Are you trying to lose weight in time for your big day? Slimming World’s Woman of the Year 2013 should provide all the inspiration you need!

At nearly 29st Kim Freshwater, 45, was used to avoiding social occasions like weddings and parties for fear of embarrassing her family. She had been severely overweight for nearly four decades but it was being forced to miss her son’s awards ceremony for fear of breaking his school’s chairs that was the final straw for her, and she knew something had to be done.

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She joined Slimming World and, in less than three years, she’s lost an incredible 17st 5lb, dropped from a dress size 36/38 to a 10/12, and been named as Slimming World’s Woman of the Year 2013! Quite a story!

“Before I lost weight I had to walk with sticks and I couldn’t fit in the seats at the cinema or on rides like rollercoasters,” says Kim. “I once broke a chair at my friend’s house, which was mortifying, and I even slept on the floor when we went away because I was so scared the bed wouldn’t be able to take my weight. I’ve missed so many wonderful moments with my family and I can never get those back, but now I’m determined to make up for lost time and there’s so much I want to do.”

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Kim’s problems began at primary school and at just 11 she wore a dress size 14-16. When her father passed away in her teens she turned to food for comfort and put on more weight. “My dad had always been my best friend and I suppose I used food to fill the hole he left,” she explains. “As I got older, people would always say how pretty I’d be if I lost weight and I did try, but the diets I did were only ever quick fixes – I’d regain all the weight I lost as soon as I stopped.”

Kim already had a string of health problems including high blood pressure, breathing problems, back and knee pain. So she went to her GP to ask for help – and was prescribed 12 weeks of vouchers to attend her local Slimming World group! “I was worried people would judge me or the scales wouldn’t go up to my weight,” says Kim. “I needn’t have been so nervous, though, because everyone made me feel so welcome and my Consultant Georgina was really friendly. Now I recommend Slimming World to everyone, the group is such great support if the going ever gets a bit tough and they cheer you on with every pound you lose.”

“When Georgina first told me about Slimming World’s eating plan I waited for her to tell me what I couldn’t have but there wasn’t anything, I can have everything in moderation. I actually eat more now than I did before but I’ve learned to make good choices. The plan isn’t a diet, we all eat together as a family and we have lots of our old favourite meals, just adjusted so they’re cooked in a healthier way.”

As her health improved, Kim has also become more active. She plays tennis, goes swimming, walks miles – without her sticks – indulging her hobby of photography and has started cycling again after hanging up her helmet 20 years ago. “My husband jokes that my weight loss has been hard on his bank balance because before I used to have four pairs of shoes but now I’ve got about 40 and I only wore black but now my wardrobe’s full of every colour of the rainbow.”

She’s determined she’ll never go back to the old Kim. The new slim Kim has plans to ride her first rollercoaster and go on a zip wire! She’s also planning to renew her wedding vows on her 25th wedding dress. “Before Slimming World I wasn’t living, I was existing. I walked with my head down and tried to blend into the background; now I’m living life to the full and have my head held high. I don’t think I realised how unhappy I was until I became as happy as I am now.”

Has Kim’s story inspired you? For more information about joining Slimming World visit their website or call the team on 0844 897 8000. How are you losing weight for the big day? Share your slimming tips on the Wedding Ideas Forum today!

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