Weigh to go for local consultant
Carol retires from Slimming World after 32 years
With Christmas and New Year now out of the way, thoughts will turn to shedding all that excess weight we might have put on.
But for many Rutherglen and Cambuslang slimmers, one familiar face who will have helped them over the years will be missing.
Carol Downes has been a Slimming World consultant in the town for 32 years.
But just before the end of the year, she retired having helped hundreds of residents shed thousands of stone over the decades.
Carol, who turns 65 this month, is now looking forward to concentrating on her other loves in life, such as golf and travelling.
She will leave behind a remarkable legacy of helping people stay healthy and feel better about themselves.
Carol, of Jedburgh Avenue, told the Reformer: “I have seen hundreds of people over the years get to their target weight.
“They really do get a new lease of life and become more confident. “I have loved it.” Carol had worked as a secretary before going into Slimming World consultancy. A talented singer, she even performed for the Queen of Denmark with her choir.
Looking back on when she started, Carol said: “I had been on every diet under the sun.
“Way back then they were advertising for consultants.
“Now you can only do it if you had been to a group.
“I actually did the plan with my group, that’s not allowed now. You’ve got to have actually lost the weight.
“When I started I wanted to lose two stone. Throughout the years I’ve lost 80 stone at various times, but it’s been the same two stone.
“I actually found it easy. The plan is not a diet and I could identify with the people who had the same problem with their weight.
“I’ve been through those trials and tribulations.
“Losing weight is like stopping smoking and there is a similar stigma attached if someone is really overweight.”
Carol, who will also stand down from her role as secretary at Kirkhill Golf Club to become vice-captain, started out as a consultant at a class in St Columbkille’s Hall where she stayed until the fire in 2004 when she moved to Rutherglen West and Wardlawhill.
While she has many success stories, she admits some do stand out.
“There has been one recently who has become a consultant who has lost six stones in weight and kept it off.
“There is another who comes to the group, she reached her target seven years ago and has stayed there. When I was leaving she put her arms around me and said she didn’t want me to go.
“I hope everyone who comes through the door reaches their target, but not everyone does.
“The ones that do, the job satisfaction is just fantastic.
“You see people and the difference in them is phenomenal.
“You are changing people’s lives and I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been.”
Weight to go Carol Downes (left) pictured with her successor Lynn Hughes and entertainer Jason Donovan