A 20-year-old from Banbridge has lots to celebrate after losing 3st 2.5lbs to reach the finals of a national slimming competition where she met Blue singer Simon Webbe.
Lauren Stoops was delighted to make the final 37 in Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2015 competition out of all 13,000 Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland.
Lauren joined the Banbridge Slimming World group in January 2014.
She said: “I used to feel like I was different from all my friends. I felt like I stood out because I was bigger, and I couldn’t always do the same things or shop at the same high street stores and wear the same clothes as them. It affected my confidence and I didn’t want to be like that for the rest of my life.
“I heard about Slimming World through social media site Instagram and decided to join the Banbridge group with my mum Barbara. I was really nervous but everyone was friendly and helpful and it was much easier than I expected to start making healthy choices. The encouragement I got from the other members and my Consultant Pat really kept me going, even if I had a difficult week.”
Since that first visit Lauren has lost 3st 2.5lbs, going from 12st 12lbs to 9st 9.5lbs.
Her fellow members in the Banbridge group voted for her to represent them in the Young Slimmer of the Year competition.
It was there she met Simon Webbe, who came along to Slimming World to make the day extra special for the youngsters taking part.
Simon, who shot to fame in boyband Blue and was a runner-up in BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing last year, was bowled over by Lauren’s achievements.
He said: “All of the young slimmers I met have shown that their health is important to them and they’re proof that given the right tools it is possible to make positive changes whatever your age. Lauren should be really proud of herself.”
Pat Murphy, who runs the Banbridge Slimming World group agrees.
He said: “I’m so proud of Lauren. The changes Lauren has made now have given her the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life. It’s given her the self-belief to achieve her dreams.
Anyone who wants to lose weight and wants to know more about the difference that Slimming World can make is welcome at Havelock Park Hockey Club any Wednesday at 7.30pm or can contact Pat on 07743 352028.