Emmerdale actor Anthony Quinlan congratulates Crawley super slimmer

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A super slimmer from Crawley was congratulated on losing 6st 7lbs by Emmerdale actor Anthony Quinlan after reaching the semi-finals of a national slimming competition.

Charlene Langhorn’s inspirational weight loss earned her a place as one of just 46 women from across the UK and Ireland who made the finals of Slimming World’s Woman of the Year 2015 competition.

Charlene - before

Charlene - before

Anthony, who made his name on TV as Gilly Roach in Hollyoaks and is currently playing Pete Barton in ITV1 soap Emmerdale, visited the organisation’s head office in Derbyshire on Sunday October 4 to help the slimmers celebrate.

Charlene, 35, joined the Maidenbower Slimming World group, which meets every Thursday at 7.30pm at Maidenbower Junior School, in August 2013.

She has since gone from 17st 10.5lbs to 11st 3.5lbs, and earlier this year her transformation inspired members of the group to vote her as their representative in the annual Woman of the Year competition. Then after winning the regional heat, Charlene secured a place in the national semi-finals.

She says: “I’d tried losing weight before – I’ve done pretty much every diet there is – yet I always found the plans that I followed too hard to stick to because they left me feeling hungry and deprived, which made me miserable. Slimming World was completely different, I don’t have to go hungry and I’ve never once felt like I’m missing out on anything. Many of the changes I’ve made to the way I cook and eat have been small ones, like swapping white bread for wholemeal and using low calorie spray instead of oil or butter in my cooking, but they’ve made a big difference to my weight. With Slimming World I still enjoy all my favourite dishes like lasagne too. The meals I cook taste great, so my family and friends are always happy to tuck in as well, which means I don’t have to spend time preparing different dishes for everyone and they’ve benefitted from eating more healthily without even trying. Nowadays, instead of snacking on biscuits or crisps, I’m more likely to have a piece of fruit or a fat-free yogurt. Although nothing’s banned at Slimming World so I still enjoy a glass of wine and some chocolate, too.”

Charlene says even with Slimming World’s easy eating plan she couldn’t have achieved all she has without the support of her Slimming World group.

“I can remember the first time I walked into the group I felt very self-conscious and so nervous, everyone was really friendly though and made me feel really welcome. Now I look forward to it every week. We swap recipes and advice, and it’s a lot of fun. The best thing is great support though and I don’t think I’d have been able to get to where I am today without my consultant Carly and the rest of the Maidenbower group.”

Carly Milham, who runs the Maidenbower Slimming World group which Charlene currently attends, said: “Charlene hasn’t only changed how she looks, she’s a different woman on the inside too. She’s blossomed into a happy, confident person and it’s been a pleasure to share in her journey. She’s already such an inspiration to so many of us in the Maidenbower group and I’m sure she’ll inspire even more people now.”

Anthony was amazed by Charlene’s weight loss. He says: “It was a real pleasure to meet Charlene and hear about her inspirational weight loss – she looks so happy and healthy now! I’m glad I didn’t have to be a judge in the competition because I think all of the women I met were amazing – they’ve completely changed their lives and that makes them all winners in my opinion.”

Unfortunately Charlene didn’t make the final of the competition. The overall winner of Slimming World Woman of the Year 2015 will be announced next month.

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