At her heaviest, Katie Clark tipped the scales at 15st 6lbs and struggled to complete simple day-to-day tasks.
Her turning point came when she couldn’t play in the park with her nine-year-old daughter – because she was too large to fit down a slide.
This encouraged the 46-year-old to begin her weight loss journey, as she wanted to set a healthy example to her little girl.
Since joining Slimming World in January 2011, Katie has shed 5st 2lbs and managed to keep it off.
She has just been named Slimming World’s Diamond Member of the Year, a title which celebrates people who maintain their target weight.
“I knew something had to change”
Katie said: “Beau [my daughter] was about 18-months-old so too young to go down the slide alone.
“I climbed up with her and sat her on my knee, but when I went to push myself off, I realised we weren’t moving.
“I was wedged so tightly in the slide that I had to push us down at the bottom with my spare arm.
“I knew something had to change.”
Having struggled with her weight since childhood, Katie, from Bury St. Edmonds, first dropped the pounds with Slimming World 20 years ago.
“The first time I joined the group was because I was fed up of being the ‘fat one’ in my group of friends,” Katie explained.
“I felt really uncomfortable on our girly holiday and I knew it was my weight that was making me miserable.”
She continued: “I decided the next time we all went on holiday I’d be feeling happy and confident.
“I lost 4st 11lbs and felt amazing – I was even the first-ever member to appear on the front cover of Slimming World Magazine in 1998.”
After Katie gave birth to Beau, she began enjoying a lot of meals and cosy nights in with her partner Lee, 42.
When the weight pilled on, she knew it was time to get herself back to Slimming World and wasn’t worried about joining a second time.
She added: “To be honest, I didn’t really feel nervous about going back to Slimming World. I knew everyone would be warm and friendly just like they were before.
“Even the second time round, I still found myself surprised at all the amazing food I could eat though!
“Curries, pasta, chips and burgers were still on the menu, I just had to prepare them in a different way – like swapping white bread for wholemeal and using low-calorie cooking spray instead of oil.”
Since rejoining the group, Katie has dropped 5st 2lbs, reaching her target weight of 10st 4lbs.
“The support and inspiration I get from each week really keeps me on track,” she revealed.
“Best of all, I knew that my size would never stop me having fun with my little girl again.”
As well as making a few food swaps, Katie discovered a love for fitness.
She started her own Hour of Power exercise class and often welcomes members from her Slimming World group.
Donna Cooper, the hairdresser’s Slimming World consultant, couldn’t be more proud of her sparkling Diamond Member.
She said: “Katie has always been a little ray of sunshine in our group, so we’re all extremely proud of her.
“She’s living proof that despite life’s ups and downs, you can lose weight and keep it off – for life.
“Katie is an amazing inspiration to everyone in our Mildenhall group and we’re so pleased that her fantastic achievements have been recognised.”
KATIE CLARK’S DIET BEFORE:
Breakfast: Crunchy nut cornflakes and milk
Lunch: Large sandwich with crisps and a chocolate bar
Dinner: Steak pie, mash, vegetables and gravy
Snacks: Crisps, biscuits and chocolate
KATIE CLARK’S DIET AFTER:
Breakfast: 2 coconut and raisin Weetabix with milk and blueberries
Lunch: Large chicken salad with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes
Dinner: Nacho-style feast, made with less than 5% fat beef mince, potato wedges, peppers and spices. Served with a large salad
Snacks: Apples, pears, bananas and strawberries. A Slimming World Hi-Fi bar, available in Slimming World groups
Slimming World’s Diamond Member competition is open to all members who have reached their personal achievement target weight and maintained that weight for more than 12 months.
Around 10% of Slimming World’s membership are target members, to find out more visit the website.