Mags Savage Bell
Mother-of-two Mags Savage Bell from Kerry has lost over seven stone with Weightwatchers, here she tells us how “fear of going back” is her biggest driving force in maintaining her weightloss.
“I was heavy my entire life. I come from a family of five and I was the only one in the family with weight. I had tried everything and anything down through the years, lost a bit, gained a bit, but before Weightwatchers nothing succeeded in keeping it off.
You hear people talk about their ‘lightbulb moment’. I literally did wake up one morning and think, I can’t go on like this anymore, because I wasn’t living. I was existing. I had so much pain – back pain, knee pain. I joined Weightwatchers in 2004, and because I never stood on the scales I was totally gobsmacked at the number staring back at me.
Rita Holly has been my class leader from the outset and she has been fantastic – so much so, that I travelled further than I needed to, to attend her classes. If you’re nervous about going to your first Weightwatchers class, don’t be. Everyone is there for the very same reason – whether that is one stone, or seven stone.
Luckily, the programme clicked with me instantly. I lost large amounts quite quickly. You have to digest the books. It became my night time thing. It quickly became a way of life. Genuinely, I don’t feel like I am on a diet. My husband always says to me, ‘you never stop eating’. And he’s right. I don’t. I am a big fan of Weightwatchers’ No Count. It’s so doable. We travel a bit. And we do all inclusive and I manage to make it work. We are just back from Malta on an all-inclusive holiday, and I was only up a pound and a half.
I got to goal in 2009. I think it took me five years, which may seem a long time, but half way through my journey, I thought, ‘do you know what, I can do this on my own. I don’t need classes anymore’, so I left and I slipped right back into the old habits. And the weight started to creep back up. Within that year, I rejoined, and I have stayed with it. Now I weigh-in all the time and ALWAYS stay for class. The way I look at it is, you can stand on the scales at home, and not pay someone a tenner, but the talk is so important. If somebody is having a really bad week, they air it in class and you can support them. If someone is having a good week, they can tell you why they had a good week.
Sometimes I am surprised at how relatively straightforward the maintenance has been. I have been lucky. It’s because it became a way of life. I no longer reward myself with food. Instead, I choose to reward myself by getting my nails done, or getting a blowdry, because I used to say to myself that when I was at my heaviest, I would have ate that €20 in takeaways.
People are always asking me what it is that keeps me so active in Weightwatchers. And my reply is ‘fear’. The fear of going back. My life is so good now. Not just for me, but also for my family – for my kids, my husband. When I look back on my life when I was at my heaviest, nearly 19 stone, I was only existing. I got up. I took the kids to school. I came home. I ate. I did a few jobs. Picked up the kids from school. I didn’t go out. I didn’t walk. I didn’t enjoy life. I reached a stage in my life when I just wanted it so bad. I wanted it to work. I felt the need to succeed and I knew the older I was getting the harder it was going to be. I wanted it for my family. To be a better Mum.
When I got married the first time, I was 21 wearing a size 22 wedding dress that had to be made. I met my second husband in my 30s and I knew it was true love because I was at my heaviest when we met. He always joked he knew there was a thin girl bursting to get out and there was and here I am. So when I walked down the aisle again at 39 I did it with pride wearing the dress of my dreams and a size 12. Love isn’t just about roses and chocolates, love is about loving and believing in yourself that you too can succeed. If you can’t love yourself how do you expect anyone else to love you? Do I love me? God yes. I love the person I am today because of Weight Watchers. As they say “love the skin you’re in” and I do.
*Results can vary from person to person.