Harpenden slimmer scoops Rosemary Conley award
A DETERMINED slimmer from Harpenden who managed to shed over eight stone in 18 months has received an award in recognition of her achievements.
Heather Wright of Aldwickbury Crescent has been named Regional Slimmer of the Year 2011 in the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Magazine after transforming her body with the help of the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Club in Harpenden.
The 35-year-old sales administrator has gone from dress size 26 to a 10-12 and reached her target weight of 10st 12lbs after losing 8st and 4lbs but says the achievement would not have been possible without her family and friends.
“I think they were sceptical at first because I was always trying new diets but this time it just clicked. Before I had felt like I was watching my life pass me by and I wanted to take it back and make it mine.
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“My family realised I was committed and really helped me. If I went for dinner at a friend’s house, they’d cook something I could eat on the Rosemary diet and my mum was always – and still is – making sure I eat the right things.
“Without my family’s support, the support of my instructor Sandra and everyone at my class, I would not be where I am right now.”
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Heather said she had been overweight since she was 11, which was the result of a lack of exercise and eating food that was high in sugar and fat.
Prior to joining the Rosemary Conley club, Heather had tried many diets but had been unable to stick at them long enough to see results.
The memory of humiliating events, such as a chair breaking under her weight or being too big to get on rides at theme parks, were other factors that spurred Heather on to make the change she felt she needed. She was never in the right place to make a change before and now thinks you have to be.
She said: “You have to want to do it for yourself, not others, and that’s where I suddenly was.
“I wanted to prove to myself that this time it wasn’t just another diet, and it wasn’t.
“It was about changing my lifestyle and living in a way that suits my body – and this hasn’t always been easy but it’s about balance and the last 18 months have been about finding my body’s balance. I’m still learning what that balance is, but I’m getting there.”
When Heather first joined the group she lost 6lbs in the first week and quickly realised that the combination of a healthy-eating programme and exercise would work for her.
In the first year she lost seven stone and didn’t touch a single treat for 12 months, although she says reintroducing a little of what she fancied back into her diet was also a learning experience, because it meant listening to her body and re-evaluating what a ‘treat’ was.
The transformation has been remarkable and Heather says it hasn’t just benefited her physically but emotionally too.
“I now have the confidence to go out and meet people and I enjoy going out.
“I used to feel like I was 90 in the winter, with my joints aching so much just going down the stairs.
“I was suffering from IBS, which had practically made me a recluse, and now that’s all gone.
“I feel wonderful and exercising just makes me feel so good – I never thought I’d actually say that or be missing the classes over the Christmas break.”
For information about the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs in St Albans, Harpenden and Redbourn, call Sandra Harnett on 01707 372559 or visit www.rosemaryconley.com.