Nearly three years on and Jessica Plews is still maintaining her slim figure!
Jessica features on the front cover of the Autumn 2012 magazine and doesn’t she look fabulous?
We managed to grab Jessica for twenty minutes during her photo shoot and this is what she had to say…
It was the press night party of Thriller Live, the musical I was working on as wig and make-up mistress. It was a big night out, a chance for cast and crew to let their hair down and celebrate our hard work.
I should have been having the time of my life, but it was marred by the fact that I felt so uncomfortable. It was there and then that I vowed to do something about my weight.
What was your relationship like with food as a child?
I was always bigger than other children at school. I just really enjoyed my food and had a big appetite. However, it wasn’t until secondary school that it became an issue. For the first time, I was given the freedom to buy what I liked. I got into the habit of eating sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks at break and lunchtime. I went overboard.
Then, as I got a bit older and started shopping for my own clothes, I became really conscious of my size. It hurt that I couldn’t wear the things my other friends wore because they wouldn’t fit me.
Did you ever go on a diet?
I tried my first diet at 16. It was extreme and I lost a lot of weight but I didn’t feel healthy. I had to give up when I got gallstones and fell ill. The worst thing was, the weight didn’t stay off By the time I was in my early 20s and working full-time, I was bigger than ever.
Working in the theatre also meant that my diet was all over the place. On a typical day I start work at 1pm and finish at 11.30pm. This meant that I got into the habit of just eating on the go – grabbing sandwiches and crisps from the supermarket on the way to work, and then ordering in takeaways to the theatre later on. Work was an excuse – I told myseIf I was too busy to eat well.
So how did you hear about LighterLife?
Bizarrely, it was Facebook that introduced me to LighterLife. I was browsing the site and came across some recent photos of an old friend. She’d always been big herself, but now she was slim, confident and looked fab. I dropped her an email and she told me about LighterLife and how it had helped turn her life around. As soon as I came back from Germany in August 2009 I contacted my local Counsellor Donna Hutton-Whitaker and signed up.
Once I decided to do LighterLife, it was all very simple. I couldn’t find excuses to eat. The Foodpacks were brilliant because I could carry them in my handbag and when everyone else was tucking into a meal after a show, I’d make a soup or a shake or grab a bar. I also felt better than I had ever done because I was getting all of the nutrition I had not been getting previously!
How did you find the group support?
The weekly group sessions were really insightful and the absolute key for me Before LighterLife, I was always finding an excuse to eat. I used it to pick me up when I was down, wind down after a busy day, and to socialise with friends and family. I didn’t give enough attention to the harm I was doing to my body by overeating and the excuses I was making
I also realised through the group sessions that in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, I had to do it for myself – no one else. In the past I’d done diets to please other people – this time I was doing it for me.
How would you now describe your relationship with food?
Doing LighterLife has made me much more appreciative of food. Now, instead of eating convenience food and snacks, I take time planning what I’m going to eat. I love looking at recipes and coming up with healthy spins on old favourites. Before I’d think nothing of having a whole tub of onion and garlic dip and two pitta breads, but now I make my own dip using fat-free yoghurt and I’m careful with my portion sizes. LighterLife’s Management programme helped me realise that I don’t need to deny myself anything, living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining my weight is just about making sensible choices.
How do you feel?
Two and a half years since I lost weight with LighterLife, my life has been transformed. Physically, I have much more energy. I can be on my feet at work for hours and not feel exhausted. I’ve taken up Bikram yoga and I also walk everywhere – rather than take taxis.
I can shop and buy whatever I like, without worrying about things not fitting. I love clothes that show off my shape and enhance my curves. I don’t feel the need to hide away anymore.
If you want to find out how LighterLife has helped others develop the mindset for life-changing weight loss visit our LighterLife Facebook page, Twitter or our website to start your journey toward a lighter life.