By Rebecca Drew
THIS MUM was shocked to see how much weight she had gained when lockdown eased and has since shed an incredible FIVE STONE in SEVEN MONTHS without exercise.
Assistant accounts manager and mum of two Kayleigh Janek (33) from Reading, Berkshire, UK, has never been happy with the way she looked and lacked confidence.
Kayleigh has a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) that affects the way her ovaries work and has meant that her weight has fluctuated for most of her life.
Kayleigh, who is mum to Mischa (9) and Tommy (1), was busy looking after her newborn son and opted for easy to grab and make meals to keep her energy levels up through the sleepless nights that come with a new baby.
As the coronavirus lockdown started to ease in May 2020, Kayleigh and her family enjoyed a well-deserved trip to the beach. Whilst there, Kayleigh’s husband Marek (42) took a picture of her and Kayleigh was ‘disgusted’ at what she saw and immediately wanted to cover up and go home.
At 15st 4lb and whilst wearing a UK size 18, Kayleigh decided that it was time for her to do something for herself and so she joined Slimming World a few days later.
Kayleigh hasn’t looked back since and in just seven months, she has lost an incredible five stone and now weighs 10st 4lb and is a super svelte UK size 10.
Before her weight loss, Kayleigh didn’t exercise and consumed around 3,000 calories a day which consisted of a fresh pastry and iced coffee for breakfast, a foot long Subway sandwich with a cookie and fizzy drink for lunch, and an oven pizza for dinner and a large bar of Lindt chocolate as a snack.
Now Kayleigh has yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, a tortilla wrap pizza with salad for lunch, and steak with chips, coleslaw and blue cheese sauce for dinner – totalling 1,300 calories. Whilst Kayleigh didn’t exercise during her weight loss journey, she now enjoys some light exercise like hula hooping a few times a week.
Kayleigh now loves what she sees in the mirror, she has more energy to play with and home-school her children whilst working from home herself and her PCOS symptoms of mood swings, skin outbreaks and cramps have disappeared.
“I’ve never really been happy with the way I looked. I lacked confidence and was insecure,” said Kayleigh.
“I was exhausted, had no energy, and sleepless nights with a newborn were difficult. I’d rather stay home than face the world.
“In May 2020, after lockdown was eased, we went to the beach, my husband took a photo of me and it was the moment I said enough was enough. I was disgusted. I instantly wanted to cover myself up and go home.
“I joined Slimming World a few days later. With returning to work in September looming after my maternity leave, I knew I didn’t want to return the way I was. I didn’t want stares or people talking about how big I’d got.
“I felt paranoid in anything I wore as nothing fit and I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror. I knew I didn’t want to feel like that ever again.
“It was a little daunting having to join Slimming World in lockdown via Zoom, on a screen with people I’d never met but I was ready and willing to try. I chose slimming world as it’s not a diet but a change of lifestyle and that’s what I needed.
“As the weight dropped off, I started to feel like I could really do this. I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself at the beginning, but week by week the weight came off and it made me believe in myself more and more.
“My family now benefit from a healthier lifestyle. We enjoy more meals now as a family than we ever have done. I’m happier, more confident, and I want to get out there in the world rather than shut myself off to the world.
“The biggest benefit has been my PCOS symptoms which have completely diminished. I no longer have skin outbreaks, mood swings and severe cramps.
“I feel like myself again. I feel like I’m not just a mum and a wife but I’m me. I still feel a little bit shocked by my reflection every time I see myself in the mirror.”
When Kayleigh went back to work in September 2020 after her maternity leave, her colleagues commented on how she was unrecognisable and said that she had inspired them.
These comments fill Kayleigh with pride and make the hardest part of her weight loss journey worth it.
“My diet now consists of fruit and veg with every single meal, but I still enjoy a low calorie sweet treat in the evening,” she said.
“I didn’t exercise to lose the weight but I actually enjoy some light exercise now that I’m smaller and have more energy.
“The hardest things about my journey was saying no to things I wouldn’t usually think twice about putting in my mouth.
“It was also hard to find clothes for my new figure with Covid, lockdown and shops being shut I had no idea of my new clothes/bra size so I had to guess.
“I’ve had some work colleagues say they didn’t recognise me. I’ve been told I look amazing and that I’ve inspired them.
“I’ve had nothing but lovely, kind and supportive comments from everyone I know.
“I never set out to inspire people but it’s the biggest compliment I think I could have.
“Surround yourself with family and friends that are going to support you – you don’t realise how much of an effect the people around you can have. Maybe even find a friend that wants to join you so you can support each other.
“Do your research and find a diet and lifestyle that is right for you. If you feel like you are going to be deprived, you won’t enjoy it and won’t be able to stick to it.
“Set yourself small achievable goals. If you have a bad day, draw a line and start again the next day, don’t let a bad day turn into a bad week.”