After a serious calf injury, Tina Davies saw the weight pile on. Last January, she decided enough was enough…

Slim, confident and active, Tina Davies, from Derby, had never felt better as she approached the end of 2017. But it was a different story back in January. She was overweight and felt miserable. “I sat there on 1st January feeling thoroughly depressed about my weight, and ill because I’d eaten so much over Christmas to comfort myself,” Tina admits. “I’d had nothing to wear over Christmas as I didn’t fit into any of my clothes and I didn’t want to buy any news ones – it felt like a waste of money.” So, then and there, Tina decided to do something about her weight, and joined Rosemary Conley Online.

Slimming Tina had always struggled to maintain her weight. “Being small – I’m under 5ft – I’ve always had a bit of a battle with my weight,” Tina explains. “Even just a few pounds extra made me feel overweight.” Tina also has four children, so saw her body change numerous times over the years! She tried different diets but always found that Rosemary Conley worked for her.

Tina previously lost a substantial amount of weight in 2010. “I was three-and-a-half stone overweight and my 50th birthday was looming,” she says. “Something had to change.” She successfully lost the weight over nine months following Rosemary Conley and maintained it until 2014, when she suffered a serious injury.

“I was reasonably active at that point,” Tina recalls, “and used to do dog agility classes. I was running at a training session and I just felt my calf go.” The injury Tina sustained was so serious that it kept her immobile and housebound for several months. It was a bleak period for her, particularly as at around the same time, she started suffering badly from menopausal symptoms including anxiety and panic attacks. “I became quite depressed,” she says. “I couldn’t exercise and I turned to food for comfort.”

As she ate more and more, and was unable to exercise, it was no surprise that Tina’s weight steadily increased. “Although my main meals were still fairly healthy, I was terrible at snacking and always nibbling on something – crisps, sweets or biscuits. I wasn’t able to get out and about very much so I turned to food in the house. If it was there, I’d eat it.”

It was a while before Tina felt ready to tackle her weight. Once she was able to drive again she started seeing a personal trainer for rehabilitation on her calf, saw a therapist for her anxiety, and then she was ready to take on the weight loss. As well as her decision on New Year’s Day, her son also announced that he was getting married, which was a huge incentive for her to lose weight. “I really wanted to lose weight for the wedding!”

Tina’s decision to join Rosemary Conley Online was based on the success she’d had previously. “I’m not really into slimming clubs,” she explains, “but I do like that sense of online community. I’m also self-employed and work from home, so I could access it whenever I wanted. It was on my phone and computer so it was very visible. It fitted in with my lifestyle and made it easy for me.”

Tina chose the lifestyle change plan, which she found very straightforward to follow. “I never felt hungry or deprived,” she says. “I love all the recipes on the site and have adapted our usual meals to be low fat.” She tracked all the calories she ate and any exercise on the food and fitness diary – something she found particularly helpful.

“The diary and accounting for everything I ate really helped me lose weight.” Tina explains. “I don’t like to be told what to eat – this way I could eat what I wanted but just followed the guidance on how many calories to eat each day. And it worked because I tracked everything on the diary. It’s so easy to go over your allowance if you don’t, and then you don’t lose weight.”

The diary also helped Tina get back in control of food, as she avoided high calorie items, such as sugary, fatty treats and alcohol, and learnt how much she should be eating. She lost half a stone in the first week, then her weight loss evened out to around two pounds a week. This steady weight loss motivated her to keep going.

Really committing to her decision to lose weight also proved to be an important step for Tina. “Once I’d made the decision to lose weight and my head was in the right place, I was able to keep going,” she explains.

As well as the food diary, Tina also enjoyed Rosemary’s motivational chat each morning and the sense of community from the coffee shop feature. “I’m not a big one to contribute to that kind of thing,” she says, “but I did like to dip in and out of it and read about how other people were getting on.”

Slimming

As her weight started to come down, Tina began to feel much better too. “I felt very lethargic and lacking in energy when I was overweight,” she explains. “It was hard to motivate myself to do anything – everything felt awful or looked awful!” With her calf on its way to recovery and with less weight to carry, Tina began exercising again too. “Once I’d lost some weight I completed the Couch to 5km running programme. I wouldn’t have been able to do that when I was at my heaviest. I wouldn’t have had the stamina.”

Exercise became part of Tina’s daily routine again and it all made her feel so much better. “Swimming, Pilates, my personal training sessions, dog walking and dog agility. We even managed first place in a recent competition now I’ve lost the weight and can run!”

In fact, being able to exercise properly and regain her fitness is one of the best things about being slim for Tina. She also loves being able to wear clothes that fit properly again, and it has helped to boost her confidence and mood after the tough time she went through when she was injured.

Tina’s general health and well-being have also improved hugely since losing weight. “I feel great!” she exclaims. “No anxiety, I’m sleeping so much better and have so much more energy.” Although her damaged calf is unlikely to recover 100 per cent, she feels that she is giving it the best chance she can to improve by reducing the stress and strain on her body by losing the excess weight.

As for her son’s wedding, Tina found the perfect dress a few months before she had reached her goal weight. She was so determined and confident that she would achieve it that she bought the dress in a size 8 – and it does now fit her beautifully! “I knew I wanted it,” Tina laughs, “so that was good motivation!”

Family and friends were very supportive of her efforts to slim down, and Tina has enjoyed the reaction of people she hasn’t seen for a while and didn’t know she was losing weight. “It felt good to show them my new figure and see their reaction!”

Tina hit her target weight in the summer, around six months after she joined Rosemary Conley Online. She continued to track her calories for a few months, then stopped when she felt confident she could keep her eating habits and weight steady. Since then, Tina has maintained her slim figure having learnt what best to eat and how much to keep her calorie intake stable while also giving her the energy and nutrition she needs for a healthy, active lifestyle.

Tina feels confident that she will stay slim now. “I’ve carried on weighing myself every week and if it does start to go up again, I will just go back to recording my calorie intake. It took me a couple of months to get the idea of what was the right amount of food to be eating, but now I feel confident and in control.”

“I went through a bad few years and have come out the other side. I feel much more content and happier now. In fact, I feel like a different person!”

Typical day’s food before

I used to eat reasonably healthy meals but I was a big snacker. I was always nibbling on something – crisps, biscuits and sweets. If it was in the house, I would eat it. I also used to eat a lot of pies and pastries, and bread with lots of butter.

Typical day’s food now

Now I just stick to three meals a day and rarely eat anything in between. Breakfast is usually porridge and fruit or muesli with yoghurt and fruit. Lunch is soup or an omelette with salad. And for dinner we cook what we want but keep it low fat. So I’ll make a lasagne or a roast but don’t add any extra fat. And if I have pudding, it’s just some plain yoghurt with fruit.

Top tips

Track every calorie – Keeping a record of the calories I ate really helped for me. It meant I didn’t have to cut anything out, but I learnt to make every calorie count. So I stopped wasting them on alcohol and sugary or fatty foods that were high in calories but didn’t really fill me up.

Keep active – Exercise has become part of my daily routine: swimming, Pilates, my personal training sessions, dog walking and dog agility. It’s made such a difference to how I feel.