A MOTHER and daughter from Winnersh are starting the new year as they mean to go on – nine stone lighter.
Sue (54) and Charlotte (23) Smith (not their real name) said that their lives have been turned around after joining a Slimming World group in a bid to lose weight.
And the advantages have been more than being able to buy a new wardrobe. Charlotte says it has helped her learn how to cook, while it has also helped boost their confidence.
This time last year, it was very different.
Charlotte said: “It’s a bit cliché really but we entered the new year and I wasn’t happy with myself, so I decided it was time for a change and decided to rejoin Slimming World”.
She managed to persuade Sue to come along. “We had both done it before and been unsuccessful because we weren’t committed and, to be honest, our heads weren’t in right place at that time, but this time has been different. I wanted to do it for myself but also I had the support of Charlotte to keep me on track,” Sue said.
The support from the group has seen the Smiths make some big changes to their lives.
“I can cook now which is a bonus,” Charlotte said. “I cook every meal from scratch and I’ve really experimented with different flavours and ingredients.”
And for Sue, it has changed her relationship with food. She said: “ I’m more aware of my portion sizes and I look out for those hidden calories in alcohol and when I’m eating out.
“We love sharing our new recipes with family and friends, too – they taste so great and people are always surprised to learn they’re good for them. As we’ve lost weight we’ve enjoyed being more active as well, which means we do more together.
“When we first joined Slimming World we couldn’t believe how much food we could eat and still lose weight. Making small changes to the way we cooked our meals meant we could still enjoy all of our favourites meals.
“We’re lucky because as well as the support we had from each other; the rest of the group have also been there for us.
“Every week in our group we swap recipes and if we’ve ever struggled there has always been someone ready to suggest a new idea or remind us why we started this journey.
“I don’t think we could have achieved all we have without the support of our consultant Jane and the rest of the Winnersh group.”
Sue said that she has not yet reached her target weight, but is confident that she will.
“I feel so much better in myself, I’ve got lots of energy and I’m enjoying exercise,” she explained.
Charlotte added: “I definitely didn’t see myself as a gym enthusiast but that’s what Slimming World has made me. I’m also not exactly where I want to be just yet but if I keep doing my exercise and stay on plan with my food I know I can reach my goal,” she said.
Jane Ings, who runs the Winnersh Slimming World group, said: Charlotte and Sue are living proof that slimmers are more successful when they lose weight together and get support and motivation from others.
“Seeing their weight come down week after week has been a joy. They’re a real inspiration to the rest of the group, including me.”
The Winnersh Slimming World group meets at the church of St Mary the Virgin in Church Close on Wednesdays at 9.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm. For more details, call 07855 016345 or search for slimmingworldWAC on Facebook.