South Shields gran becomes ‘Greatest Loser’

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A woman who’s weight prevented her from leaving her home has been crowned a South Tyneside slimming group’s ‘Greatest Loser.’

Barbara Hawes’ was 21st before she found the courage to visit a Slimming World group, last March.

The 52-year-old’s health had began to suffer and leaving her unable to leave the house due to the strain her weight was putting on her body.

Now, 12-months on, with the help of the Charles Young Centre Slimming World Group, the grandmother has shed a life-changing 7st 2lbs and dropped from a size 26 to 14-16.

She has also been awarded the title of the group’s ‘Greatest Loser’ of 2017.

Barbara, who was told about the group by a friend, said: “Walking through those doors was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I was embarrassed about my size and scared that I might be the biggest person there. I needn’t have worried though, everyone there was so friendly especially my Consultant Claire and I was so relieved when I found out that my weight was confidential between me and her – I’d had visions of having to tell everyone how much I weighed.

I feel like a new woman since losing weight – in fact, I look so different that people who I haven’t seen for a while often can’t believe I’m the same person.

Barbara Hawes

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a loser when it feels this good. I feel like a new woman since losing weight – in fact, I look so different that people who I haven’t seen for a while often can’t believe I’m the same person.

“For me though it’s the change on the inside that’s been the greatest – I’m happier, healthier and much more confident now.

“Before I lost the weight I hated having my photo taken and whenever I saw pictures of myself I knew that my smile wasn’t real. My weight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I like to fit to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath.”

Barbara followed the club’s Food Optimising eating plan and swapped takeaways and convenience foods for fakeaways, chillis, curries and burgers.

Claire Ball, who runs the Charles Young Centre Slimming World group said: “The changes we’ve seen in Barbara are incredible. I hope her success will inspire other people in South Shields who’d like to lose weight by forming new lifestyle habits and become happier and healthier to take action.”

The Charles Young Centre group meets every Thursday at 9.30am & 11.30am at The Charles Young Centre, Talbot Road. To join call Claire on 07903 612 121.