Advertiser Life We slimmed our way to regional award finals
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.”