A woman from Crawley is setting up her own slimming club after dropping five dress sizes and losing nearly four stone in weight.
As a former air hostess Jennifer Howe from Worth was subjected to regular weight checks and her body image was under constant scrutiny at work.
Years ago she started her flying career weighing 8.5 stone, during and years away from the UK her weight increased to 9.5 stone which put her on ‘the fat list’ and her weight monitored.
Returning to the UK and joining a new company the weight started to creep on, she began comfort eating and the vicious cycle began.
She tried and failed several weight loss programmes, but her battle with her weight continued until she needed surgery on her right knee.
Hope came when she was planning her wedding to husband Jason, but after losing a few pounds, she was still stuck at a size 22.
She said: “The honeymoon came and went. We went to Florida, but there weren’t a lot of roller coaster rides for us because of her size.
“Not only was it uncomfortable but embarrassing with people looking as I got off the rides after the safety harnesses wouldn’t fit.
“So after a year of marriage we decided to try for a family as time was moving on but unfortunately after a failed pregnancy and a few more years of no luck we decided to investigate about the possibility of adoption, however the killer blow for me was being told I was ‘too old and too fat’ to adopt.”
It was then she turned to Slimming World and she was finally on the journey to winning her battle with her weight.
Jennifer, who now trains flight attendant crews for easyJet, said: “I soon learnt about food optimising, learnt how to cook again, how to make delicious meals with fresh ingredients, what was considered as ‘free’ foods and you could eat as much as you wanted and still guaranteed a weight loss.
“As my surgery went ahead as planned, Jason brought me to group every week and popped me onto the scales, as I was on crutches for eight weeks.”
But still the weight was dropping off and more importantly her health was improving and her confidence was growing as she was encouraged by other members of the group held in Maidenbower.
Nine months on, she has now lost 3st, 10.5lbs and also embarking on a new career.
She said: “It’s made such a difference not only to my life and health but also Jason’s too, by eating the same as me he has now lost two stone.”
Jennifer’s work colleagues have noticed a difference in her confidence and eating habits. Four of her work colleagues have joined her group and now are too enjoying the same benefits it has to offer.
Jennifer has now trained as a Slimming World consultant herself and is relaunching an existing group in Tilgate.
She said: “This is something that I am so excited to start doing as I want to help others who are in the same predicament as I once was - in pain and unhappy about my weight and appearance.
“So come and join me at Holy Trinity Church, Tilgate, Crawley.
“It’s every Monday at 5.30pm and also 7.30pm, so you choose the time that best suits you and I will be there.”
For more information about Slimming World and find groups held at different times in the Crawley area go to www.slimmingworld.co.uk