From size 22 to 8 – Mum's huge weight loss transformation after 'changing room' nightmare

Alice Ingman named Slimming World competition winner

After an embarrassing experience in a clothes fitting room, a Cambridgeshire mum knew she had to change her lifestyle. 

Alice Ingman, 59, gained weight steadily for years not realising she started to reach more than 18st. Alice says: “I’d been relatively slim up until my mid-20s – the weight went on so gradually that I didn’t really notice at first.

“My weight took a toll on my health. I had terrible acid reflux, my legs would rub together and cause painful sores, and I’d be completely out of breath after the most minimal physical activity.

“One afternoon I was shopping for new work clothes, convinced I was still a size 16. When I found myself in the changing room surrounded by size 20 skirts that didn’t fit, I knew I had to do something.”

Now, five years later, Alice has been named Slimming World’s Diamond Member of the Year 2023, going from a size 22 to a size 8.

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 Alice Ingman went from a size 22 to a 8

Alice Ingman went from a size 22 to a 8 (Image: Slimming World/Paul Buller and Alice Ingman)

Alice who lives in Wisbech with her husband Kevin, 67, daughter Lauren, 23, knew she had to make a change to stop her family from worrying as she would get “tired so easily.”

The retired personal assistant knew she didn’t want to go for drastic weight loss methods such as shakes or soups, which proved to have limited success when she attempted to diet in the past.

She says: “All of the fad diets work in the short term, but overly restricting myself wasn’t for me as I always ended up regaining the weight. This time I wanted to make a change for good.” Instead, Alice started Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and learned to build healthier habits around food. 

Alice’s diet went from having no breakfast, then for lunch, she would eat a supermarket meal deal such as a sandwich with crisps and a drink, followed by chocolate or cake.

She would then eat an Indian takeaway or a spaghetti carbonara ready meal which she would then snack on crisps, chocolate, biscuits, and cake throughout the day. 

Alice with her husband Kevin

Alice with her husband Kevin (Image: Slimming World and Alice Ingman)

Alice says: “I’ve always enjoyed food but had fallen out of love with cooking. Most of my meals had a plastic lid and were either from the takeaway or for the microwave.”

However, due to Slimming World’s eating plan, she is eating homemade prepped meals instead of microwaved ready meals which is helping her lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

She adds: “Slimming World showed me that I could still enjoy the flavours of food while losing weight. I absolutely love a curry – the spicier the better – so experimenting with my own recipes really kept me on track. It was a totally new way of looking at weight loss and I think that’s why it has worked so well for me.”

For breakfast, she makes homemade overnight oats with fruit and yoghurt. For lunch, she will have leftovers from a meal made the night before or a homemade salad-filled wholemeal roll. At dinner time she will have a spicy fakeaway curry made from scratch, served with rice and for an evening snack, she will enjoy a Slimming World Hi-Fi bar or a flavoured fat-free yoghurt.

Slimming World’s study found that 94 percent of current members and 81 percent of past members who responded were still cooking more meals from scratch using fresh ingredients up to three years on. 

Alice began to steadily lose weight

Alice began to steadily lose weight (Image: Slimming World/Alice Ingman)

However, Alice’s healthy eating plan was not her only method of losing weight. At the beginning of her journey, Alice joined Slimming World’s Tina Rust’s Wisbech Slimming World group in Cambridgeshire.

Despite enjoying meeting new people she was nervous to join the group at first: “Even though the idea of a group really appealed to me, I still had those first-night jitters! Everyone was really friendly though and I soon made some great friends.”

Slimming World’s activity support programme, Body Magic helps members find physical activity they enjoy whilst having a support group around them to help motivate and encourage each other’s goals.

She added: “I always tell everyone that my ‘secret’ to long-term weight loss is having support around you. Even after years at target I’m still learning about myself as a slimmer and picking up new recipes and ideas.”

Alice has maintained her weight loss since 2018 when she achieved her target weight. She says: “I lost the weight steadily which I think really helped. I also began to exercise for the first time ever, which I am sure has contributed to how easy I have found maintaining my weight.”

Alice is Slimming World's Diamond Member of the Year

Alice is Slimming World’s Diamond Member of the Year (Image: Slimming World/Paul Buller and Alice Ingman)

She says: “I’ve never been sporty, yet losing weight gave me so much more energy, so for the first time ever I felt motivated to move my body. Walking felt much easier after losing weight, so for me the next step was to try running.

“I joined a local running club and loved how it made me feel – powerful, fit and strong! Since then, I’ve completed ten half marathons and three marathons – a total world away from the person who would be out of puff after a trip around the shops.

“And clothes shopping has become one of my favourite hobbies! Feeling great in my clothes is amazing yet for me my health is the biggest gift of all. My family no longer worry about me, and you just can’t put a price on that feeling.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my Slimming World group and Kevin and Lauren – they’ve been my cheerleaders the whole way. I’m fitter, happier and healthier – and this time it’s for life.”

Slimming World’s Health and Research Consultant Dietitian, Dr Amanda Avery says: “At a time when people can feel bombarded with so many different ways to lose weight, it can be confusing to know which approach will truly work for you.

Alice now feels great in her clothes!

Alice now feels great in her clothes! (Image: Slimming World/Paul Buller and Alice Ingman)

“Our research and Alice’s story show anyone who is trying to lose weight and keep it off, how important it is to make healthy lifestyle changes. As no two slimmers are the same, it’s the expertise and support members receive at their local Slimming World group which helps them to understand what those changes mean for them, just as Alice has done beautifully.”

Slimming World has become the UK and Ireland’s leading weight loss organisation supporting hundreds of thousands of people in groups and online.

The organisation provides IMAGE (Individual Motivation and Group Experience) therapy which aims to inspire people to make positive changes around food and exercise.

Slimming World creates healthy eating plans so members can lose weight without feeling hungry and curates personalised activity support programmes to encourage regular physical activity.

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit slimmingworld.co.uk or slimmingworld.ie

source: express.co.uk