Friends who bonded over a shared love of classic and retro garments say they now have curves in the best locations to rock their Fifties take care of dropping six stone between them.
At her heaviest, Sophie Mitchell-Bradford, 26, was a measurement 20 and weighed 16st 12lb whereas fellow insurance coverage adviser Liv Russell, 28, was chubby at 13st 6lb due to consolation consuming due to melancholy.
Told to lose weight by her physician after being recognized with hypertension, Sophie, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, joined slimming group WW in summer season 2018 and her pal determined to be a part of her.
Sophie, who has dropped 4 stone to 12st 8lb and a measurement 14, mentioned: “I’m so happy with how far each of us have come. It actually helps having somebody on that journey with you. We even did a photo-shoot collectively, recreating a few of our seems to be after we had been larger, to show how a lot weight we have now misplaced.
“I met Liv a couple of years ago when we started working together and we bonded over our love of vintage style and unique clothes, or ‘vintageish’ as we called it! Now we text every day.”
Sophie continued: “I informed her I used to be becoming a member of WW and she or he mentioned she wished to lose a little bit of weight too, so she did the identical. Liv would actually encourage me and we have now an understanding of one another and what it’s like. We talked about plenty of issues like binge consuming or how to hold motivated.
“She would come over to mine and we’d cook dinner wholesome meals collectively. She’s additionally vegetarian, so has opened my eyes up to plenty of totally different dishes.”
She added: “If we go out for dinner with a group as well, there’s someone else ordering something similar, so you don’t feel like you’re being awkward. We can be awkward together!”
At 5ft 8in, Sophie had a BMI of 35.7, nicely above the 18.5. to 24.9 beneficial by the NHS, classing her as overweight.
While she reached a measurement 20 when she stopped watching her waistline after settling into married life with buyer companies consultant James, 29, she recognized with Liv’s emotional consuming, as she had struggled with the identical downside up to now.
“I was not a big child, but when I went to college at 16, I started to suffer a lot of depression and anxiety and would deal with that by binge eating,” she mentioned.
“I’d eat big sharer bags of crisps, or chocolate. I’d go to the supermarket near college at lunchtime and buy a packet of doughnuts, which I’d eat for lunch. I was a secret eater and would hide chocolate bars in my room at home. Eating was a way of coping and I’d eat more snacks than meals.”
Sophie added: “I used to be missing in confidence and suppose I accepted my position because the ‘big friend’. I felt fairly conscious that my mates had been smaller than me. I didn’t like how I regarded and it made me not need to exit.
“I knew I wanted to lose weight however I lacked motivation. I’d strive diets and calorie counting, however I’d at all times put it again on.”
After tying the knot in 2017, having misplaced some weight within the lead up to the marriage, Sophie gained two stone as she settled into married life.
“After our honeymoon, we totally forgot to be conscious about what we were eating. A lot of the problem was portion control. I’d eat huge bowls of pasta,” she recalled.
So, in the summertime of 2018, after stepping on the scales and seeing she was the heaviest she had ever been, she was decided to do one thing about it.
“I’d also gone to the doctor for a routine health check and been told I had high blood pressure,” she mentioned. “Seeing that it had started to affect my health and that I might end up on medication for it in my twenties made me determined to lose weight.”
After a colleague steered she strive the WW app, Sophie began utilizing its points-based system and slashed her portion sizes – generally to half of what they had been earlier than.
“That’s the biggest change I made, as well as cutting down on snacks. If I want a bag of crisps, rather than reaching for a sharer bag, I’ll have a low-fat version,” she mentioned.
“It’s amazing how your body adjusts. As soon as I started eating less, I found I didn’t want as much. Before I would easily go out and eat a three-course meal, now I struggle to eat a starter and a main.”
“By the end of 2018, I had lost two stone, which was a good motivator. After a year I had lost 4st 4lb and I’m now 12st 8lb which I’ve maintained for a year,” she mentioned.
Now reaping the well being advantages, Sophie’s blood stress is below management and she or he has began having fun with train for the primary time.
“I would do the odd Zumba class to say I’d done something, but now I go running three times a week and before lockdown I was going to the gym,” she mentioned.
“I always said I would never run, but now I really enjoy it. I never liked exercise when I was bigger and thought I never would, but now I go to jive classes with my mum and husband or dancing or rollerskating with my friends. I would never had done that before because I’d have been too self-conscious.”
