The Power of Group Support

January 22, 2015 - Lifestyle, Success Stories
The Power of Group Support

We all know that LighterLife isn’t just a weight-loss programme. Not only does it change the way you think about food and help you to live a healthier way of life, it also allows you to meet like-minded people and build the foundations of life-long friendships. Sarah, Debbie, Jean and Debra met at their first LighterLife group session in Hyde. They all joined LighterLife for different reasons, but were all determined to do one thing – lose weight and change their eating habits. With the support of their Counsellor, Carol Graves, who manages the Hyde and Bramhall LighterLife centres, and the support of each other, they are maintaining the weight they have lost –  almost 13st between them, and are currently in LighterLife Management…



I joined LighterLife because it offered counselling. I’m an intelligent woman – I knew the food I was eating wasn’t healthy – but I wanted to learn how to deal with my triggers around food and to lose weight, and – most importantly – keep it off!

Like a lot of mothers, my weight only became a problem after having my daughter. I put on weight during pregnancy and found it hard to lose it. I tried many diets, and would lose half a stone and put it back on again.

Food was dominating my life. If I’d had a bad day, and eaten junk, I’d go to bed and worry about it. I knew I needed more than just a diet.

My group was so encouraging. It was great to talk to the girls about my problems – it was comforting, and we inspired each other. I looked forward to getting weighed every week, and seeing the scale go down each time just felt amazing.

Since reaching my goal weight, I have so much more energy to play with my daughter. I can run alongside her while she rides her bike and not get tired! I’ve never been able to maintain my weight before, now I can, and I have my LighterLife group and Counsellor, Carol Graves, to thank for that.


When I gave up smoking a few years ago, I replaced the cigarettes with food – and gradually put on two stone. I guess you can say I swapped one addiction for another. I had a personal trainer and I’d try and eat healthily, but the weight just wouldn’t shift. I was putting on muscle and it made me feel even bigger. After spending a holiday hiding under my towel by the pool, enough was enough!

LighterLife taught me that the less food you give your stomach, the less it asks for. I’ve been on diets where they say you can have as much as you want of certain food, which was where I was going wrong – I’d splurge! My LighterLife group was fundamental to my success. I’m not an emotional eater or a snacker; it was my portion control that needed work. Since reaching my goal weight, I feel amazing. I went on holiday recently and felt so confident at the pool in my bikini. It’s changed my life.


The same way smokers turn to cigarettes, or drinkers turn to alcohol – food was my go-to when times got tough.

My weight problems started seven years ago when I was diagnosed with arthritis. At the time, my daughter was going through a hard time in her personal life, so I took in our grandchildren. It was a stressful time, and I turned to food for comfort. At my biggest, I felt awful, and knowing my weight was making my arthritis worse made me angry. Hearing that Denise Welch had lost weight with LighterLife and had been through difficult life events herself, I thought I’d give it a go.

During my group, I learned that I’d been taking my body for granted, and feeding my emotions instead of dealing with them.

I felt so proud when I reached my goal weight. I could walk up the stairs without stopping, and the pain in my joints in general had eased. My daughter was so impressed that she’s also joined LighterLife. It’s reshaped my whole outlook on life, and things have never been better.


Last Christmas, I felt so low about how I looked, and I felt sluggish and lethargic. Like the other ladies, I read about Denise Welch and thought I’d give LighterLife a go.

I lead quite a busy lifestyle. I have a family, and my job as senior customer experience coach for the Royal Bank of Scotland keeps me busy. I’d often just grab something easy for my lunch – I never thought about dieting, I didn’t have time. Also, when I quit smoking, I found myself reaching for snacks instead, and I started to put on weight.

The best thing about LighterLife was not having to worry about what I needed to eat. It was four Foodpacks a day – and that was it. It was so easy, and the weight loss was so fast!

I was delighted when I reached my goal weight. I never used to exercise, now I swim three or four times a week. I’ve also rediscovered my legs!

They’ve been covered up for the last few years but now I feel confident in a dress again. Carol Graves, our Counsellor, has been amazing – and now I understand more about how to maintain my weight through my LighterLife Management group.