Tina Bishop, a 45-year-old from Coventry, has overcome weight gain and a lack of confidence to rediscover her love for exercise.
Tina’s weight gain began after she suffered a knee injury and stopped participating in sports such as netball and swimming. As she grew older, her weight continued to increase, leading to low confidence and a lack of motivation to be physically active.
She said: “During this time, I wanted to become a paramedic, but I failed a fitness test which caused my confidence to plummet and my fitness levels to drop even more. I had given up on being the sport-loving person I was before my injury.
“I had my first child when I was 21 and after my daughter was born, I realised I had gained 4st since leaving school. I knew I wanted to get fit and active again but didn’t know how.”
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Tina joined Slimming World and followed their Food Optimising healthy eating plan.
She said: “I had very low confidence. I hid away, hated dressing up and socialising, and felt depressed most of the time. I was due to attend a wedding and really struggled to find a dress that I wanted to wear in my size – I was around a size 18.
“It was at this point I vowed to lose weight. Joining Slimming World is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s transformed my life.”
Tina appreciated the flexibility of the plan, which allowed her to make changes to her eating habits and improve her relationship with food. She started cooking from scratch and enjoyed nutritious meals like “homemade chilli con carne, curries, and pasta dishes.”
As Tina lost weight and gained confidence, she decided to explore Slimming World’s Body Magic physical activity support program. This program encourages members to embrace active habits and offers a wide range of activities suitable for all ability levels and budgets.
Tina initially felt anxious but started using the Couch to 5k app and gradually built up her running routine. She soon fell in love with running and found herself hitting the pavements six days a week.
She said: “Since then, I’ve completed two sprint triathlons, an Olympic triathlon and I ran the London Marathon as part of the Slimming World team in April 2023 which was a dream come true.
Tina has said one key factor of her success was finding an activity she enjoyed as this makes staying active feel less like a chore.
She also highlighted the positive impact exercise has had on her mental health. Over the past 10 years, Tina has been a member of Slimming World and has been amazed by the support and kindness she has received from her group and consultant.
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Inspired by her own weight loss journey, Tina decided to become a Slimming World Consultant herself to help others achieve their goals.
She went on to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 2023, which Slimming World was sponsoring. Having lost both of her grandfathers to cancer, participating in the race was a meaningful way for Tina to support a worthy cause.
She said: “I didn’t do the race alone though as members from my group also took part. It’s been amazing to see them training for the race and to share something I love with them, as well as support them on their own journey to becoming more active.
“When I cross the finish line, I will be reflecting on my own weight loss journey and how far I have come – from being pretty much physically inactive, to inspiring others to move more.”
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