"I'm glad I didn't take No for an answer!" Sussex woman's weight loss journey

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Have you ever been told you can’t do something as it wont be possible - but you’re determined to persevere anyway? Well that was me when doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to lose wait with Lipoedema. Lipoedema is a genetic abnormal fat build up usually in the lower body causing much inflammation, pain and discomfort not to mention mobility issues.

Since my teenage years I struggled with weight. I had thick legs and ankles, but had a tiny waist, totally out of proportion.However, it was difficult but I did manage to lose weight.

As I got older, my legs and upper arms were the area’s where most of my weight sat. I felt horrible and couldn’t look at myself feeling disgusted at my appearance. My legs were painful, lumpy, misshapen, they felt tight and were enormous!

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I was now in my fifties and had tried many weight loss methods, even shakes!

undiagnosed lipedemeundiagnosed lipedeme
undiagnosed lipedeme

I first joined Slimming World with Debbie in East Grinstead, Lost weight very slowly , sometimes nothing and quickly felt disheartened. Even tracking through food diaries couldn’t discover anything that I was doing wrong. So I gave up, feeling so frustrated and didn’t know why I couldn’t lose weight.

I then went to the doctor, “you’re morbidly obese, try this diet sheet” but again nothing!

I returned to the doctor for a follow up appointment, and he basically called me a liar and said that if I had followed the plan, then I would have lost weight !.

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At an all time low I hated myself, I was angry and felt disgusting.

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3 stone lost

Then I was out with a friend, she knew my problems, so I could share with her how I was feeling. She then asked me if I had been tested for lipoedema, I had never heard of it, Apparently, a friend of hers had been diagnosed and she said that we shared the same issues.

I went home to speak to my husband who said to book a private appointment, which I did at Spire Gatwick.

After several tests, it was confirmed that I do have lipoedema.

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The only thing he can suggest is £6000 for liposuction, which of course only removes the fat, doesn’t cure it, therefore, the fat will return.

stages of lipedemastages of lipedema
stages of lipedema

Not what I wanted to hear, at this point I was so low.

It’s a debilitating chronic disease, I was stage 4, the doctor explained that, there is no cure. It usually starts at puberty, then gets progressively worse through pregnancy and menopause.

The lymph glands don’t remove the fat, it’s not understood why.

It’s rare, only 11% of women are diagnosed, there are probably many more who are still being told that they’re obese and made to feel that it’s their fault. In fact, many GPs still don’t recognise it, because there’s so little known about it at the moment.

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3 stone award3 stone award
3 stone award

Now I was at such a low point, I had to do something, that’s when I thought you can either let yourself become a victim, or you can pick yourself up and use your strength to beat it.

I did a lot of research and eventually, I found a support group on Facebook, I read all of the comments and found that it may be controlled by diet.

By eating anti inflammatory foods, ladies were controlling the pain, some were even losing weight.

At this point, I thought I’d contact Debbie again. I couldn’t believe it - she actually remembered me!

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I explained the issues, and Debbie also did some google researching so that she had an understanding of what we were up against. The good news was when we sat down and talked through a balanced meal plan based on what we’d learnt, I felt more positive to try once again

I rejoined Slimming World in May last year and adapted the plan not to include anti inflammatory foods such as no dairy, pasta, rice, bread ,alcohol and using fruit that are berries only.

This is going to be hard, especially alcohol, however, I do have the occasional wine, I’m only human.

I also, very occasionally, sneak other fruit in with a bit of fat free Greek yogurt, one of my favourites.

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Unbelievably, straight away I started losing weight, it’s slow, but with the support of my family and Debbie, a year on, I’m over 3 stone lighter, 3 sizes down, including a shoe size.

Sometimes like all slimmers I can either maintain or put weight on, even though I’ve stuck to plan, frustrating, but just one of those things that I need to accept.. Its a bigger picture to look at how far I’ve come in succeeding

Of course, legs are still lumpy and misshapen, but they are definitely smaller, very little pain now, I can walk longer distances, my life has changed so much.

My confidence is growing steadily and don’t feel as though I need to melt into the background so much now.

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Having just returned from holiday I enjoyed a suitcase of more colourful clothes - even white.

I have my nephews wedding in July, I’m wearing jade green! I’ve not worn bright colours for a long time. I even have heels, low, but its a heel, another thing not done for years!

Feel good in my clothes now. Amazing results!

If this sounds like you or a friend, I would totally recommend this eating plan. With this condition, it has proved that the plan can be adapted to suit your specific needs or even if you may just be a little fussy. Its a generous eating plan is easily adapted to your lifestyle, especially busy mums, just takes a little bit of organising and planning.

I attend a group in Copthorne, a group of lovely, welcoming and supportive people. We cheer each other on and share ideas either in group or on our Facebook page.Without the support from group, I’m not sure that I would be where I am now.

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