Karen Scales received a devastating diagnosis in 2012, right around the time she entered into a weight-loss pact with a couple of her friends: She had multiple sclerosis, whose symptoms include pain, tingling and problems with coordination. But, her doctor advised, losing some weight would help keep those symptoms in check.
Fortunately, the 30-year-old was already well on her way to shedding the weight she’d accumulated over the years. She’d never managed to lose the baby weight from her two previous pregnancies, but more detrimental, was her life-long habit of unhealthy eating, and relying mainly on fast food.
So when her friends proposed losing weight together, she decided to give it a try, thinking a built-in support network might actually help her stick to her goals this time. But she honestly never thought it would work.
But she was wrong. She stuck to her program and completely transformed her life; all because she doggedly followed these three simple rules:
1. Find Motivation.
She would have been forgiven for abandoning the diet plan altogether after receiving her diagnosis. But the fact that she’d already seen some success only emboldened her to face the challenge head-on. She also knew that being overweight, in addition to having multiple sclerosis, would only hinder the quality and amount of time she could spend with her two young children.
It may sound crazy, but even though everything has changed beyond belief since my diagnosis, I’m actually happier. Why? Because I’m so proud of myself for losing the weight that had been holding me back, and which would have made my life more difficult now.
2. Find A Support System.
When her friends backed out of their part of the deal, she sought support in Slimming World, which teaches healthy eating habits as well as the importance of portion control. She couldn’t do anything about her medical condition, but losing weight was something she could do something about.
3. Stick To The Plan.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity over everything a multiple sclerosis diagnosis entails, she re-focused, instead turning her attention to food planning and cooking. And on the days when she was in too much pain to drive herself to Slimming World meetings, her relatives and friends took her instead.
I’ll never forget my first annual check-up in July 2013. ‘Come through and we’ll get you weighed,’ the nurse said. When I’d stepped on the scales, she looked me up and down and then flicked through her notes, frowning.
The nurse didn’t recognize her from her previous visits because she’d lost so much weight! She even went so far as to get Karen to confirm her name and date of birth!
‘It’s me, I’ve lost another 5st!’ I announced proudly. ‘Blimey, I thought you’d sent somebody else!’ she said, laughing. Just after that, the specialist walked in and his jaw dropped, too! In that moment, I felt so proud of what I’d managed to do for myself in the past year.
Since her journey began, this incredibly strong and gutsy woman has dropped an amazing 126 lbs., going from 273 lbs. in 2012 to 147 lbs. today!
Share her story to inspire and encourage anyone you know who wants to lose weight to live a better quality of life.
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