GEMMA Brown joined Ellen Doolan’s Slimming World group, held in WAMA (Waterford Academy of Music and Arts) at Passage Cross on the Dunmore Road, when they were initially able to reopen after the first lockdown.
“It had gotten to the point with my weight where I realised enough was enough, I needed to do something,” said Gemma. “Every Monday I would start a diet and by 11am I would be back to eating unhealthily. My sister recommended Slimming World, she was a member of Ellen’s group herself and I decided to give it a go.
“From day 1, I’ve loved Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan, I could not believe the variety of foods I could eat in unlimited amounts and still lose weight. I lost 7lbs in my first week and I’ve never looked back.
“I loved being able to make small changes to our favourite meals so we could all enjoy our favourite curries, stir fried noodles, lasagnes, pizza topped chicken and most importantly chips!”
Within four weeks Gemma had lost one stone and was the ‘Slimmer of the Month’ for October but unfortunately due to Covid restrictions all Slimming World groups had to close and resume their online virtual service.
Gemma said: “At first I was upset that we could not attend our weekly meetings in person as I loved the support we got each week in group from fellow members and our consultant Ellen. I gave the virtual service a try though, weighing in at home each week and attending a weekly zoom. I was so surprised at how much fun and how motivating the weekly online meetings were. It was so good to catch up with my fellow members, we helped each other out through lockdown with lots of recipes, hints and tips and Ellen always made sure that the sessions were thoroughly enjoyable and motivating.”
Gemma had lost 1.5 stone by Christmas 2020 and continued with the virtual service until groups fully reopened and by the time she returned to in-person meetings in November 2021 she had lost a phenomenal three stone.
The highlight for Gemma this year was achieving her four stone award at the end of February and being crowned the ‘Greatest Loser’ in her group, a worthy recognition for her amazing weight loss and dedication.
On achieving the award Gemma thanked her fellow members and shared how much losing weight has changed her life. Gemma says: “When I first joined Slimming World I hated having my photo taken, I always had them taken from the neck up but now I love dressing up and taking a selfie or having a full length photo taken, I have worked really hard to improve my health and my confidence has really soared.
“I never miss group if I can help it, just being in a room of like-minded people who completely understand the struggle is crucial, we support each other when we are down and celebrate each other’s successes. I am looking forward to reaching my personal dream weight soon and I will never go back to the weight I was when I started.”
Huge congratulations Gemma, we are so proud of you.
Gemma is a member of Ellen Doolan’s Slimming World group in WAMA, Passage Cross, Dunmore Road