‘Before losing weight with LighterLife, if someone had said they were going to nominate me to run with the Torch I would’ve said no, but now I’m really looking forward to it.’
LighterLife management star Helen Doyle tells us how she came to be part of the 8,000 runner relay making history by carrying the Olympic Torch around the UK…
Losing weight with LighterLife gave Helen the confidence be one of the torch bearers for the London 2012 Olympics. Her daughter was her inspiration to lose weight and her weight loss has proved both life-changing and life-saving!
‘I discovered I had a neck…I’d never had a neck before just lots of chins…’
After losing her extra chins the cake-baking charity fund-raiser found a growth in her thyroid which was swiftly removed before it turned cancerous.
‘I’d never have noticed the lump on my throat if I hadn’t lost weight, it saved me.’
How much weight did you want to lose before you joined LighterLife?
I was a size 18 when I started in June 2009. I didn’t really have a goal weight; I just wanted to lose as much as I could. I wanted to make 11 stone. When I joined LighterLife’s management programme, at one point I was just under 10 stone, but I do a lot of sport and build a lot of muscle very easily so I knew I wouldn’t stay at that weight. I’ve been around 11 stone 2lbs and a size 12 ever since.
How did you join LighterLife?
I’d heard about LighterLife and thought it sounded good so I contacted my local weight-management counsellor and got the information. I deliberated for about 2 years before I realised I was going to the gym a lot but not losing weight, one day I was looking at Emily (my daughter) who was 11 stone at the time and thought ‘I want to look like that’ she was my inspiration to lose it.
How have you kept the weight off for 3 years?
I got to my lowest weight when I was in my 10th week of the LighterLife Management programme, I went on holiday with my family for 5 weeks and coped really well. I love the camaraderie of the groups and still go on a regular basis as I’ve made lots of good friends and it’s a really nice atmosphere, like an extended family. I have always done a lot of sport but before LighterLife I favoured weight training, now I do a mixture of the 2 and it seems to work well.
I’ve been able to do more running since I lost weight, before I used to find it very difficult to run for even a minute, now I can run for around 28 minutes.
What’s changed for you?
The confidence is definitely the biggest thing, and learning to look at what I’m doing, the therapy really makes me think. I open the fridge now but instead of just grabbing something I think ‘what are you doing?’
Has it been difficult?
I found it easy; in the beginning the programme takes all the thinking about food away, which is good. I found management very good because it highlights things that are triggers for me, as you introduce different food back into your diet you can see how it affects you, so I know what to steer clear of and now don’t feel sluggish, tired or bloated.
Do you still enjoy food?
I still love baking, chocolate cakes, chocolate brownies, all sorts of things and I take them into work and raise quite a lot of money for charity from my baking. People can’t believe I don’t eat any of it but after you’ve been in the gorgeous smell during all the cooking you don’t feel like eating any of it.
We want to say huge congratulations to Helen on her amazing achievement, she’s an inspiration to us all!