As hundreds of people embark on weight loss plans and exercise classes, one Crawley slimming group is celebrating a year of successes.
The Maidenbower Slimming World group has proved so popular over the past year that consultant Carly Milham, is adding a fifth session to her schedule this month.
Celebrating six years as a consultant, she has seen the groups go from strength to strength. They now welcome 250 people each week losing up to 80 stone between them every month. Last year one of her members, Charlene Langhorn, reached the national finals of Slimming World’s Woman of the Year awards.
Carly became a consultant after overcoming her own struggle with weight.
She said: “In 2008 I saw a picture of myself - on a camping trip just before my birthday. It was the last straw.
“I remember feeling hot and uncomfortable on that holiday. I put it down to the heatwave at the time - but when I saw that picture I knew that it was me. I had to do something about it.
“I had previously tried every single diet that was about, all of which seemed to work at the time but all of which deprived me of real food.
“I’d heard about Slimming World and took myself off to my local group. As soon as I walked in the room I knew I had made the right decision.
“I was so nervous but the consultant was so friendly and the other members welcomed me straight in. I found out that I could eat loads and lose weight and I was hooked.”
In the next 14 months she lost five and a half stone, dropping from a size 24 to a size 12.
She said: “Becoming a consultant was the best decision I ever made and I look forward to seeing the members in groups every single week.
“The amount of help and support the members give each other each week blows me away - practical tips, food ideas, shopping tips, support and sharing. I can’t wait for ‘taster weeks’ when the members bring in loads of food and we share in Free Food buffets - unlimited foods that can be eaten freely and that help to give amazing weight losses.
“My favourites are the curries, breakfast muffins, pasta salads and of course chips.”
Carly’s Maidenbower groups run on Thursdays, 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Maidenbower Junior School at and on Saturdays, at 7.30am, 9.30am and 11.30am at the Brook School.
Other consultants hold groups in Tilgate, Three Bridges, Gossops Green, Bewbush, as well as in nearby Horley and Copthorne.
For more information go to www.slimmingworld.co.uk