Despite having lost over nine stone since January 2018, Emma Watson can’t quite get used to the idea of being slimmer. “I still find myself squeezing past people when actually there’s plenty of room," she says. “Or automatically reaching for the bigger sizes when I go clothes shopping. I read somewhere that it takes 18 months for the brain to adjust when you lose weight and that certainly seems to be the case with me!”
Overall though, Emma is enjoying life much more since slimming down. “It’s fantastic. I’m much happier and healthier now. I have more confidence and I’ve achieved things that I’d never thought I’d do in a million years.”
Looking back, Emma admits that she always felt as though she was big. “I was a 14 or 16 at university, which wasn’t actually that big,” she explains. “I put some weight on after university and over the years I tried various diets and usually lost weight, but then put it back on.” In the few years leading up to 2018 however, Emma’s weight started to increase more steadily. “It just kept creeping up until I was 19 stone and barely able to walk up and down the stairs without getting out of breath.”
“It was a plan I could stick to and it worked!”
It was her health that made Emma realise that she had to do something about her weight. She’d noticed some swelling in her legs at the end of 2017, and her GP diagnosed it as mild oedema. She was also told that her blood pressure was borderline high. “It was a real wake up call,” Emma says. “And rather than go on medication, I decided to try to lose weight for good.”
So in January 2018, Emma joined us online and embarked on the 3-2-1 diet, an intermittent fasting plan. “I hadn’t tried an eating plan like that before, so decided to give it a go. After that, I never looked back. It just seemed to really suit me. That’s not to say it was easy, but it was a plan I could stick to and it worked!”
In the first week alone, Emma lost an incredible 6¼lbs. “I also decided to cut out sugar and caffeine at the same time,” she laughs. “So I didn’t feel great for the first few days. But by the Sunday, I felt a lot better. It was a bit like doing a detox. And the following week felt much easier.” She enjoyed making the 3-2-1 recipes available on GetSlim, such as Chicken Korma, and found them tasty and filling.
“I can still go out with friends and enjoy a normal meal and a treat”
By following the plan and using the online resources, Emma found that she lost weight steadily and consistently. “I lost six stone in that first year,” she explains. “There were only a handful of weeks when my weight didn’t go down.” She credits the plan’s flexibility for her success in sticking to it. “With the 3-2-1 approach, I can still go out with friends and enjoy a normal meal and a treat, and not feel like I’ve undone anything. I’m just more mindful of what I eat the next day to balance it out.” For Emma, it’s been a sustainable change to the way she eats, rather than a quick fix.
“I used to have a real sweet tooth and eat a lot of bread. They are the two main things I have cut down on now. I do miss cake, but I haven’t cut it out completely – it’s just more of an occasional treat. That’s what makes this way of eating more sustainable – you don’t have to cut anything out. Sometimes I really fancy fish and chips so I’ll have it, and eat a bit less during the rest of the day. I enjoy it more too, as I’m eating it because I really want to, not out of habit.”
Emma also changed the day on which she weighed herself each week, which she found helpful. “I always used to weigh myself on a Monday, straight after the weekend when I’d usually been more relaxed with my eating. I switched to a Friday and psychologically this really helped as I had all week of eating well before weighing myself.”
To keep herself motivated, Emma would log on to GetSlim to read the Motivational Minute, a positivity boost to help her stick with her eating plan, and other members’ weight loss success stories. She also enjoyed logging onto the Community Chat room to chat and exchange stories and tips. “I got lots of support from other members in the group, which was lovely,” Emma says.
Friends and family have also been a real support to Emma during her weight loss. “At first I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing,” she says. “I was worried about people commenting about what I should or shouldn’t be eating if they knew I was trying to lose weight.” But after a few months, she began to let people know, and once she’d lost 50lbs, she started posting updates on Instagram. “Everyone was so positive and supportive.”
“The exercise sessions really helped me to stay on track”
As well as changing her eating habits, Emma also started to exercise regularly. “I never really exercised properly before then,” she says. “Managing just 3,000 steps a day was an achievement for me.” She began by following the exercise videos available on GetSlim, which she would do in her lunch break. “They’re great as they are easy to fit in when you don’t have much time. They also really helped me get into exercising before trying out a gym class.” Emma started attending a fitness class at her local gym, and she decided to book some personal training sessions with the instructor, Matt.
“Exercise really helped me to stay on track,” Emma says. “And every time I lost a stone in weight, Matt would get me to lift the equivalent of what I’d lost in total.” Over the next few months, Emma grew stronger and more confident in her fitness, so she started to challenge herself, completing events that she’d never thought she’d be able to do. She completed two inflatable obstacle courses, climbed Mount Snowden, and last September, tackled her biggest challenge yet. “It was the Via Ferrata Xtreme, the original miners’ track up Fleetwith Pike in the Lake District,” Emma explains. “I look back on it now and still can’t believe I actually did it!”
Emma has kept her fitness going during lockdown by doing home workouts, online classes and going for walks. “I’ve got some kettle bells and resistance bands, so I can do my own weights workouts.” She admits it can be difficult to stay motivated during this time though. “Everyone is feeling up and down at the moment. There have been some weeks when I’ve not felt like doing anything. But getting out in the fresh air does usually make me feel better.” Emma has also signed up for some virtual medals, where she can raise money for charity by completing challenges. “You can tailor them to what exercise you can do, so I will probably do a walking challenge.” And by keeping to the Rosemary Conley 3-2-1 eating plan available on GetSlim, she has managed to keep losing weight over the last few weeks.
“I feel so much better and happier”
Being slimmer has affected Emma’s life in so many ways. Clothes shopping, which was once such a trial, is now something enjoyable. “I used to dread it,” Emma admits. “Especially when you had to find an outfit and you just knew nothing would look good. Now I don’t need to worry about that and can enjoy clothes again.” And as a Rugby League fan, she loves the fact that she can move easily through the turnstiles now and sit comfortably in her seat when she goes to watch her team, the Leeds Rhinos. “I proudly bought myself a size 12 ladies’ shirt this season,” she laughs. “After previously having to get a men’s size XXXL at my biggest!”
Most importantly, Emma’s fantastic weight loss has dramatically improved her health. “I just feel so much healthier. The way I am able to move so much more and complete all these challenges is amazing. I feel so much better and happier, and more confident.” She’s already planning her next challenges, such as being able to run 5km without stopping and walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks. And with her determination and confidence, she’s sure to cross these challenges off her list successfully too.
*Weight-loss results may vary