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Fay Lost 120 Pounds Without Spending Hours in the Gym - and She Still Eats Spaghetti

PopSugar logo PopSugar 2/23/2018 Dominique Astorino
Before and After Weight Loss: Fay Marshall © Fay Marshall via Slimming World Before and After Weight Loss: Fay Marshall

After a series of demoralizing experiences, Fay Marshall felt motivated enough to make a drastic change with her health and her lifestyle. It was time to lose some weight.

And while we hear a lot of stories about losing weight in pairs - mother and daughter, husband and wife, or best friends - it's not often you see a woman losing weight with her grandmother! Fay's grandma introduced her to a weight-loss program called Slimming World, and the two set out on what would become a very successful journey. In fact, Fay had so much success that she became Slimming World's "Woman of the Year" in 2017. Check it out.

Fay: Before Fay: Before POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start your weight-loss journey?

Fay Marshall: I'd been overweight since I could remember but really started to gain weight rapidly from around the age of 10. It got into a bit of a vicious cycle where I wouldn't want to go out because I was embarrassed of my weight, so I'd stay in and eat more.

In the month before joining Slimming World, I was twice offered a seat on the London Underground by people who mistakenly thought I was pregnant. It was the most humiliating experience of my life and I felt like I had hit rock bottom. My grandmother, who I was living with at the time, saw how upset I was and how my weight was affecting my day-to-day life, so she suggested we join together.

PS: What drew you to Slimming World specifically?

FM: My grandmother had heard [on Slimming World] that you were still able to eat things like pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread. I learned that I could still eat the same things I did before, I just had to cook and prepare them in a different way to make them healthier. I never feel like I'm missing out as I can still eat things like pizza, burgers, and cakes, but I know now how to make them in a healthy way. 

Fay: Before Fay: Before PS: What's your favorite way to work out?

FM: I love variety and I can get bored easily so I like to work out in different ways. I enjoy swimming, Pilates, Spinning classes, and exercise DVDs. I especially like working out when I don't even realize I am doing it --like walking to places or even adventure circuits!

PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule?

FM: I aim to do at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week. What I've come to learn, and what Slimming World has taught me, is that being active doesn't have to be a chore and it can be integrated into life without you even realizing. Leaving the car at home and walking to the mall is just one of the things I do that fits into my lifestyle.

PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?

FM: I am all about variety and fun - if I didn't enjoy an activity, I wouldn't do it! I like to try new things and I'm always looking for new ideas and exercises to try. I always enjoy the gym more when someone comes with me as I get a little competitive, and we have fun that way, too!

PS: How much weight have you lost?

FM: 120 pounds.

PS: What was the first big difference, other than the number on the scale, that really made you feel proud and excited?


FM: I could buy clothes in "normal" stores again rather than online. I was a size 22/24 (US 20/22) before losing weight and struggled to find clothes in the stores I liked. Being able to buy clothes I liked off the rack was so exciting. I'm now a US 10. s.

PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?

FM: I'll usually have something like oatmeal or overnight oats for breakfast, followed by a pizza omelet and salad for lunch. For dinner, I'll cook using a Slimming World recipe, so something like BBQ pulled pork or spaghetti bolognese. I like to snack on things like low-calorie popcorn, fruit, yogurt, and smaller-size candy bars.

Fay: Before and After Fay: Before and After PS: What are the healthy staples that are always in your fridge?

FM: I boil eggs and keep them in the fridge for snacking on. Similarly, I do the same with chicken drumsticks. I always make sure I have low-fat cheese, fruit, yogurts, and vegetables available.

PS: How do you strategize for meals out?

FM: I always look up the menu for the place I am going to beforehand. This way I know what I can eat, that will keep me on track, and what I could ask to be substituted if needed.

Fay: After Fay: After PS: Do you use a fitness tracker?

FM: I started off using a Fitbit and once I had joined the gym, I purchased an Apple watch. Having these really helped me to increase my activity levels as I could compete with friends and family who also had the fitness tracker.

PS: What role did community support play in your journey?

FM: The support from others at group played a massive part in my journey. If I am having a bad week they will help and support me, and I can help to support others when they are having a bad week, too. You can bounce ideas off each other and learn new recipes and tips which helped a lot throughout my journey.

PS: What advice do you have for anyone starting out on a weight-loss journey?

FM: No matter how many times you have tried, treat this time as your first time. I found that helped as I wasn't focused on all the negatives and the times it didn't work - I believed I could do it. Take it one day at a time and celebrate the smaller victories - they all count! Find ways to incorporate the things you love into your new weight-loss journey so that you never feel deprived.

Slideshow: These are the 15 superfoods your kitchen needs in 2018 (Provided by PopSugar) 

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