Becoming extra assured together with her physique has helped Sophie, who now has a far more healthy BMI of 26.6, really feel good within the garments she loves too.
“Going out to events, people will look at me because I’m dressed a bit differently, rather than because I’m bigger,” she mentioned. “I love bright colours, tea dresses and ‘vintageish’ skirts. I even started entering vintage dress competitions, which I would never have done before.”
Meanwhile automobile insurance coverage adviser Liv, from Holmfirth, whose fiancé Davey Clegg , 33, is a group chief, says that when she switched from working in retail to a extra sedentary workplace position three years in the past, she began consuming comfort meals she picked up from the grocery store subsequent door.
At 5ft 8in and weighing 13st 6lb her BMI was 28.5, classing her as chubby, however since becoming a member of WW in September 2018 she has slimmed down to 11st 12lb – dropping three gown sizes from 16 to 10 – and now has a BMI of 25.1.
She mentioned: “It helped me massively having somebody to do it with, because if I was having a down day or a wobble, Sophie would be there to pick me up and vice versa.”
Admitting she had eaten due to feeling depressed and anxious, Liv says her physician had inspired her to lose weight, considering it will assist her vanity.
She mentioned: “I used to be doing foolish issues like going to the store and having a pastry for breakfast, then going again for a second breakfast, which might be one thing like a samosa.
“We had a snack drawer at work, which was actually extra of a tuck store and I’d get by means of a number of packs of chocolate. Then there was at all times a birthday or one thing occurring, so there can be muffins and biscuits.”
Liv defined: “I went from standing up all day to sitting down and I put on about two stone. I loved dressing up and vintage clothes like Sophie, but I started wearing baggy jumpers and big dresses – anything to cover my stomach. I couldn’t wear anything fitted. I hid away and my confidence took a massive knock.”
Also struggling with fatigue and taking remedy for her melancholy and anxiousness, Liv went to see her physician.
“That was when she suggested I lose weight,” she mentioned. “I kept saying it was nothing to do with my weight, but actually, with hindsight, it really was having a big impact on me.”
And in September 2018, after Sophie joined WW, Liv determined to be a part of her.
“It’s helped us both being able to go to the groups and get on the scales together,” she mentioned.
Now, after sustaining her weight for a yr, she hopes to shed a number of extra kilos and attain her goal weight of 11 stone.
Liv, whose June wedding ceremony was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, added: “I used to be attempting to keep my weight, so I didn’t have to have my gown taken in for our wedding ceremony, which is scheduled for May subsequent yr, however it provides me loads of time to save up to have changes if I would like to.
“I by no means thought I’d be carrying a measurement 10 wedding ceremony gown”
Liv defined: “After dropping weight, I observed an enormous distinction in how I used to be feeling and have now been off anti-depressants for nearly two years. I realised my weight was enjoying an enormous half in my melancholy.
“I’ve realized how to handle my ideas now. Negative ideas had been main to adverse consuming patterns, however now I ask myself why I would like to eat one thing ‘am I truly hungry or is it as a result of I’m offended, bored or unhappy?’.
“Instead of getting an enormous bar of chocolate, I’ll have a small piece, or somewhat than ordering a takeaway after which a second takeaway, I’ll cook dinner one thing good that I would like to eat.”
Liv continued: “Simple things like being able to wear shorts or a crop top, has made a big difference. I was always covering myself up, now I’m doing the opposite!”
And Liv doesn’t suppose she might have executed it with out Sophie by her facet.
She added: “Having her by my side has made such a difference. I wouldn’t have been where I am without her, she’s a superstar. We both feel proud to go out in our vintage clothes now, too!”
WW has launched a six-week problem to get the nation match after its analysis discovered 42 per cent of Brits had put weight on throughout lockdown.
To be a part of the problem, which inspires folks to transfer for 30 minutes a day 5 days per week, observe WW on Instagram @ww.uk or Twitter @ww_uk or subscribe on YouTube the place they are going to be posting free content material together with recipes, knowledgeable recommendation from WW coaches, weekly reside exercises with on-line house exercise channel FitOn.
Follow Sophie and Liv on Instagram @flickiesfrocks and @Liv2d2