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Slimming World member from Hunstanton who shed more than seven stones voted to take part in national competition

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Weight loss has transformed the life of a 20-year-old woman from Hunstanton who has shed more than seven stones since joining a slimming group.

Such was the achievement of Faith Bodenham, who slimmed from 18st 2.5lbs to 10st 11lbs, that fellow members of her Slimming World group voted for her to represent them in the Young Slimmer of the Year 2020 finals.

These were held at Slimming World’s head office in Alfreton, Derbyshire, in early March and were attended by Olympian and Strictly Come Dancing winner, Louis Smith, who congratulated Faith in person on her success.

Faith Bodenham is congratulated by Louis Smith (33766624)
Faith Bodenham is congratulated by Louis Smith (33766624)

Although Faith made the final eight in the competition, out of all the 16 to 21-year-olds who attend Slimming World across the UK and Ireland, unfortunately she was not the overall winner, who will be named later this month.

Faith, who joined the Hunstanton Slimming World group to feel more comfortable with her size, said: “I knew my weight was an issue, and I was starting to become increasingly unhappy. I would feel uncomfortable in my clothes and I’d started to make excuses not to go out with my friends because I often felt self-conscious.

“I was encouraged to join my local Slimming World group by a friend. I was nervous at the thought of joining at first because I thought that people might judge me for being overweight at such a young age. I soon realised how wrong I was though. Everyone at my group is amazing and they’ve all been so supportive of me – no matter what their age.

Faith Bodenham before her weight loss journey (33766622)
Faith Bodenham before her weight loss journey (33766622)

“My friends and family are really proud of what I’ve achieved – and I’m feeling quite proud of myself too actually. I am doing things now that before I lost weight I didn’t think were possible. I’ve started jogging with my sister, Eve, and I feel so much better for it.”

She says she can still eat all her favourite foods such as burgers, chips, curries and chocolate but she's learnt how to prepare and cook them in a healthier way. "I feel as though I’ll be able to keep up this healthy way of life forever – which is something I never thought I would say,” she said.

Louis, who represented Great Britain as a gymnast at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, was amazed at Faith’s transformation.

He said: “Health and fitness has always been important to me, especially when I was competing professionally at a young age. I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to make healthy choices. The changes that Faith has made to turn her life around are nothing short of remarkable. It just goes to show that with the right support and mindset, anything is possible."

Jo Jackson, who runs the Hunstanton Slimming World group which Faith attends, said: “I’m so proud of Faith. What she’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Faith grow in confidence each week. Joining Slimming World has given her the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and develop new active habits that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life."

Slimming World has now temporarily suspended groups in order to keep its members safe during the ongoing pandemic.

However, Jo is keeping members supported via a virtual group. Anyone interested in joining should contact her on 07942 818059.

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