An 18-YEAR-OLD girl from Portadown has reached the finals of a national slimming competition, after losing an amazing 6st 11b.
Sophie Woods got to the final 38 in Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2012 competition, voted through by her fellow members from all 10,000 Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland.
The competition recognises the enormous achievements of young people aged 15-21 in making long-term lifestyle changes to become fitter, healthier and happier.
Sophie joined the Portadown Slimming World group in March 2011 when she weighed over 16st. Thanks to Slimming World her life soon underwent a major transformation and she now weighs around 10 st.
She said, “I often felt like people were staring at me because I was bigger than everyone else and I’ve been called names. My confidence was really low, I knew that I needed to make changes and I knew I needed help. I went to Slimming World with my mum. When I first started everyone was friendly and helpful. It was much easier than I expected to start making healthy choices and I soon realised that I didn’t need to make drastic changes, just small things like swapping white bread for wholemeal or Coca Cola for Diet Coke made a big difference. The encouragement I got in the group from the other members and my consultant Amanda really kept me going.
“I would never miss my group. I love all the tips and recipes and support Amanda and the members give me. I know I have made friends for life.” Sophie was presented with a certificate and gift for her success in the Young Slimmer of the Year 2012 competition, which was held at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire on August 5. It was there she met former Strictly Come Dancing star and Wales footballer Robbie Savage, who came along to make the day extra special for the young people taking part.
Amanda Girvan, who runs the Portadown Slimming World group which Sophie attends, said, “Everyone is so proud of Sophie. What she’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight. Some young people may have made several attempts to manage their weight without success, often because they’ve tried faddy diets that leave them hungry and that are just too difficult to stick to in the long run. The changes Sophie has made now have given her the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and new active habits that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life. Most of all it’s given her the self-belief and confidence to achieve her dreams.
“Anyone who wants to lose weight – whatever their age – and wants to know more about the difference that Slimming World can make is welcome to pop along to my group at Hart Memorial Primary School every Monday at 3.30pm, 5.30pm or 7.30pm or give me a call on 07515 945461.”
Savage, who featured on the BBC’s Olympic coverage, said, “It’s been brilliant being involved in the London 2012 Olympics this summer because it’s reminded me of the amazing things that people can achieve when they set their minds to it. I’m equally in awe of the young slimmers I’ve met, like Sophie, and the way in which they’re transformed their lives. Losing weight hasn’t just made them fitter and healthier, it’s given them self-esteem, often for the first time ever in their lives. For someone so young to set themselves a goal and achieve it like Sophie has done is something to be very proud of.”