you start at such a big weight as me, its easy to lose quite quickly at the start.

The most radical change for me has been cutting out all the between-meals treats that I was eating. Gone are the bags of sweets, bars of chocolate, and family-sized bags of crisps. And instead, I’m now snacking on raw carrots and grapes.

I’ve also noticed that I’m now properly hungry at meal times. Before, I was eating so much between meals that I wasn’t actually hungry when it came to lunch or dinner – but I was still eating my meals as well!

Now I’m actually hungry at meal times, and as such I find that I’m enjoying those meals all the more.

I’m also enjoying helping my wife out with the batch cooking. So much so that the freezer is now groaning with multiple portions of chilli con carne and chicken curry – all free meals, of course!

My Story Slimming World

So here I am, starting Slimming World for the second time in my life.

I did it once before, about two years ago, along with my wife. We went along faithfully every week to class for six months, and during that time I managed to lose just over 4 stone in weight. So I know that Slimming World works. But unfortunately life seemed to get in the way, and we stopped going.

I got seriously ill, and healthy eating didn’t seem to be the biggest priority in life. Indeed, my doctors kept telling me not to worry about my weight, and instead concentrate on my treatment and getting better. So I took that as a license to go crazy and eat all of the wrong foods. And wouldn’t you know it, all of the weight went back on, and a few pounds more!

I was sat at home all day, and it was very easy to stuff my face with chocolate, sweets and crisps. I knew it wasn’t healthy eating, but I could blame the steroids given to me as part of my treatment for giving me the munchies.

So I end up at the point that I now weigh 24 stones, and all my 3XL shirts are straining at the seams. I’ve finished my treatment, and (here’s hoping) I have been cured from my illness. And so it’s time to do something about my weight.

I know all about healthy eating. I’ve been on countless diets over the years. However most diets leave me feeling hungry for most of the time. But Slimming World is different. You can eat as much as you want, as long as you’re eating healthily. And so I’m signing up to start again.

My first goal is to try and get 4 stone off by the end of the year. After that we’ll see how we go.

My Story Slimming World