In December 2015, Natalie Moxey was opening mail when she found a Christmas card that really surprised her. The local Indian restaurant, where she and her family ordered many meals, sent a holiday greeting. While the restaurant probably sent cards to all its customers, Moxey took it personally.
“It is quite a scary thing to think you order enough food from a take-away company that they send a Christmas card,” Moxey, 31, of Eversham, England, told TODAY. “I reached rock bottom.”
At the time, she weighed 261 pounds at 5 feet 11 inches tall. She had been overweight since she started having children. Like so many women, she gained the baby weight and failed to lose it. But it was her two sons that made her realize she had to make healthy changes.
“If I am going to live to see my boys grow up the way I wanted to I am going to have to lose weight,” she said.
“It felt a bit like fate,” she said.
In January 2016, she attended a meeting and wondered if the program could possibly work. In the past she tried diets and they always failed. But she decided to give it a shot. Instead of ordering take out she and her husband started making meals at home. In the first week, she dropped 7 pounds.
“To have a plan where you can still enjoy this amazing food and still lose weight was a bit revolutionary,” Moxey said. "I didn't really believe it."
At first, Moxey struggled to exercise but as she kept losing weight, she became more active.
“I increased my walking,” she said. “Then in three or four months in — 28, 30 pounds down — I started to do exercise classes.”
To her surprise, Moxey even started running.
“I am not a runner,” she said. “I run regular 5Ks and 10Ks and I really enjoy it now.”
Since January 2016, Moxey lost 93 pounds and weighs 168 pounds, which is her target weight. She recently celebrated reaching this milestone.
“It was a pretty incredible feeling,” she said.
During the past 18 months, Moxey learned she was stronger than she thought.
“I have taken control of what I do to myself and my body,” she said. “It helped me find my self-worth again.”
Most importantly, it helped her become the mom she always wanted to be.
“Being healthy and happy is what you need to be a good mum,” she said. “That is really important to me that (my sons) see that working to improve yourself is a positive thing.”
Moxey provided a few tips to help others hoping to lose weight.
1. Take pictures.
Even when Moxey disliked her appearance, she took pictures of herself. Looking at old pictures helped her stay focused on her weight-loss goals, even when it felt too overwhelming.
“It is an amazing motivation to push yourself to keep going,” she said.
2. Enjoy your food.
Moxey thought that losing weight meant giving up pasta and potatoes. But she found a plan that taught her portion control, which helped her feel satiated, while still enjoying foods she loved.
“I followed diets in the past and they are incredibly restricted and you feel miserable. It is just no way to live to basically be living with your stomach rumbling,” she said. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t enjoy your food.”
3. Reward yourself for meeting goals.
When Moxey first started Slimming World she set smaller goals, such as lose 5 or 10 pounds in a month. And when she reached those little goals, she rewarded herself.
“If you do hit these mini goals, go and buy yourself new dress or go out to the cinema to celebrate,” she said. "You have to be kind to yourself or you just won’t get there."