Clare Ratcliff, a customer support assistant from Alton, lost 4st 3lbs with the Hairy Bikers Diet Club*. In December 2014 she had reached a point where hardly any of her clothes fit, so she decided something had to change. Now healthier and happier, she has grown in self-confidence and her young son is also reaping the benefits of her active lifestyle. Read her inspiring weight loss story…
Clare had been overweight since childhood, and later in life her stagnant job as a driving instructor only exacerbated the problem. But last Christmas a moment of realisation hit Clare while at a friend’s house.
“It was difficult to sit down because my jeans were too tight, and it was even worse to stand up because it hurt too much.”
So in January Clare joined Hairy Bikers Diet Club and hasn’t looked back since. “I’ve been losing weight every week, so the motivation to continue has been easy. I found that I could look ahead and know that I was going to be able to get into all the clothes in my wardrobe that I hadn’t been able to fit into for about 15 years.”
Like many Diet Clubbers, Clare has found her weight loss journey easy because she doesn’t feel like she is on a diet. “The food plans and recipes are so good and the interaction on the online forums is fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed every minute of it. I would recommend the Club to everyone because the results have spoken for themselves.”
“The food plans and recipes are so good and the interaction on the online forums is fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed every minute of it. I would recommend the Club to everyone because the results have spoken for themselves.”
The online community has been a hugely important resource for Clare too. “The other Clubbers on the forum have been really supportive. If I posted that I was having a bad day, there was always plenty of encouragement and ideas from them.”
As well as the physcial weight loss, Clare’s self-confidence has grown as a result. “I am now a lot happier to go out and meet people and generally enjoy life.” And one of the things Clare is most enjoying these days is walking into any shop and being able to buy the clothes she wants, rather than hiding in one pair of jeans and a big top to cover her up.
And it’s not only Clare that’s benefitted from her new healthy lifestyle. It has improved her relationship with her young son too. “I get out and play with my son now, whereas before I was just sitting on the bench watching. I can join him now.”
“I get out and play with my son now, whereas before I was just sitting on the bench watching. I can join him now.”
Clare’s advice for anyone wanting to lose weight is simple. “Set yourself an ultimate target, but break that down into smaller targets that are easily achievable. Don’t just look at the overall total that you want to lose as that can seem daunting.” She adds, “And always keep a piece of clothing that’s a size too small, which you can try on as you lose weight. It makes it a more tangible target!”
Clare’s Top Tips
On food swaps
- Low or no-fat yoghurt instead of full-fat yoghurt.
- Skimmed-milk instead of full fat.
- Extra vegetables instead of filling up on potatoes, rice or pasta.
On starting your weight loss journey
- Set an ultimate goal, but break that into smaller more easily achievable goals.
- Be honest with yourself on your reasons for dieting and make at least one of those reasons because you want to. It’s not selfish.
- Don’t consider anything unachievable.
On staying motivated
- Remind yourself of your targets.
- Plan on a reward when you hit a target.
- Put your worst and most honest picture of yourself on the fridge door.
On dealing with challenges
- Try not to get into conversations about your weight loss if you know that a person is likely to be negative.
- Ask yourself if that person has not been successful losing weight themselves and if they are they jealous of your success.
- Avoid them.
*Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical.