Local slimmers are making a ‘comeback’ as their Slimming World group reopens, with local consultants Sinead, Carol, Caroline and Pauline saying they’re excited to be back helping members to lose weight and improve their health in person.
Slimming World has been supporting members virtually in online weekly groups since March, when lockdown closed all of the organisation’s community groups. Now, following the current easing of restrictions in many areas, real-life groups are opened up again.
The Slimming World team in Athlone and Ballinasloe have put measures in place to ensure groups comply fully with Government and local guidance and that their members can return safely to their much-loved Slimming World groups.
Sinead, who runs the groups in The Shamrock Lodge Hotel, says: “I’m delighted to finally be back together with my members! Our virtual groups have been a vital lifeline of support and I’m so, so proud of how my members have been there for each other through these difficult months and continued to lose weight and get more active.”
Caroline, who runs the groups in The Shearwater Hotel, says: “There’s nothing quite like the magic of our real-life groups, though, and research of our members during lockdown has shown that while our members have loved attending their virtual groups they’ve missed the motivational power and accountability of meeting in person each week.”
Carol, who runs the groups in Ballybay Community Hall, Kiltoom, says the health and safety of members has been the team’s top priority in planning the return of the Slimming World groups: “Members will find a few things have changed in our groups to ensure that everyone feels as safe, confident and comfortable as they possibly can. This includes appropriate social distancing, strict hygiene measures such as mask wearing and shorter sessions, which we’ll be asking members to book in to before attending. What hasn’t changed is the gorgeous warm welcome, feeling of togetherness and the joy of being ‘in it together’ week on week.”
Pauline, who runs the groups in St Kieran’s Community Centre, Tormey Villas, says: “As well as looking forward to ‘that feeling’ of being back together with our existing Slimming World members, we can’t wait to welcome new members in Athlone to our groups too. Obesity is a huge issue in the news at the moment with evidence showing that carrying extra weight makes it harder for the body to fight COVID-19. Plus, we know many people’s routines were turned upside down by lockdown and lots of us have been feeling more worried or anxious than usual, all of which can have an impact on making healthy choices.”
Darren O Hara, who has lost four stone, says: “I want anyone who’s worrying about their weight or health – especially if they’ve put on a few extra pounds during lockdown – to know that there will be absolutely no judgement at a Slimming World group – just lots of understanding and a very warm welcome. At Slimming World losing weight isn’t about going hungry – our eating plan is extra easy, very delicious and super generous. And moving more doesn’t mean running marathons – unless you want to, of course.
“Our groups are hubs of recipe-swapping, idea-sharing and problem-solving activity. Through our weekly sessions, you’ll discover how to identify the stoppers and potential pitfalls that could send you off track – or that have maybe prevented you from reaching your weight-loss goals in the past – and learn to develop strategies to overcome them. The new healthy habits you’ll discover will soon become habits of a lifetime, and there really is no better time to start afresh when it comes to developing new lifelong healthy habits around food and activity because, as many of the members of my groups have seen, when you lose weight you’re already doing one of the very best things you can to future-proof your health.”
Due to new safety measures, all members are asked to book into a group before attending. You can discover what a real-life Slimming World group will look like with all safety measures in place at www.slimmingworld.co.uk/blog/discover-keeping-you-safe Contact your local consultant to book a place in group or to find your local group, log onto www.slimmingworld.ie