A Corby woman who ditched her double McDonald’s breakfasts has been named the town’s Greatest Loser after she shed a life-changing 7st 8lbs.
Dedicated Amanda Coulter joined the Danesholme Slimming World group after she tipped the scales at 20st, 9.5lb.
The 41-year-old says she couldn’t do simple daily tasks without getting out of breath. But now she is 13st, 1.5lb and feels like a new woman.
Amanda said: “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a loser when it feels this good! I feel like a new woman since losing weight – in fact, I look so different that people who I haven’t seen for a while often can’t believe I’m the same person.
“For me though it’s the change on the inside that’s been the greatest – I’m happier, healthier and much more confident now.”
Amanda joined the Danesholme group, which is run by Slimming World legend Sonia Mathieson in March 2017, and was this week named the Greatest Loser 2018.
She said: “My weight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I like to fit to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath.
“Before I lost the weight I hated having my photo taken and whenever I saw pictures of myself I knew that my smile wasn’t real – yet now I’m beaming!”
Amanda’s weight was also putting a huge strain on her health. She could only walk short distances.
People who are severely overweight, with a BMI above 30, are more likely to suffer from health problems like coronary heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer, and obesity is linked to a reduction in life expectancy of between seven and nine years. Corby has one of the worst obesity rates out of all the local authorities in the country.
After taking a recommendation from a friend, Amanda decided to join the 5.30pm Tuesday Slimming World group at Danesholme . She says: “Walking through those doors was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I was embarrassed about my size and scared that I might be the biggest person there. I needn’t have worried though, everyone there was so friendly especially my consultant Sonia and I was so relieved when I found out that my weight was confidential – I’d had visions of having to tell everyone how much I weighed!
“Since then I’ve made so many friends at the group and I honestly don’t think I could have done it without their support each week. They helped me with recipes and tips and if I was ever struggling they were always there to remind me why I’d wanted to lose weight in the first place and how far I’d come since first stepping through the doors.”
Amanda followed the club’s Food Optimising eating plan and swapped unhealthy quick McDonald’s breakfasts (sometimes two) meals for Slimming World blueberry waffles, strawberries and bananas. Dinners have been given an overhaul too.
Amanda added: “People think slimming means going hungry, eating nothing but salad or obsessively counting every calorie you eat, it’s not like that at all with Slimming World though. I love food and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet.
“I still enjoy all my favourite meals like burgers and chips and roast dinners but I’ve learned how to make small changes like using lean meat or cooking with low calorie spray instead of oil or butter.”
Group leader Sonia Mathieson said: “The changes we’ve seen in Amanda are incredible. She is an inspiration and has encouraged others to join, equally transforming their lives! Her determination is catching and the other members love her. I hope her success will inspire other people who’d like to lose weight.
Each of Slimming World’s 18,000 groups in the UK and Ireland has their own Greatest Loser 2018 and winners will go forward to the national competition. Amanda is now waiting to find out if she is in the running for the £3,000 cash prize.
The Danesholme group meets every Tuesday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Danesholme Community Centre (off Motala Close). To join call Sonia on 01536 508980 or just turn up.