Julie Riglar was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014. It’s a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. Unfortunately, a side effect of the medication used to treat this is weight gain.
Julie explained: “My weight was going up and up with my medication and this made my pain levels worse, so I knew I needed to make a change.
“I was very unhappy about how big I had become and I didn’t really like myself at all. I had a friend who was at Weight Watchers and so I went to my doctor to ask about joining with NHS vouchers.
“He gave me the information that I needed and I joined in June 2015. I started losing weight straight away and although I have had ups and downs with the fibromyalgia – some days I can’t get out of bed with the pain – I’m never giving up on this.”
The 44-year-old, who lives in Rickerscote, Stafford, with husband Michael, admits her biggest downfall was craving all the wrong foods and giving in to those cravings.
Before, she ate a lot of fried and convenience foods, but quickly changed her ways, choosing healthy food instead such as vegetables, fruit and zero-point food on the Weight Watchers plan.
Julie, who can’t work due to her illness, said: “My doctor set my goal weight at 12 stone and I got to that goal on January 2, 2016.
“I’ve never looked back and love Weight Watchers as I can still eat things that I like while lose weight.
“Life was so much more difficult with my fibromyalgia when I was bigger. Now that I don’t carry the extra four stone around with me every day it’s helped my condition so much.
“When I feel like giving in on one of my bad days with the fibro, I think to myself ‘you have come so far Julie, don’t give in now as you will end up going back to being the old overweight Julie when you were really unhappy’.
“My Weight Watchers coach, Amy, is amazing, she is always there to help and support every single one of her members. The app is also fab to track what I’m eating and even has an online coach.
“I love the new Weight Watchers SmartPoints Flex plan because it’s simple, with a sensible go-to list of over 200 Zero-Point foods including lean proteins and fruits and vegetables that you can eat until you are full and a SmartPoints budget that you can spend on anything else you want.
“I’ve also been encouraged to move more and I don’t let my illness hinder me achieving my goals by earning unique FitPoints to support my fitness.
“My husband and children are amazing and help me keep focused.
“I went from wearing a dress size 24 to a size 14 and I love the fact that I can now shop in places like Primark, as before I couldn’t fit into their clothing.”