Slim R Us, a play on the words Slimmer Us, did not evolve as a result of a lifetime of healthy eating. The opposite!
“Karen, you are FAT, you were born FAT and you will be FAT for the rest of your life”. These are the words my ten-year-old self listened to from an adult in a trusted position, a doctor no less. They stung so deeply.
I was an overweight child, an obese teenager and, to my utter embarrassment, described by another doctor as having gross morbid obesity as an adult. My diet as an adult wasn't healthy. It was filled with every trendy yo-yo diet going followed by binge eating and feasting on high junk food. As a nurse, I became used to quickly grabbing something, anything, to eat. There was no planning or preparation, a couple of chocolate bars would take me through nicely. Crisps, bars, biscuits, take-away foods all became handy.
Diets? I have done them all. From slimming pills to starvations. From various vegetable concoctions to 'the high fat will burn fat' notions! There were the classes and groups, the humiliations and judging. It wasn't a sudden flash of willpower or desire to lose weight at over 20 stone. There was no baptism of fire! I was so fed of a lifetime of diets especially those that involved hunger, at any time of the day or night, I simply gave up.
What prompted me to change my eating habits?
It was the shocking news of a breast cancer diagnosis my sister received one Christmas Eve. Of course, it drove me to further console myself with my favourite comfort foods, but within days, my sister was pleading with me to stop, as the link between my obesity and several serious health conditions were causing her extreme distress.
I promised that as she was going through her treatment, I would 'go on a diet'. I had no expectations of weight loss, but I would fulfil my promise. I did feel a bit peeved at being guilt-forced into a 'diet' but I figured, three months and I could get back to normal! I stood on my scales for my 'weigh-in', topping them at 20 stones and 4.5 pounds. My next weigh-in would be in 84 days.