London: A mother and daughter have lost nearly 9st between them and shed four dress sizes apiece by cutting out unhealthy snacking and running 5K races together. Elsie Spalding, 21, and her mother Tracey Spalding, 50, from Hertford, Hertfordshire, say they are ‘closer than ever’ since taking on their weight-loss challenge in January.
In a matter of months Elsie, a fine art student at Bournemouth University, went from 13th 13lbs to just 9th 2lb and a size eight by switching a McDonald’s breakfast to porridge and exercising most days.
Elsie decided to join her mother at Weight Watchers after eating a cheese toastie and a teacake in a cafe while they were out together over the Christmas holidays, and Tracey told exactly how calorific her meal was.
Elsie recalled: ‘She told me what I was eating would have been the whole of her daily allowance in points, adding that if I wanted to join WW she would pay for it and help me.
‘Still, I did not think I would do it, because I thought I’d get bored very quickly.’ Elsie, who used to have a body mass index (BMI) of 34.5 compared to the NHS’s recommended range of between 18.5 to 24.9, used to eat whenever she felt strong emotions.
She said: ‘I had an unhealthy relationship with food. If anything went wrong I would eat, or if I was happy I would eat. ‘I didn’t think I could break this cycle and thought it would be like this for the rest of my life. But my mum made me feel differently and now we are closer than ever.’
Tracey encouraged her daughter to join in her weight loss after she started seeing impressive results. With Elsie leaving for university in September 2018, Tracey thought it would be a good time to join WW, and by March 2019, she had lost almost three stone, taking her down to 10 stone.
She reached her goal weight of 9st 7lb in March 2019 after ending mid-week boozing and running 5K three or four times a week. Childminder Tracey, who also shares a son, Alfie, 23, with her husband, Dan, 52, said her motivation to lose weight was the approach of her 50th birthday.
With a BMI of 29.8 before she slimmed down making her overweight, according to the NHS, she said: ‘I was coming up to a big birthday and I wanted to be fit at 50.
‘I realized I was unhappy and started thinking about my health and fitness. I’d always been between nine and 10st, but after I had children the pounds started going on slowly.’ She realized constant snacking, drinking during the week and not doing any exercise wasn’t making her happy.