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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Cumbria woman loses four stone by adopting new dieting tactics

AVOIDING temptation has been difficult for Cumbria dieter Zoe Fullard. The waitress is surrounded by freshly baked scones and cakes at work and at home she has two young boys who love their treats.

However a new year’s resolution made last January has seen the 24-year-old lose a whopping 59lbs in a year and drop four dress sizes in the process.

Maintaining a healthy weight has also boosted Zoe’s confidence and increased her energy.

Her incentive for 2014 is to reach her goal weight and with three stone to go she has every chance of repeating last year’s success.

The turning point for Zoe, who has been dieting since she was 14, came when she saw photos of herself at her best friend’s wedding last December.

“I started to lose weight last January,” says Zoe, from Ulverston.

“I decided to make it a bit of a thing to lose weight.”

Taking a different approach, Zoe decided to join her local Weight Watchers group at Croftlands Community Centre, led by Rachel Denham.

She was 20 stone when she attended her first meeting and was terrified her weight would be announced publicly.

She says: “Now I wish I had started years ago but I was absolutely terrified about getting on the weighing scales and they would shout my weight out to the whole room.

“Since I started another couple of lasses I know have joined and the first thing they asked me was ‘do they shout your weight out?’”

Having lost 59lbs and now weighing 15 stone 11lbs, Zoe is no longer scared of the scales.

She says: “I like to go on the scales every week to keep a track of my weight.

“If I’ve had a bad week, to go and get on the scales, even though I know I might have put weight on, keeps me on track and gives me a kick up the bum,” she says.

Zoe has found the Weight Watchers diet easy to incorporate into family life and her social life.

“Everything I eat now I was eating before Weight Watchers but the key is portion control,” says Zoe.

“Now I have more vegetables instead of lots of potatoes. It’s about changing the portions on your plate.

“It took a bit of getting used to in the weeks when I was going out with friends, but I can do it now.

“I used to drink cider, which is high in points; now I drink vodka and diet coke, which is low in points. And I avoid kebabs at the end of the night.”

With sons aged two and five it can be hard to resist temptation when giving them treats.

“I still go to McDonald’s every now and again,” she says. “I just make sure whatever I eat is written down and pointed for.

With Weight Watchers you get weekly points which allows you to have treats every now and again.”

And not all treats have to be calorie-counted.

“I’ve been spending,” says Zoe, of her new wardrobe.

“I can now wear trendier clothes.”

From the start, Zoe incorporated exercise into her weight loss regime but like many working mums finding the time to exercise can be a logistical challenge.

“I put the kids to bed and then put on the workout DVD,” she says.

“I’ve got a lot more energy, which makes it easier looking after the kids and at work.

“I work at Cafe Ambio at Backbarrow, which is a busy cafe.

“But I have a lot of supportive work colleagues. They’ve all noticed a change in my confidence.”

Zoe intends to increase her activity in 2014 to reach her target weight and has been spurred on by seeing the results of her efforts on the scales.

“I’ve been on and off diets since I was 14. Weight Watchers is the first one that’s worked for me,” she says.

“Instead of being a diet it’s been a lifestyle change.

“I’ve started diets before and thought I can’t eat cake or crisps and given up but with Weight Watchers you can eat what you want, but in moderation.”

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