Woman shares how she shed 10 stone in a year after struggling to conceive

Bethan McGregor, 38, broke down after a doctor warned her her weight could prevent her from becoming a mother

Debbie Luxon
Monday 02 January 2023 14:20 GMT
Related: Long-time married couple share surgical weight loss journey

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A woman has revealed how she lost 10 stone in the space of a year after struggling to conceive.

Bethan McGregor, 38, tipped the scales at 23 stone and struggled to squeeze into a size 28-30.

Keen to start a family with her husband, James McGregor, 48, an NHS worker, Bethan embarked on a weight loss mission after a doctor suggested her their chances of conceiving were slim to none because of her weight.

The doctor told Bethan she would need to lose 12 stone in order to have a baby in 2018, a warning that prompted her to swap takeaways for homecooked meals. This simple switch helped her to lose 10 stone in just 12 months.

Now, Bethan weighs a healthier 13 stone and can slip into a size 12-14 with ease.

Bethan, a council worker from Swansea, Wales, said: “I felt embarrassed and feared being judged by Slimming World attendees who had seen me there before.

“It was the shame more than anything, I can’t believe I had let it get so bad. I feel amazing now.”

Bethan was devastated when she learned her weight could cause fertility issues.

She struggled to walk and talk due to breathlessness, suffered from back and foot pain and used her asthma pump multiple times a day.

Bethan said: “You know when you’re big, but hearing that might be the reason I wasn’t pregnant was quite difficult.

“I had to fall into a healthier BMI for my and my future child’s safety, but attempting to lose 12 stone sounded unachievable. It was a massive barrier.”

She hit her lowest point when she broke down to her GP after her fertility appointment.

Bethan said she had gone to diet groups before, but something changed after a friend invited her to come back to her local Slimming World weight loss support group.

(Bethan McGregor / SWNS)
(Bethan McGregor / SWNS)

She explained: “It was the first time not going of my own accord.

“I had been to that group before but put the weight back on, so I was embarrassed and worried it would be judged.

“I didn’t feel mentally ready to tackle the challenge but time was ticking.”

Women’s chances of getting pregnant decline dramatically after the age of 40, so Bethan felt she only had three years to get her weight down.

But after joining Slimming World again in September 2021, something felt different.

(Bethan McGregor / SWNS)

She said: “I wish I knew what changed. I used to buy crisps and chocolate from the shop, eat them in my car and hide the packets.

“I was obsessed with food. Now I plan all my meals and take my journey one meal at a time.

“I get support from the group and always stay after weighing in. There was never any judgement and the consultant is so invested in your journey.”

Even now when she goes on holiday, Bethan finds nearby groups to attend to keep her motivation up.

Not only is she hopeful to be able to have a child of her own, but she’s been able to enjoy life more too.

She said: “I feel completely different. I didn’t use to exercise, my back and feet would hurt.

“I have more energy now, I’m comfortable getting dressed up to go out. I used to cancel plans because my clothes wouldn’t fit me.

“I used to drive the dog to the beach and throw the ball for him, now we walk for hours together every day.”

She recently took part in the Macmillan Mighty Hike and walked 13 miles for charity.

The hike ended in Rhossili in Swansea and was a full circle moment for Bethan, considering just 12 months earlier she could not manage the walk to the bay from the car park.

She said: “I was exhausted but exhilarated, I couldn’t believe I’d done it.”

Her previous eating habits used to include a bacon bap in the morning, a battered sausage, chips and a bread roll for lunch, and lasagne with garlic bread or a takeaway for dinner.

Now a typical day includes oat pancakes with berries, stir-fried salmon for lunch and hunter’s chicken and chips for dinner.

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