Cramlington woman drops eight sizes in one year after joining a weight loss group and changing her diet

A Cramlington mum is celebrating having dropped eight dress sizes in a year.
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Colleen Short, 51, used to love unhealthy snacks and takeaways but after a picture of her holding her newborn great niece left her feeling unhappy with her appearance, she decided to take action.

She joined her local Slimming World weight loss group with her mum in March 2023 and has so far lost 4st 10lbs, and gone from a size 16-18 to a size 8-10.

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Colleen, a production planner, said: “My mam had been asking me if I wanted to join Slimming World with her for a few months.

Colleen before and after losing 4st 10lb. (Photo by Colleen Short)Colleen before and after losing 4st 10lb. (Photo by Colleen Short)
Colleen before and after losing 4st 10lb. (Photo by Colleen Short)

“I kept saying no, then I saw a picture of myself holding my great niece after she was born and I was shocked. I did not like what I saw.

“Before I started Slimming World I kept kidding myself that I was happy with the way I was. I kept saying I am what I am and if people do not like it, tough, but the truth was I did not like it. I felt big, sluggish, and unhealthy.”

With the support of the group, Colleen has gone from eating takeaways two or three times a week and snacking on crisps, biscuits, and chocolate to cooking from scratch and eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

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She said: “Before I joined Slimming World I ate takeaways, convenience foods, crisps, chocolate, cakes. Some people have a sweet or savoury tooth, I liked it all.

“Since starting Slimming World I have changed my eating habits. A typical day now would be Weetabix and fruit for breakfast, homemade soup or a sandwich followed by low fat yoghurt and a piece of fruit for lunch, and chicken and rice with lots of veg for tea.

“A snack at nighttime is a Freddo chocolate bar. I snack on raw carrots, cucumber, radish, and tomatoes throughout the day.”

Instead of eating pizza at the weekend, Colleen now makes fakeaway pizzas wraps.

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She said: “When I first walked through the door of Slimming World with my mam, I felt sick and nervous thinking people would be looking at the size of me.

“I soon realised that was not the case and that everyone was nice and friendly and that we were all there to achieve the same goal. Trish, our consultant, made you feel at ease and so welcome.

“I like going to my group as it is like a group of friends getting together where we exchange recipes and ideas, as well as have a good laugh.

“Trish is very friendly and bubbly and gives you the help and encouragement you need to achieve your goal.

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“I like that you can eat your favourite meals and still lose weight.”

Colleen now feels much fitter and healthier. She said: “Before I started Slimming World I used to get out of breath when I walked upstairs. I can now run upstairs. I never take a lift anymore, whether it is to one floor or 10 floors.

“I now feel great. I feel healthy, happy, and full of life. When I walk past a mirror or shop window, I see myself and think ‘is that really me?’”

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