Healthy eating seems to work!

I wanted to share my happy evening with all of you – I was at my Slimming World group last night and annually each group chooses its ‘Woman of the Year’ that has done well on the plan and inspired other members and when they announced that I had won… well I own up I did cry a little bit!

I joined just over a year ago – not for the first time at a group down here in the South West – but the first time in this particular group at Cheddar in Somerset, just near my daughter. As it’s held on a Monday evening, and I am official Granny child minder if needed over the weekend and on Mondays, I rarely go into the office those days.

This is a before picture of me – on holiday about to go kayaking if I remember rightly … poor old kayak I say, no wonder it wasn’t very stable! Early 2016 was a tough time for me as all the Create and Craft viewers probably know as I lost my mother and father one after the other in the same week in January.

Having surfaced after the funeral and still being more than a little weighted down by the sadness I took a good look at the carrier bag full of medicines that I collected from the chemist every few weeks and decided I had to do something to make sure it wasn’t me joining them any time soon!

I had heavy medication for diabetes and still very high numbers, two different meds for high blood pressure and various other things I took and yes, it really was a carrier bag full every couple of weeks or so.

I joined Slimming World (again) but this time at a totally different group with possibly the best leader in the world (Cathy you’re so good) and began to relearn my eating habits. You know how annoying it is when people say this isn’t a diet it’s a lifestyle change well… nah I’m not going to say that… but it’s true.

I lost eight pounds in my first week and a stone in my first month, I focussed so hard and was very determined to make it work this time. And so it did for many months. Then I found it harder and harder to shift the pounds. It was a combination of my failings and also being older and having lost so much, maybe my body got mean!

However I concentrated on keeping my blood sugar readings good (for those in the know my levels went from 14.6 down to 5.1 where they have been for many months now) and am now no longer listed as diabetic by my doc, no more checks, no more meds, no more high blood pressure and all is good.

For now, I need to keep plodding on, I need to keep those blood levels steady forever and some more weight off would be fab – I am just under four stone lighter than at my heaviest and I would love to see another couple of stones disappear into the ether!

I hope my Mum and Dad would be really proud of me!

104 replies
  1. Suzanne Saltwell says:

    Congratulations Joanna, you look amazing and I’m thrilled you received this award for all your hard work. Wow – thanks for sharing your story xxx

  2. Eunice says:

    Joanna your Mum & Dad would be very proud of you indeed, congratulations on losing all that weight I know it isn’t easy.

  3. Barbara says:

    Well done Joanna, you are an inspiration to us all. Keep up the good work.

    Barbara x

    PS after one of your ‘eating’ blogs the other week I got the James Wong book. It makes fascinating reading and, as you said at the time, it’s so easy to dip in and out of for some interesting information.

  4. Nannieannie says:

    Congratulations Joanna. Well done! Good you are off your diabetic meds. I have also been told to stop taking mine. It’s a bit scary but everything seems ok at the moment.

  5. Noreen says:

    Congratulations. Not an easy journey by any means, but you’ve done so very well. Good to hear that you’ve turned things around healthwise. With your determination, you’ll achieve your goal too

  6. Cheryl Bingham says:

    Many congratulations Joanna. A great achievement and a brilliant ‘after’ photo. Improving your health too – win, win.

  7. Heather says:

    Congratulations Joanna and Well Done! I was overweight and had many health problems. I decided I had enough so joined Weightwatchers and lost 8 stone, Ive managed to keep it off for four years, I’ve never felt better.
    Hugs x

  8. Rosemarie says:

    Many congratulations Joanna and well deserved. I know what a hard road it is, but worth it to get rid of all that medication, and feel better for it. Your Mum and Dad would be so proud of you. Much love X

  9. Pam Dixon says:

    Well done Joanna – you look absolutely great ! I lost just over two stone on slimming world, and it makes such a difference to my health as well. I have kept it off for a few years now, just put on about 3 pounds which I’m not bothered about as it seems to suit me . Best wishes to you ! X

  10. Jacky Williams says:

    Amazing journey, so pleased and encouraging me to take that first step. Big congrats – you look wonderful. Xx

  11. Valerie Sas says:

    Wow, you look really amazing and giving me encouragement to pull finger and get the weight off.
    Well done Joanna xxx

  12. Tricia says:

    Well done Joanna. I too belong to SW and got slimmer of the week award today. It makes you feel so good to get these awards and I admire you for being so committed to your weight loss. Good luck with your future journey. Xx

  13. Linda says:

    Well done Joanna, you look amazing & so good that you can now ditch some meds! Your parents would be very proud! Keep up the good work.

  14. Ruth Mahaffey says:

    Congratulations Joanna, I’ve taken a break from my crafting to become a slimming world consultant, having lost 3 stone .I launched my group yesterday and am holding my Woman off the Year over the next 2 weeks! Can’t wait to give my first big award! I had the honour of getting nominated and winning my group finals in 2015 and so really know how great it feels. You are looking terrific and your parents would be so amazingly proud of you for everything you’ve achieved. Congratulations. X

  15. Angela says:

    Well done Joanna…..that’s amazing. You have now inspired me to go and join slimming world…’s literally across the road so just need to take the plunge! Did you need to do much exercising as well? I am not too good on my legs

  16. Linda Hickman says:

    I go to SlimmingWorld & find it a real struggle. However if ever there was a more inspiring story than yours!
    You look amazing and I didn’t recognise you at first. Can’t congratulate you enough & yes I’m sure your Mum & Dad would be proud xx

  17. Susan Costigane says:

    I have watched you so often on C&C and never knew you were diabetic. So sorry for your loss, I lost both my parents and have started to try and turn my diabetes round as I want to get to old age like they did. I have lost 7lbs in a month it’s a tough one as I’m still on medication which works against me. You are such an inspiration Joanna, well done and yes your Mum and Dad would be so proud.

