When Diane Semley from Corringham, near Gainsborough, joined Slimming World, it was a bit of an accident.
A chance cup of tea with a friend started her journey to losing nearly 4 stone.
Now she has become the latest consultant to join Slimming World.
“I was at a friend’s house and saw all these cards on her fridge,” said Diane.
“I asked her what they were and she explained they were Slimming World award certificates for losing weight, but that she was struggling to keep it up.”
Diane had tried to lose weight for some years but didn’t think sitting in a group talking about it would help.
But she offered to join her friend at the next meeting for moral support.
“I didn’t really want to go but I knew I needed to lose weight and wanted to help my friend. So I thought I would give it a shot,” said Diane.
“I was really sceptical and was terrified at the first meeting. But the Slimming World consultant made me feel at ease and the group were so friendly and welcoming.”
“Sometimes during the journey I wanted to give in but the group rallied round and pulled me through it.”
Diane had battled with depression and bad health for some years. Then she was diagnosed as asthmatic and she hoped losing weight would help her get back on track.
“People always saw me as the jolly fat bird but inside I was far from that” she said.
“I hated the way I looked and the fact that I could not indulge my passion for corset and dressmaking as well as my life long work on the stage.”
“I had been in denial for so long and my big problem was comfort eating.”
“My breakfast would be half a dozen biscuits then a couple of bars of chocolate mid morning, followed by a sandwich for lunch, if I was lucky, then more cookies and chocolate.” Of course any change in eating requires some degree of will power, and Diane has found that the Slimming World eating plans really help with this.
“I’ve never eaten so much food and I don’t have the room to pick and comfort eat,” she said.
“I start the day with a banana and a full cooked breakfast, then for lunch I have a big salad or jacket potato followed by a healthy snack or piece of fruit mid afternoon, and a really big dinner in the evening with the odd glass of wine thrown in.”
And to those who think it is expensive to eat healthily Diane says: “My weekly grocery bills have gone down considerably.” “Planning my meals cuts down on waste and I only had to adapt some of my regular recipes to make them work on the plan - most of them for the better.”
On the day Diane joined her first session she had been on a dressmaking course and was professionally measured.
Four months later when she returned for the second half of the course the teacher sent her down the road to buy a new bra.
“I had dropped from a 40DD to a 36C and my shape was beginning to change dramatically,” she said.
At times when her weight loss slowed Diane used these measurements as inspiration to keep going.
She said: “I expected to lose some inches but the most surprising was the five inches I lost of each thigh - I didn’t know I had it to lose.”
And as after losing all that weight, Diane has seen a dramatic change in her health.
“I can not believe how well I feel. I no longer suffer with asthma, my bouts of depression have gone and my confidence levels have gone through the roof.”
Diane now has the confidence to stand up in front of people again. And as well as taking up the challenge of going back to her work in the theatre, she will be opening her own Slimming World group at YaSiG, Bridge Street, Gainsborough on 2nd August at 7.30pm.
“I have so much energy now I can get on with just enjoying life and help others get there too.”
l Diane is the consultant at the new Gainsborough Slimming World group, Thursdays at 7.30pm at YaSiG, Bridge Street.