A mum from Plumstead has shared her incredible story about how she lost 10 stone by following the Slimming World diet.

40-year-old Tracey Woods began her Slimming World journey in March 2019.

Prior to joining, Tracey struggled to make healthy choices with her food – as she was under the impression that food was the “enemy”.

Tracey, who suffers with diabetes, said she had a “challenging relationship with food” before losing weight.

She says she used to have “bad food habits”, such as not eating appropriate meals and feeling a sense of guilt after she ate.

In the space of two years, Tracey went from 20 stone and three pounds to 10 stone and five pounds – which is nearly 50 per cent of her body weight.

News Shopper: Image courtesy of TraceyImage courtesy of Tracey

Tracey, a teaching assistant, said: “I am so pleased with my results.

“My diabetes has improved; my eyesight has got so much better and I’m on less insulin than I’ve ever been on.

“I was getting to a point where either the diabetes was going to kill me, or the weight was – as they were both becoming out of control.

“I’m a mum and I didn’t want to leave my kids young.”

Tracey told the News Shopper that her weight loss journey began after she returned from a hen weekend.

She explained: “I realised I wanted to lose weight in March 2019 - when I went on a hen weekend with my friends.

“When I got back from the trip, I saw photos of myself and felt really down.

“I knew I wanted to lose weight.”

Tracey said she considered carrying out gastric band surgery to lose the weight – but comments from her teenaged daughter stopped her from doing so.

Tracey explained: “I spoke with my husband about surgery options and visited the doctors.

“I was approved gastric band surgery, but I had to jump through hoops to finally be allowed it.

“In my head I had tried everything and thought this may be the only way to lose the weight, but I was in two minds of having surgery.

“One time, myself and my 14-year-old daughter were shopping, and she said, ‘when I’m older, I’d like to have surgery to lose weight’.

“I questioned what I was teaching her if I took the gastric band surgery.

“So, I started to lose weight myself.”

Tracey lost two stone and seven pounds prior to joining Slimming World but said the weight “wasn’t coming off” as fast as she liked.

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Now, she attends the Slimming World group every Thursday at Glyndon Community Centre in Plumstead after saying the “hardest thing ever” was walking in and admitting to needing help.

Tracey added: “I lost around three stone on my own; but it was a slow process, and I wanted the weight to fall off quicker.

“I was reading the slimming world stories and looked up where my nearest group is.

“The hardest thing I ever had to do was walk in and say I needed help.”

“Being told I could eat all the food I liked through the welcome meeting was great.

“I told myself to give it a year following the slimming world journey.

“If it works, great, if it doesn’t then I will follow up on the surgery.”

To stay motivated, Tracey gave herself “mini goals” throughout the year and before she knew it, she reached her target weight.

Tracey added: “I made sure to stay at the Slimming World group each week because I was always learning new recipes.

“The group have always been so welcoming.”

Tracey told the News Shopper that she stuck to Slimming World recipes throughout lockdown, with her family supporting her every step of the way to save her life in “more ways than one”.

She explained: “I stuck to Slimming World through the lockdowns because it wasn’t just a diet to me, it was genuinely a lifestyle change.

“The minute you say diet, you start to fall off the bandwagon.

“I was making dinners for the entire family, with delicious, healthy food that I couldn’t believe I could eat.

“The support I’ve received from my family is incredible – they have been there since the start and not encouraged me with bad habits.

“It has saved my life in more ways than one.”

Tracey says she is “no longer scared of food” and doesn’t see food as her “enemy”.

Tracey said: “I used to be afraid about what I was eating before I joined Slimming World, as I didn’t want to put weight on.

“I can now put a pair of pyjamas on and fit into one leg.

“I’m now half the woman I used to be.”

In order to maintain the weight loss, Tracey takes part in regular exercise and still attends the group therapy sessions every Thursday.

Tracey explained: “I use a workout machine that helps me do body exercises and I can confidently ride my bike.

“To maintain my weight, I have to eat a little different – that’s why I still attend group therapy because I am still learning what is best for me.

“My consultant, Ella, is incredible at what she does.”

Tracey says it is the “little things” that have made a big impact on her lifestyle.

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She said: “If I find a food I like when it’s unhealthy, I always look for alternative options and make healthier choices – you can tweak recipes to suit you.

“It feels amazing to finally wear clothes I want.

“I’m not afraid of colour anymore and I can wear my clothes with confidence.”