A powerlifting champion who transformed her life by reassessing her relationship with food through Slimming World is now aiming to help others.
Joanne Creese, 47, joined her local Slimming World group in Ystrad Mynach six months ago and dropped from 8st 11.5lbs to 7st 9.5lbs.
While she admits she did not have a lot of weight to lose, she wanted to join the group to learn more about nutrition and to “fall back in love with food”.
As a British and Welsh Powerlifting Champion, Joanne was fit and active but had focused all of her eating around fitness and competition. An injury in late 2018 stopped Joanne’s competitive lifting and forced her re-focus on what she was eating and why.
Joanne, from Nelson, realised that she needed help with finding a better eating balance – to change the patterns she had fallen into.
In March 2019, she set her apprehensions aside and was ready to join Slimming World.
She said: “Before joining the Ystrad Mynach group, I was nervous. I thought people would doubt me, as I was fit and in a healthy weight range – I could not have been more wrong.
“The group was welcoming, friendly and non-judgemental. I was given guidelines about healthy weights and weight loss, which I followed. I was so impressed by the focus and help in finding a balance that worked for me, especially whilst I was out of training and routine. I soon found out, one size doesn’t fit all.”
She added: “Slimming World opened my eyes and I fell back in love with food and cooking for my family. I ate more, cooked more and smiled more.”
Joanne now feels more in control of what she eats.
“I thought I was destined to struggle with my diet for the rest of my life,” said Joanne. “But when I came to Slimming World it was different. I never felt like I was on a diet or had to live within a regime where food was fuel rather than fun.
“The eating plan encourages you to eat lots of tasty, filling foods like pasta, rice, potatoes and lean meat and fish, you are never hungry and no foods are banned.”
So impressed with what she had learnt through Slimming World, Joanne decided to train as one of its consultants.
On October 14 she is due to relaunch the group based at Penallta Rugby Club.
With a growing obesity crisis nationally, Joanne said her new role is vital in helping local people.
She said: “It is a privilege for me to be able to pass on the experience, insight and understanding that helped me.
“Support is really the most important thing. It all starts with feeling that you’re not alone. As someone who has lost weight and found a plan that works, I know the challenges people can face. I will be there to support every one of my members all the way to their chosen target weight.”
– Joanne’s Slimming World group will be held at Penallta Rugby Football Club every Monday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm from October 14.
For more information call 07530 343262 or visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk.