Matron Sue Thompson and her husband, Dave, have shed around more than eight stones between them - and she's feeling better than ever. They did so well they made Slimming World's (SW) Couple of the Year 2019 semi-finals. Read all about this diminishing double act and be inspired if you want to lose weight. Sue's lost four stones and dropped three to four dress sizes. (depending on the store).
Sue, how does it feel to win/reach the final?
It feels amazing to have even reached the semi-finals and to be one of 18 couples in the country selected felt absolutely amazing. We were really proud of ourselves. :Losing 8 and a half stone between us is a massive achievement. We didn’t win but this didn’t surprise us after hearing the stories of the other couples who were in the semi-final. Many of the other couples had overcome significant health issues and lost a lot more weight than we had. Having said this, we’re still so proud to have got where we did.
What made you both start slimming together?
I initially started SW in November 2017 with my daughter. We joined together, and I had only intended to go to support Alice. My husband had no particular interest in joining at this time. This changed in January 2018, when he joined after noticing that in those few months he lost over half a stone by default - just by eating the same evening meals as me and our daughter, without having to change anything else.
Did you get competitive or support each other?
We weren’t competitive at all! We just wanted each other to do well, so we changed our lifestyles, supported each other and motivated each other to make small changes to our diets that could help our losses.
Fave food you had to give up/reduce?
The biggest change we both made was eating a lot less bread, we now only eat it on a weekend in our obligatory bacon sandwich. We have also mainly given up red wine. We have replaced it with gin and slimline tonic.
How did you stick to it at work?
Planning was an important factor. I made a salad to bring to work each day and lots of fruit and low syn (the term used by SW followers) yoghurts to keep me going. Doing this avoided the temptation of biscuits and other treats you find at work. My husband, however, hates salad! We would normally prepare an extra portion of the previous night’s meal, this could be taken to work and reheated easily. He also takes fruit and low syn cereal bars to keep him fuller for longer. His work colleagues couldn’t believe he was on a diet with the meals he was eating at lunch. Everyone thought they smelled amazing and didn’t look like ‘diet food’. After seeing his success, multiple work colleagues also joined the SW plan.
Do you need a smaller uniform now?
After comments that my ICU scrubs made it look like I was wearing a sack, I had to get smaller uniforms. In January 2019 I started my role as Matron and had to get an even smaller new uniform.
Did exercise play a part?
No not really. I didn’t join a gym, but I mostly take the stairs rather than using the lift. I enjoy going for walks with my daughter, but overall, I believed in food optimising, which is how I have lost this weight and maintained at target for so long.
Tips for anyone else?
Do not treat SW as a diet- it is a lifestyle change that is always in the back of my mind when making food choices. No longer do I reach for sauces in jars, instead I have a spice rack full of herbs and spices for making meals from scratch.
Also we would recommend joining a SW group. One thing in common with all of the finalists was that they had good support from both their consultant and their group. It may feel difficult to manage with shift work, but there are classes most days of the week in lots of areas and you can go to any of them. The support makes a huge difference and gets the results if you want them.
How do you feel now to “before”?
Amazing! I feel generally a lot healthier and have more confidence, this has led to me changing my all-black wardrobe to a slightly more colourful one. I also don’t get out of breath just by walking up the stairs. My husband no longer snores. This year my husband and I turn 50, and this has given us a whole new lease of life.