Being the best at losing wouldn’t normally help you to scoop an award... but one woman from Louth has done just that after being named the town’s ‘Greatest Loser’.
That’s because Kathryn Johnson has lost a life-changing 6 st 10lbs to take the title, recently awarded to the member of the Meridian Leisure Centre Slimming World group who has lost the most weight.
Kathryn, 33, who has gone from 16st down to 9st 8lbs, said: “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a loser when it feels this good!
“For me, it’s the change on the inside that’s been the greatest – I’m happier, healthier and more confident now.”
Kathryn joined the Louth group, run by Jane Rylands-Bolton, just six months ago.
Kathryn said: “My weight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from suffering with poor health to struggling to find clothes that I like to fit.
“I couldn’t do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath. Before I lost the weight I hated having my photo taken, and whenever I saw pictures of myself I knew that my smile wasn’t real – yet now I’m beaming!”
Kathryn added that walking into Slimming World ‘one of the hardest things’ she had ever done, as she felt embarrassed by her size and scared that she might be the biggest person there.
She said: “I needn’t have worried. Everyone there was so friendly, and I was so relieved when I found out that my weight was confidential.
“Since then I’ve made so many friends at the group and I honestly don’t think I could have done it without their support each week.
“I’ve become a social team member and feel part of our Slimming World family now.”
Kathryn followed the club’s ‘Food Optimising’ eating plan and swapped high-fat meals for curries, spaghetti bolognese, and Diet Coke chicken.
She said: “People think slimming means going hungry, eating nothing but salad or obsessively counting every calorie you eat - it’s not like that at Slimming World.
“I love food and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’.
“I still enjoy all my favourite meals like burgers and chips and roast dinners but I’ve learned how to make small changes like using lean meat or cooking with low calorie spray instead of oil or butter.
“It’s a change that I’ve made for life, and I have the tools I need to keep up forever.”
Today, Kathryn has shrunk to size 10 dresses and she is also more active, regularly walking, swimming, and going to the gym.
Jane, who runs the Slimming World group, said: “The changes we’ve seen in Kathryn are incredible. I hope her success will inspire other people in the local area who’d like to lose weight by forming new lifestyle habits and become happier and healthier to take action.
“There’s a warm welcome waiting and, just think, if you start today you could feel like a completely new person just like Kathryn.”
Each Slimming World group has its own ‘Greatest Loser 2018’ and winners go to the national competition.
Kathryn is now waiting to find out if she’s in the running for the £3,000 cash prize.
She says: “I would love to win but I didn’t lose weight to win a competition, I wanted to feel healthier and better about myself and I’ve definitely done that.
“I feel great and that’s priceless.”
• The Louth group meets every Wednesday at 9.30am at the Meridian Leisure Centre. To join, call Jane on 01673838071 or pop along.