Ad­ver­tiser Life We slimmed our way to re­gional award fi­nals

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Martin Mere - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ @ByrneChristy

TWO South­port Slim­ming World mem­bers have made it to the re­gional fi­nals of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Woman Of The Year com­pe­ti­tion.

Sheila Sheri­dan and Ni­cola Ashcroft made such progress at the group on Old Park Lane in High Park that they were nom­i­nated for award by their peers.

They told their fel­low slim­mers their sto­ries, and Ni­cola made it to the fi­nal 10.

Ni­cola, a 35-year-old mother-of-two, said: “Telling my story to around 120 peo­ple was quite nerver­ack­ing, I could talk the leg off a dog but not about my­self.

“I lost 6st 1lb with Slim­ming World, but I lost a stone and a half be­fore I joined be­cause I felt like I was too big to join.

“I know that sounds re­ally silly and I kind of re­gret that now be­cause I would have had more cer­tifi­cates!

“One of my big things was I have a bad vein in my leg.

“Ev­ery time I flew I thought I was go­ing to die, I know it sounds dra­matic but it would swell, and then I would hy­per­ven­ti­late on the plane.

“I was go­ing to Amer­ica, I’d been in 2015 and I’d never ex­pe­ri­enced pain like it in my life, but I was at my heav­i­est then, about 18 stone four pounds.

“It’s very hot, you go round the parks and my legs were swelling, it was hor­ren­dous.

“So when we got back and booked to go again I thought I had to lose weight, I don’t want to feel like I want to die, it’s not fair on my kids to see me pan­ick­ing like that.

“My goal was to swim with dol­phins, and you had to wear a wet­suit, so I said I was go­ing to Amer­ica, get­ting into the wet­suit, and I was go­ing to slim with dol­phins.

“I don’t have a bad back any more, I’m re­ally con­fi­dent, I’m just lov­ing my life.

“I feel like I’ve got a new life, now is my time, I’m happy, healthy, con­fi­dent, I’m like a new per­son.”

Her men­tor, Fiona Foul­der, was full of praise.

She said: “Ni­cola joined and within 13 months she had lost 6st 1lb with lots of sup­port from the group, loads of ideas and in­spi­ra­tion. She was to­tally on it, she got nom­i­nated to be Woman Of The Year in our group.

“She was in na­tional cri­te­ria so we went to the re­gional fi­nals, where there were about 40 ladies, and they all did their story, the judges had a talk to turn the 40 into the fi­nal 10 and Ni­cola made it into the fi­nal 10.

“It was amaz­ing, very spe­cial day.

“I’m just so proud of her, what she’s achieved, the life­style changes she’s made, but also how she is now in­flu­enc­ing other peo­ple’s jour­neys and help­ing them to achieve their weight loss.

Ni­cola spoke of her grat­i­tude to Fiona for the sup­port that has changed her life, af­ter a chance meet­ing in­spired by an um­brella.

“The peo­ple at Slim­ming World are amaz­ing, ev­ery­one’s got so many ideas.

“Fiona is amaz­ing, I love her to death, I met her through my son join­ing her hus­band’s foot­ball team.

“She was stood on the edge of the field in the rain with a Slim­ming World um­brella, I just poured my heart out to her on the edge of the foot­ball field.

“She even comes round and helps me plan my shop­ping to­gether.”

Dee Wright, who helped Sheila through to the fi­nals, said: “It’s just an hon­our to sup­port peo­ple to lose the weight, achieve their dreams and to en­joy that day with them.

“It was just fan­tas­tic, and to see their con­fi­dence was just awe­some.

“We just want to help them get to tar­get but it’s ev­ery­thing that comes with it, the con­fi­dence, the health ben­e­fits.

“I’ve got peo­ple who are no longer di­a­betic, or no longer mor­bidly obese, there’s so many ben­e­fits.

“What you see at the fi­nals are the peo­ple that walk into your door with no con­fi­dence or self-es­teem that have be­come th­ese blos­soms who talk about their weight loss with a smile on their face.

“You re­mem­ber the way they walked in and its amaz­ing.”

Fiona added that achiev­ing tar­get weight was not the end of the jour­ney.

“When they get to tar­get we give them a tar­get book­let that helps them main­tain their new weight.

“If they car­ried on do­ing ex­actly what they’d been do­ing then they’d carry on los­ing weight, but we don’t want them go­ing back to old habits and eat­ing the higher calo­rie foods so the tar­get plan is then tai­lored to help them main­tain it in a healthy way.”

Dee added: “We’re here to help ev­ery­one, it’s not just a diet, it’s a life­style change so it’s sus­tain­able.”

Ni­cola Ashcroft with her old jeans and, be­low, af­ter she slimmed to achieve her dream of swim­ming with dol­phins

Dee Wright, Sheila Sheri­dan, Ni­cola Ashcroft and Fiona Foul­der and, right, Dee and Sheila with her cer­tifi­cate

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