Jan 13 2012 by David Wynn, Kilmarnock Standard
THEY’VE shed a massive 2000 stones among them and looking forward to a healthy new future.
And the determined team of slimmers hope that their collective effort will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
The remarkable total weight loss was clocked up by members of Slimming World groups across Ayrshire in 2011.
The 15 groups, which include those in Ayr; Kilmarnock; Troon; Prestwick; Irvine; Galston and Kilmaurs, are packed full of fantastic stories of achievement by members.
Lesley Lochore, 29, is one of them.
She dropped five dress sizes after shedding over seven stones.
Childminder Lesley, who attends Slimming World classes on Wednesday nights at the Hunting Lodge, Kilmarnock, with mum Lynne and two of her sisters, said: “I'd struggled with my weight for years. At my heaviest my health was deteriorating badly.
“I'd tried every which way to lose weight on my own but I'd never really given going to a group a try.
“It's a big thing to admit that you can't do it by yourself and you need help, but it was the best decision I've ever made and I urge anyone who wants to lose weight and has failed in the past to give Slimming World a chance.
“You won't ever look back.”
And joining her in the club’s hall of fame is Lyndsey Wedlock, 34, of Ayr.
She shed three stones eight pounds in less than six months, going from a size 18 to an eight.
Mum-of-two Lyndsey added: “I was really nervous about joining a group but there was no need to be because everyone was so friendly.
“It didn't take long before I felt part of the group and their friendship, support and motivation were so important to me – and still are in helping me to maintain my weight loss.”
And Margaret Irvine from Irvine lost almost eight stones in 18 months, bringing the 55-year-old down from a size 28 to a healthy 14.
She explained: “Slimming World recruits members who have lost weight to become consultants because it's so important to have a real understanding of the emotional and psychological issues that people who struggle with their weight go through.
“It was the support of my group and consultant that helped me to work through my own deep-seated emotions – guilt and unhappiness about my weight. The great thing is that because I've been a member I know exactly how people are feeling especially on that first night.
“When they first walk into our group I make sure we put them at ease and make them feel welcome because I've been in their shoes.”
Slimming World’s philosophy is based on its own healthy eating plan and an understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people. It also places emphasis on the support role provided and an encouragement to take part in physical activity.
Team developer Christine Higgins, who lives in Dalrymple, is in overall charge of the 15 Slimming World groups across Ayrshire.
The 31-year-old, like every other consultant, first signed up as a member and lost nearly three stones.
She said: “Every Slimming World group helps members achieve long-term success through healthy lifestyle changes.
“Food Optimising is a unique and healthy eating plan which satisfies the biggest of appetites. It encourages people to fill up on unlimited amounts of satisfying foods such as meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, eggs, pasta and much more, and to enjoy meals with the whole family.
“Just as importantly, we provide support 52 weeks of the year and our members know from the minute they first walk through the door, often when their self-esteem is at its lowest, that they will never be judged, that their details are completely confidential and that they are with people who understand them – because they've been Slimming World members themselves.”
New groups are set to be launched early this year and membership is expected to soon exceed the 600.
If you want to join Slimming World simply contact Christine on 07581 215 577.