I got to Bristol in February to try on my wedding dress, more than a year after it had been ordered, and…disaster. It just would not zip up. Despite the vile shop assistant’s unhelpfulness and rudeness, I was determined not to rise to the bait and admit defeat – this, in addition to the horror associated with the cost of dress alterations, spurred me on to lose weight so that I could fit into it on the day.

My mother has struggled with her weight all of her adult life, and having gone round all of the diets on the market (Atkins, Slimming World…you name it, she has done it), she recommended Weight Watchers. “Why didn’t you stick with it if it was so good?” I muttered as she got all of her old Weight Watchers books, points calculators and recipes out of the cupboard.

She had got bored with the scheme after a long period of sticking to it, but she was still nonetheless keen to extoll its virtues. You could still eat or drink anything you wanted, and this was the main draw for me. In addition, it wasn’t as complex as counting fat or calories, and experimenting with different strategies by which I could keep within my points each day was a novelty, almost like a game (though a note to potential Weight Watchers: having only three breadsticks for lunch just so that you can have some Ben and Jerry’s in the evening is straight from the Bad Idea Bears).

I also didn’t have to cook something different for my fiancé every night – a tall strapping guy who loves his food and comes from a lean and lithe family who can eat what they like, I didn’t want to compromise on his satisfaction and enjoyment. It’s definitely easy to make four servings, give yourself one and him two, and then keep the remaining portion for your lunch the following day – which also stops you from being caught out and dashing for a Mars Bar binge.

I’ve also discovered some really nice meals, snacks and even ready meals as a result of this diet: the Weight Watchers snacks taste really good and even the ready meals taste like proper food rather than cardboard. I cook the Weight Watchers recipe for macaroni cheese all the time now too, as well as a WW recipe that I found online for pasta salad with blue cheese, walnuts and rocket. That’s not to say there weren’t any disasters, though: a fair number of Weight Watchers’ healthy alternatives to things like bolognese are little more than turkey and tomato messes that you’re probably better off giving to your dog (/cat/goldfish).

Overall, though, the experience has been positive and easy to follow (even though thanks to using my mum’s old WW stuff I was following the old points rather than the new ProPoints system). The diet has given me a massive reality check regarding portion sizes and changed how I think about snacks. Furthermore, as well as rewiring your habits and therefore being a long-term eating solution rather than just a diet (the idea of the 1-point snack, such as 5 Maltesers, is a brilliant idea that I shall continue to keep in my life), the effects in a short space of time are equally palpable, so it’s great for people who like quick results. In less than 2 months, if the Wii Fit is to be believed, I have lost around 9lbs, and on someone my size, that makes quite a difference. Observe:

me, on the left, with my sister at Christmas

me on April 18 2011

Ambition now? To be a size 8. (Currently fitting into a 10 quite comfortably…!)

– And yes, I do now fit into my wedding dress 🙂

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