Zoe Harvey shares how she and her father lost weight together. Zoe’s dad Thomas, aged 55, shed 4st and Zoe lost 1st 12lbs, dropping from a size 14/16 to a 10/12.
Thomas is profoundly deaf and, as he communicates only through British Sign Language, he can struggle to fit into group activities due to communication difficulties. Zoe wanted to help her dad be included in a group where he could shed some weight before his holiday, so together they joined their local Slimming World Group in Baillieston and he was delighted to lose 3st before he went away.
Thomas couldn’t have done it without the help and support from his daughter who wanted her dad to be more healthy as obesity is becoming such a huge issue across the UK. They took the first daunting step of going through the door, feeling nervous and thinking they would be judged - Zoe was even more anxious as she wasn’t sure how the group would take to her dad’s deafness and how involved he would be - but once they met their consultant, Ann Marie, they were put at ease straight away!
They couldn’t wait to get started. Zoe has always loved baking cakes but changed that to cooking scrumptious hearty recipes for her family. Her favourite thing about being on the plan was still being able to socialise. She said “I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy all my favourite foods such as pasta, burgers, chips and chilli. I can even still have a wee fudge or Freddo at night with my tea.”
Zoe previously lacked confidence in herself, but since losing weight she loves treating herself to new clothes instead of sweets.
Following her success, Zoe decided to become a consultant. She travelled to Slimming World’s HQ in Derbyshire and said of her visit “It was beautiful! They call it the ‘big sparkly castle’ and now I know why!”
She completed a 3-day training weekend to become a Slimming World consultant and is excited about starting her own group in Barlanark Community Centre this month.
She said “I want to help so many people achieve their weight loss dreams just like me and my dad did. Also, as I know British Sign Language, deaf people will be able to come along to my group without experiencing any communication barriers. I can’t wait to get started, it‘ll be a relaxed, supportive and fun learning environment.”
Ann Marie Nairn who runs Slimming World’s Baillieston and Shettleston groups, and manages Zoe as a Team Developer, said: “Slimming World Consultants are chosen for their positive outlook and because they genuinely care about the health and happiness of others. With Zoe s experience of being a successful Slimming World member and her kind and warm personality and great sense of humour I just know that she’ll be an amazing support to members, cheering them all the way to their target weight.
“Slimming World helps to encourage members to do ‘Body Magic’ which can include anything from walking to the shops to gardening to going to the gym. It’s about getting members active in their daily lives as it has become an easy habit to take the car everywhere.”
Zoe’s Slimming World group will be held at Barlanark Community Centre every Monday at 5.30pm from Monday 2nd September. For more information or to join Zoe’s group either pop along or call her on 07446 981346.
For details of all Slimming World groups throughout the east end, see the ‘Noticeboard’.