Tina Mathias lost half her body weight* and has been maintaining her size 10 frame for eight years.
- Weight lost: 13st*
- Weight loss plan: Total
- Followed by Management
Had Tina never joined LighterLife she might not be here today; “It honestly changed my life forever”. For nine years unbeknown to Tina her excess weight had been masking a growth in her womb. During this time in her life, Tina and her husband were having IVF and the growth was picked up on routine scans. The doctors put it down to a hormone growth and a byproduct of the treatment, but Tina also put it down to her weight.
Tina explains: “In 2011 I came to LighterLife with the hope of getting healthy and to improve my chances of falling pregnant. At my heaviest I was 23st and I remember the moment I’d finally had enough. I was due to attend a funeral and went to purchase a new pair of trousers; to my shock I could not fit into a size 22 or 24. Giving in and buying the size 28 was a devastating revelation for me and I even broke the zip on those trousers.
A friend who had confronted me about my lifestyle and in no uncertain terms told me, ‘You need to sort yourself out’, said he would support me in the quest. I researched LighterLife and met a young lady who had successfully done the Total Plan and lost 14 stone. She was the inspiration I needed.
My LighterLife group was so supportive
On 23rd March 2011 I attended a LighterLife group in Carmarthen with a very charismatic leader by the name of Val. She was so warm and welcoming, and extremely passionate about LighterLife. I was put on the Total Plan and did Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in a group every week, through simple activities.
Then something happened that had the power to throw me off course. After 23 years of marriage my husband announced that he wanted out. After he left I went straight to the fridge, but before I could reach in there for food I stopped myself. I would not let this be the moment that undid all of my hard work.
My initial thought was that it was going to be hard and expensive. In fact, I established over the first month that I was saving nearly £20 per week doing this plan because of not eating takeaways or drinking wine. By December I reached my goal weight. By this point I had lost nine stone and was happy to start the second part of my journey, the management phase.
Without LighterLife I’d never have had the confidence to be a spin instructor
Eventually it was time to go into the big wide world on my own and that’s where my love affair with fitness began. I did my first spin class in 2012 and I was hooked. I loved it. Then my passion for fitness grew I gave up smoking which I had used as a crutch during the whole diet. In June I took my husband to New York for his 40th birthday. Sadly, during our trip I wasn’t well and suffered chronic back and side pains. Once we got home, and after many trips back and forth to my GP, I eventually had a scan which detected an illness. This was the same growth which they spotted years previously, but it was in fact very serious. If I hadn’t lost weight the growth would’ve kept on enlarging and eventually perforated my bowel and kidney as it was so big. After surgery I was told it weighed in at 9lb.
At the end of 2013 I was ready to get back to training and I worked extremely hard throughout 2014 to become fit again. Years later, in September 2017 I started my quest to become a fitness instructor. I passed my exercise-to-music exams in October 2017 and have now gone on to become a spin teacher, passing that exam this year. I can now proudly say I run an advanced-spin class at Haverfordwest Leisure centre and without LighterLife I would never have had the confidence to do this.
I could not be happier with where my LighterLife journey has taken me and if I can do it then anyone can: all it takes is the will to say you deserve better.”