How turning vegan helped mum-of-three drop 10 stone
PUBLISHED: 05:30 02 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:52 02 February 2020
Picture: ISSY BURCH
An Ipswich mother who battled with her weight and suffers from Crohn's disease says it was her switch to a vegan lifestyle which helped her drastically turn her life around.
At her heaviest and unhappiest Issy Burch weighed more than 20 stone and couldn't bare to look at herself in the mirror.
But now after dropping half of her body weight the mother-of-three says she has "never felt better" and has some newfound confidence.
Issy, 36, who owns a balloon company in Ipswich called Balloonfetti Creations, first joined Slimming World in 2009 after doctors told her she needed to lose four stone in order to be referred for fertility treatment.
"I will never forget how heartbreaking it was to hear that," admitted Issy. "I then knew my weight was really serious and had to make a change as I desperately wanted to have children."
Issy then fell pregnant naturally with her first child after dropping three stone with the help of Slimming World.
She says she would never have got pregnant had it not been for the help of the weightloss group, which she continues to attend on a weekly basis and has made lots of friends through.
From then on she spent years dipping in and out of the weightloss plan and 'yo-yoing' in size - a result of giving birth to her three children and her constant battle with Crohn's disease and the steroids she was taking.
On top of that she admits she was - and still is - an "over-eater" and struggles with portion sizes. But that's why she loves Slimming World so much as it is not a restrictive plan at all, in fact it is the opposite.
Issy said: "After I had my third child I knew things had to stop and I needed to lose weight."
Now she says she will "never look back" after hitting her target weight of 10 stone, which was helped by her change of lifestyle and choice to follow a plant-based diet.
She said: "I'd always been a vegetarian but I was really struggling to get under 11 stone, so I decided to go vegan and the weight just fell off."
Issy now says she can't imagine not being vegan, but not eating butter and cheese has been her biggest challenge.
With her newfound confidence Issy can shop for size 8 and 10 clothing, whereas before she was struggling to fit into a size 24.
"Slimming World has been life-changing for me," said Issy. "Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and can't believe I've actually done it and now looking back at old photos just makes me realise how big I was."
Issy continues to follow the Slimming World meal plans and adapts many to suit her vegan diet, while the rest of her family eat vegetarian foods.
She said: "People's reactions have been amazing and I won't let myself ever get that size again."
With the rise in veganism Slimming World has introduced a number of recipes into its plan - with many easily adaptable.