  18. Pauline Pearson says:

    Well done Joanna, both my daughter & I joined Slimming World in January this year. Linda has lost 3st 8lbs & I have lost 1st 2lb despite being inactive whilst waiting for knee surgery (now in recovery).

  19. Barbara Gosden says:

    Well done, it’s hard work but worth the effort and as youve proved so much better for your health. Your parents would be proud of you. but I bet your children and grandchildren are proud too.

  20. Sue says:

    Of course your parents would be proud of you. You should be proud of you, too. Heavens – even I’m proud of you, and I don’t even know you personally (although I feel that I do, through all your very warm, human and accessible writings). Hearty congratulations, Joanna.

  21. Caroline says:

    wow Joanna, well done, you look amazing! an inspiration to us all! your mum and dad would have been so proud of you, and supported you all the way! keep up the good work, it’s hard to change old habits but the reward of feeling better and fitter are worth the sacrifice!
    you are an amazing lady, and brilliant crafter, look forward to seeing you on tv soon!!! xxx
    love Caroline xxx

  22. Mandy says:

    Wow! What a transformation Joanna! Losing weight & keeping it off isn’t easy but by making lifestyle changes, it can be done & you look fantastic. I’m quite sure your Mum & Dad are proud of you & it just shows what determination can achieve. You look much younger too!

  23. Beverley Smith says:

    Congratulations Joanna on being Woman Of The Year and your weightloss achievement. You look amazing and even more amazing is that you have improved your health and no longer need to take medication. Fabulous achievement your parents would be well proud of you, I hope your family is too.I am finding keeping weight off a challenge, I can lose weight but then end up putting it back on. I make soups – I will try your lettuce soup it sounds interesting, I eat fruit and salads, but it is when I eat bread and potatoes I put the weight back on I need to keep the strong mindset. Congratulations and Best Wishes

  24. Lanette MacAlister says:

    Well done Joanna! You and everyone who knows you should be proud of you. To achieve so much after such a difficult year is amazing. I’m so pleased to hear that all your hard work has been rewarded with lower blood pressure and blood sugar readings. I hope everything from here is onwards and upwards for you. Well done!!
    Lynn (Mac from the ex-craft forum)

  25. BONNIE WEAKLEY says:

    WOW! what an inspiration you are Joanne. I WISH WE HAD SLIMMING WORLD IN THE STATES. I have tried so many mostly without success but I too am a diabetic and my numbers run in the high 6’s. I am also only 4foot 9 inches. I don’t know what would be easier. But you have been very encouraging so I will continue to fight. Bonnie

  26. Wendy woodhouse says:

    Hi Joanna, your story is very inspiring to read and I’m sure your agents would be very proud of you for his and many other reasons. Our are a very special person and have achieved great things. I did try sw a few different times but for some reason it didn’t really work well and I think that was due to the person who ran it. However after reading your story I do feel I may give it another chance but with a different group. I already do eat quite healthier than I used to but I feel I need a bit of help to keep going. Thank you for sharing your story and helping me to find another start.
    Love Wendy xx

  27. BARBARA MURTHA says:


  28. Margaret Murphy says:

    Well done Joanna, it’s hard I know. i have lost two and a half stone but am struggling now . You look amazing but more important your health has improved. xx

  29. Christine says:

    Well done Joanna I lost 4st 9 lb with slimming world and won this award a few times .I’m on the social team and determined to never go back to my old ways. You look absolutely fabulous. You’re parents would be so proud of you. xxx

  30. kittikat says:

    Brilliant Joanna, you are looking fantastic. I am sure your Mum and Dad would be so proud of you, as I am sure your whole family are now. You have done so well. Hugs Kate

  31. Linnie says:

    Keep going Joanna you look amazing…I lost my mum to a stroke..Doc told me change your eating habits..get the Blood Pressure down..get the Cholestrol down or drugs..chose healthy eating..thinner than I have ever been 8 stone 7 lb face has gone a bit thin but hey I choose life ….good luck you can do itxxxx

  32. MaggieBarrett says:

    Congratulations on your brilliant weight loss, Joanna. You look amazing and I know you’ve had fun along the way experimenting with different recipes. Well done! xx

  33. Elizabeth Webster says:

    I am so happy for you Joanna and you are an inspiration to us all. I too have diabetes, high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism. I have struggled with my weight for 60 years and did lose 6 and a half stone at one time. With the diabetes and high blood sugars and all the medication it is really a struggle I haven’t put any more on but would so like to get some off. I will certainly have to take a leaf out of your book.

  34. Brenda Donnachie says:

    It really does take a great leader to keep you going and to encourage you when you falter but it is your own determination to make the changes you need to take credit for too.

  35. Lynne tuitt says:

    Fantastic Joanna, you must feel so proud of your achievement. SlimmingWorld is amazing isn’t it? It really works, I have lost almost 2 1/2 st in a year, just 2 1/2lbs to get to target although I might have scuppered myself this week on holiday in France. I know however I can get back on the wagon when I’m home.
    Once again congratulations xx

  36. Pauline Credland says:

    WOW! Joanna, you look wonderful, you could be a younger sister!
    VERY many congratulations for winning a well deserved award, and best of all
    to be off those medications, and to hear the doctor say you are no longer listed as diabetic …… Hallelujah ! I am going to print out this amazing good news and pass it on to a diabetic friend who just needs this sort of encouragement at this time.
    Keep up the good work, and you will soon be kayaking your way down some
    beautiful rivers! God bless you indeed!

  37. Cathy Tanner says:

    Wow Joanna, you look really gorgeous and of course it isn’t just visual your health is so much better too. WELL DONE.


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