A local 50-year-old has been named Boyle’s Slimming World ‘Woman of the Year’ 2017 thanks to her life-changing loss of almost 9 stone weight loss.
Emma Butler (nee Dodd) has gone from 21st 1lb to 12st 3 1/2lb in just 17 months. And now she’s been chosen to represent the Boyle Slimming World group in the nationwide Slimming World Woman of the Year 2017 competition, which aims to find the UK and Ireland’s most inspiring female slimmer.
More than half of all women in the UK and Ireland (58%) are overweight and a quarter of women’s weight risks impacting on their health by increasing their chances of developing a range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Slimming World’s Woman of the Year competition recognises the achievements of thousands of women in making long-term healthy lifestyle changes.
Emma, who has gone from a dress size 24/26 to a 14, says: “When I started out I never dreamt I’d be able to achieve all that I have. Losing the weight has made such a big difference – it’s changed my life. My health is better as I now no longer need to take my high blood pressure medication which is a big benefit! I have more energy and I’m much happier now – now when I look in the mirror I love the person I see.”
Emma joined Slimming World on 15th September 2016 after becoming increasingly unhappy with her size. “ I have always struggled with my weight throughout my life and would turn to food for comfort. I was an older mum when I started my family and fell in to bad eating habits as I was so happy and content in my life and could not believe I had two healthy children and a loving husband. I would also prefer to relax and watch television with treats when I had free time rather than going out for fresh air. However 2016 had been a particularly difficult year for me as I had fallen a few days before my birthday in January and broken my right ankle. I was inactive and was laid up for almost five months. During this time I had also lost a very close aunt of mine that had been like my second mum and I turned to food to comfort me as I was so devastated. I piled on even more weight! The final straw for me was in August 2016 we went on our first family holiday abroad. When I got on the plane i was mortified that I needed an extra belt to extend my seat belt. I was so embarrassed. On returning from our holiday I already knew I needed to do something about my weight but seeing the photos made my final decision. I was horrified at how big i had become. I was so ashamed. I realised I needed to make changes and to be a role model for my children!”
With heart related problems in her family Emma says “Over the years I had witnessed both my parents having weight problems with related health conditions. My dad died from a massive heart attack when I was just 10 years old and my mum died from a stroke when I was 21 years. This was always in the back of my mind and losing 8st 11 1/2lb has put my mind more at ease for my own health.
“I tried lots of different diets over the years but nothing worked and I just gave up as I always found they left me feeling hungry and deprived. With Slimming World, it’s completely different, I never have to miss out and I don’t have to get hung up on weighing and measuring everything I eat. My family and friends are all amazed by how much I can eat and still lose weight. I still eat many of the same meals that I did before I started losing weight, like spaghetti bolognese, curries and roast dinners. Now I just prepare and cook them differently – and they taste so much better. I’ve picked up lots of new healthy recipes from the other members at my Slimming World group, too. Our family favourites are Diet Coke Chicken, Mushy Pea Curry and Beef and Pea Hotpot.”
“I know a lot of people worry about joining a slimming club because they don’t know what to expect. Right from the first moment I walked into my Slimming World group I felt comfortable, Tracy, the consultant was so warm and friendly, she put me at ease straightaway and the support I’ve received since has been amazing. I look forward to going to Slimming World each week as I have made great friends, it is fun and always motivating for the week ahead.”
Emma lost 5 lbs in her first week, 7lbs in her second week and by her third week had her 1 stone award, and she was blown away that the changes she’d made had such a big impact so quickly. As the weight started to come off, her fitness improved and now, she loves going out walking everyday whatever the weather.
She says: “I feel like a different woman to the scared person who walked into Slimming World 17 months ago and winning Woman of the Year is a real honour and a privilege to be chosen by my group as I could not have done it without the consultant’s and groups support. There are so many amazing members in our group whom I feel each one deserves the title too. I remember feeling like there was no hope when it came to my weight but I’ve realised that when people believe in you – and you believe in yourself – you can do anything you set your mind to. I really hope my weight loss can inspire other people to get started on their own journey and know that there’s a whole group of people waiting to support them every step of the way – especially at the Boyle and Roscommon Wednesday morning group that Tracy runs.”
Emma says “ My aunt who passed away always said damn it, do it, just believe in yourself! I hope that by sharing my story that I might help someone else take that step to joining their nearest slimming world group. It is such an amazing experience to belong to a great bunch of people supporting you every step of the way and *with the support of our great consultant, Tracy too. So join up and celebrate the start of a new healthier, slimmer you!”
Tracy, who runs the Roscommon Wednesday morning group in Gleeson’s and the Boyle group at the Spool Factory says: “I’m so proud of Emma.. “She’s a fantastic ambassador for Slimming World and what she’s achieved is nothing short of incredible! She’s a huge inspiration to everyone in our group and I hope she inspires other women – and men – in Co.Roscommon to change their lives in the same way.”
Tracy’s Slimming World group are held every Wednesday in Gleeson’s Roscommon at 9.30am and every Thursday at The Spool Factory, Boyle at 5.30pm & 7.30pm. To join or find out more call Tracy on 086 3891600 or email [email protected].