Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Friendly encouragement and no shame for slimmers

Theresa (left) and Denise of SW

Theresa (left) and Denise of SW

To the uninitiated, food tastings may seem an odd thing to have at a slimmers’ group meeting.   But, talking to Denise Sweat-man and Theresa Spack-man recently, the Voice found that Slimming World [SW] is full of surprises … and friendship. Denise runs the group at Park Road Methodist Church Hall, and Theresa the Concordia Hall group.
 Both see their role as facilitators, and explained that the meetings are group-led.    “People have sometimes experienced bullying about their weight,” says Denise, “and we aim to provide a very safe environment where they can talk about their fears.   Our philosophy is; ‘no shame’.   We lead in a facilitating role; members bring up the topics and we structure the discussions.   It’s very social.”  Support and acceptance are key features of the groups, where slimmers can discuss their problems and their successes with like-minded others. Losing weight with a group is far easier than trying to go it alone. There is the encouragement from others, and support when you feel down. Topics slimmers discuss can be difficulties such as how to cope with dining out or with family meals, or what to put in lunchboxes. The food-tastings are of healthy, slimming foods, to show people how tasty such food can be. It is the holistic view, covering the whole area of peoples’ lifestyles.  “It’s all about building healthy habits – eating and exercise,” says Denise. They both have the desire “to help others get the same satisfaction in losing weight as we did.” Denise started part-time with SW and then gave up her job to become full-time.
Theresa joined SW for health reasons, and has been a consultant since June. “I had bad cellulitis, and nothing seemed to work, but then SW did.”  Meetings are well-attended, and classes are not allowed to get too large (50 max). “Members set their own targets; this might be for weddings, special holidays, or health reasons, or what size dress they want to wear.  ‘Angela’ initially lost 5 stone with SW before reaching a stumbling block. Then she was asked to be a bridesmaid and lost another 3 stone!”  SW now has 15 classes locally.

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