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At 22 stone (140kg) and a dress size 24, Slywia struggled on a daily basis. She was unable to walk up a hill, and found it “impossible to run”. In fact, “wearing shoes of socks wasn’t very easy either [and] bending, walking fast and cycling was very tiring, if not impossible”. However, after gaining a whopping 7.8 stone (50kg) in a year, and being told she was “in danger of having to rely on a wheelchair for assistance”, she decided to take action. Within 18 months, Slywia has shed 8.8 stone and she told Express.co.uk exactly how she did it.
Speaking about how her previous weight affected her health, Slywia explained: “I was gaining weight fast and had no idea why.
“I visited my GP [and] they said that I just need to eat less, but I was already constantly dieting and hardly eating anything at all. During a year I gained over 50kg.
“I started having breathing problems and then saw a private GP who advised I had massive hormonal problems which were causing the rapid weight gain, and it was affecting my heart, bones and my insulin level was dramatically high.
“They said that I was in danger of having to rely on a wheelchair for assistance if action wasn’t taken.”
Slywia shared the many reasons she had to lose weight: “Once I had the medical support to stop gaining more weight, I had a lot of reasons to lose the weight I had gained.
“A key factor was because of my business. I own Studio Figura in London, which is a highly successful global brand with the sole aim of helping women to lose weight and sculpt their bodies.
“Having worked hard to help many women to address their own weight concerns, I had rapidly become typical of many of my own customers.
“I needed to follow the support I’d been offering others for years and set an example to other women and prove that everything is possible when it comes to losing the weight that I had gained.”
She added: “Of course, my physical health was also critical.
“When I eventually received medical support, the thought of the increasing challenges and being advised I could end up being confined to a wheelchair was frightening.
“I want to return to living the life I’d had before and maintain a healthy life for a long time.
“My mental health was also suffering due to the way I looked,” Slywia continued.
“The funny thing is that when you put on so much weight and look at yourself in the mirror you don’t really see it – you still see an ‘okay’ version of yourself and still think you look good.
“But then when you see photographs of yourself you realise that you don’t look good.
“I became very depressed seeing what I looked like and started to do everything I could to avoid having my picture taken.”
She said: “Finally, it was affecting my relationship with my partner. This was really hard.
“My partner and I had been together for 15 years, but as I gained weight I felt we were both losing interest in our life together and their wasn’t the same intimacy any more. I felt that the chemistry we had had was impacted by my weight gain.
“I lost my confidence and that was further affecting my mental health, even though I think he always did his best in supporting me, accepting how I looked and in understanding my hormonal issues.
“However I think the chemistry, respect and partnership that we’d had was sadly shattered and we couldn’t rebuild this.
“Despite being successful in losing weight our relationship had been too damaged and we unfortunately separated nearly two years ago due to a number of reasons.”
As for how Slywia went about losing the weight, she explained: “Once I had got medical help in stabilising my hormonal health, I had to address losing the weight that I had gained.
“I was very fortunate in owning my own Studio Figura body sculpting centre, so I was able to set myself up on a tailored programme of activities and treatments – just as I would a normal client.
“Of course, I also needed to make sure my diet was right. I avoided eating carbs whilst making sure I had a proper breakfast and consumed more vegetables and proteins.
“It’s not about extreme dieting, but about eating the right food and right amount – I was never hungry and I actually ate more that I was eating when I was almost 22 stone (140kg).”
Within 18 months, Slywia reduced her weight to 12.9 stone (82kg) and is now a dress size 12 to 14, and she says she is “very proud” for doing so.
“My life has changed dramatically – in fact I think everything has changed,” she added.
“I had always been a positive person, but with what I have achieved I’m even more positive, and also I’ve gained a lot of confidence in both my business and my personal life.
“I’m stronger, I have much more energy and I feel like I can win the world.
“My personal life has also really benefitted. I regained my desire for life, have started dating again and am living life to the full. Compared to when I was almost 22 stone (140kg) – everything has changed, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Looking back on her weight loss journey, Slywia shared the parts she struggled with: “The commitment to start the weight loss journey was hard.
“Whilst I wanted (and needed) to lose weight, it’s a big commitment when you don’t have much energy. You need the ‘get up and go’ to get started.
“Also, after I had lost 4.7 stone (30kg) my weight stabilised and I didn’t lose much for a while. That was hard and I can see how people can lose motivation.
“Finally, I had grown up a diet that was higher in carbs than now recommended, so it can be difficult to reduce or cut out foods you grew up eating. I needed to stay strong,” she said.
Slywia also had some advice for anyone else looking to lose weight: “Go for it!
“Do it to improve your looks, and if not for your health. If not for your health – for your confidence. If not for confidence – for energy, and if not for energy – for a better personal and intimate life.
“It’s a really hard journey to start or stick with on you own, so having the right support is vital. Go for it – it will change your life.”
What is Studio Figura?
“Studio Figura centres are female only venues that has been helping women of all ages to lose their weight and to sculpt their bodies for 15 years,” Slywia said.
“Each studio offers a combination of unique advanced technology machines and treatments that have been specifically designed for women to help them to achieve their goals.
“Studios include a combination of a fitness zone focused on losing weight and sculpting your body much faster than achieved in a traditional gym; relaxing zone focused on improving the lymphatic system which helps with detoxing and losing weight; and a treatment zone with treatments such as endermology, ultrasonic cavitation, radio frequency contouring, lipolaser and HIFU which all help losing inches and firming your skin.
“Studio Figura also has their own brand of supplements and cosmetics that help boost body metabolism or detox.
“All clients of Studio Figura are treated individually and fully supported,” she continued. “Each journey starts with fully understanding a lady’s goals and then a plan is developed to achieve these, with careful ongoing monitoring and support to ensure desired progress is achieved.
“It is important to understand that Studio Figura is nothing like a gym. It is far more sophisticated, and clients are relieved to not find any weights.
“It is entirely focused on achieving physical, mental health and appearance desired by the client.”
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