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Go clubbing to get in shape for 2021

Just because we are in lockdown again, doesn’t mean that diet clubs can’t offer the group support that they usually do. Here Slimming World consultant Laura Schofield explains the benefits still on offer.

How long have you been a consultant?

I’ve been a consultant seven years but as a company we’ve been helping members lose weight for over 51 years now and we’ve got such a really well-established network of groups. In Stratford we know our members, we know our community, and we know they love coming to group, even if it’s from the comfort of their own home at the moment.

How did you get on board with Slimming World?

I went to a Slimming World group because one day I sat down at work and my trousers split, and I thought I can’t keep putting this off. I didn’t want to do something that was all weighing and measuring, and what you can and can’t eat. Somebody had given me a Slimming World magazine and there were beautiful pictures of foods – and I thought can I really eat spaghetti bolognaise and roast dinner? And I could! I lost about 13 lbs in my first few weeks, and then lost five stone in total.

I’ve been in or around that target range for a few years now. With Slimming World you can have that big life moment like lockdown, or having a baby, and you can just get back on it because it’s normal food.

Now there are so many different methods and approaches, what is it Slimming World that people like?

Well, at its core it’s simplistic family friendly food – you can have chips but they are made in a slightly different way. What we’re about is allowing our members to eat normal food and feed everyone else, and I think that’s where the longevity comes from. Anyone can pick up the magazine and make the recipe, you don’t need special equipment, special scales, it’s just practical stuff. There's also the psychology that Slimming World has developed, and why being in a club makes a difference.

What mindset do people need to have when they’re joining?

I think they just have to be open to hearing from the other group members, to listening, to going for it. That doesn’t necessarily need to be 100 per cent on the first day, but just going with the thought process that I’m going to change the way I eat or my health, for my physical wellbeing, and then the weightloss will follow.

Meetings are now held virtually online rather than in person, how is that going?

It’s going really well. I’ve got members of all ages logging in, it keeps them motivated, particularly for those members that are shielded or that live alone, they feel supported by the group.

We know that health and wellbeing is so important in the fight against Covid-19, and it’s about encouraging people to stick with it. We’re all still pulling together, we’re just doing it with our slippers on.

It’s often pointed out that most people who lose weight put it all back on, what do you say to that?

We do have members that lose weight and then come back a year or two later and we always accept them with open arms, because we don’t know what’s happened in those intervening years. What we do find is what we are encouraging people to do is to change the way they eat forever, and the majority of people do that.

One of my greatest successes wasn’t necessarily to do with weight loss, it was a member who discovered how to make curry from scratch and how easy it was – she had relied on microwave meals before and was amazed.

What would you say to people thinking about coming who might be a bit hesitant?

I can understand the hesitancy, I was nervous, I didn’t know what to expect. I would say walk through the door, the virtual door or the physical door, give us a call and just have a chat.

We never judge, we never humiliate, we never embarrass, I never say “ Hello Mary, you’re 18 stone today” it’s nothing like that.

We’re not scary we’re about normal food and we’re here to help and support absolutely everybody.

Find out more at www.slimmingworld.co.uk

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