TWO women from Blackbird Leys have been voted slimmers of the year at the local Slimming World group.
Fellow members voted for Becky Dolton and Laura Aries to be crowned as the winners – one for the club’s 5pm meeting and the other for the 7pm meeting.
Mrs Dolton, 36, has lost more than two stone since joining the group earlier this year.
She said: “I joined before in 2010 and I lost 3.5 stone, and I thought I could do it by myself without any help.
“I thought I’d never get back to the way I was before, so I left.
“Gradually I put it all back on and found myself back at square one.”
The housekeeper, who lives on the estate with her husband Adrian, said: “When I came back to the meeting I just felt like I was home – I instantly felt comfortable being here.”
Mum to Jasmine, 21, and 19-year-old Jordan, she beat two other nominees to the prize after they each gave a speech to the group.
She said: “This means so much to me. The other nominees deserved it. All of the people here are fantastic.”
Mrs Aries has lost eight stone since gaining weight in 2001. She said: “Life started going a bit wrong when I moved to Oxford from South Wales.”
She suffered with depression for several years, putting on weight in the process.
Laura Aries before the weight loss
The mum-of-two said: “It’s been an amazing journey. I have learnt so much about myself and I have been given so much help and support.
“The one piece of advice that has stuck with me was the hardest to learn: be kind to yourself.”
Mrs Aries was handed her certificate by Oxford’s Lord Mayor Mohammed Abbasi.
The consultant for the Blackbird Leys Slimming World group is Louise Waters.
The Chalgrove resident said: “I had no say in who was nominated or who won – it was all chosen by the members.
“It means everybody can get behind the person that they feel deserves it. It’s the person who’s inspired them and has been a really great support, someone they can generally look up to.”
The mum-of-two, 36, said: “It’s not just for the woman who wins it, it’s a real motivator for the whole group.” People who have a BMI of more than 30 can join Slimming World for free if they are referred by their GP.
The Blackbird Leys group is moving from the Blackbird Leys Community Centre on Thursday to the Blessed Dominic Barberi Church on Cowley Road.
- For more information contact Mrs Waters on firstname.lastname@example.org
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