A slimmer who lost more than six and a half stone is now using her success to inspire others thanks to a new career.
Carole Gravett from Camborne joined her local Slimming World group in Pool in May 2021. Since then she has dropped from 17 stone 1.5 pounds to 10 stone 5.5 pounds.
She is now starting her own Slimming World group, in Hayle, to help others achieve the same – and will be drawing on her own experiences to support others.
Carole said: “In 2013 my life changed forever; I was widowed when my husband died suddenly. It was totally unexpected – everything I thought my future would be had changed overnight.
“Being a comfort eater I turned to food for solace, and it wasn’t the healthy choices! So gradually over the years the number on the scales got higher and my health was being seriously impacted upon, whilst my mood and zest for life had plummeted to an all-time low.
“I avoided any form of exercise because the pain in my joints; walking just a short distance made me breathless and uncomfortable. Stairs were becoming increasingly difficult; both my family and I were beginning to worry about how I would cope in the future.
“Then in March 2020 I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica, and the treatment was taking Steroids. It reduced my joint and muscle pain within days, but I had to remain on a reducing scale of steroids for the next two years.
“My heart sank, I knew this would impact further on my weight, with fluid retention and increased appetite.”
Something had to change, and in May 2021 she joined Slimming World.
“I was met with a welcoming smile and made to feel part of something special. Richard the consultant went through the food optimising plan, and I was amazed at the amount of food I was being encouraged to eat with minimal measuring or weighing.
“No more depriving myself, I could eat the foods I love just prepare them differently,” said Carole.
“At the end of the session, it was my turn to have my first weigh in, something I had dreaded as I had no idea of my current weight but knew all my clothes were getting tighter.
“I left the group with mixed feelings – I was mortified at my weight, it was the heaviest I had ever been but having sat in group I was convinced I had the tools and support to succeed.”
She lost four and a half pounds in her first week and lost steadily, finding she was able to do more exercise as the weight came off.
Such was her success that Carole was named Woman of the Year in her group in September last year, and was entered into the national finals, reaching the semi-finals.
Her new partner Paul was so impressed that he lost three and a half stone on Slimming World himself.
Carole said: “Looking at my ‘before’ photo I don’t recognise that person anymore, but I do remember the pain and misery that being overweight brought me.”
Her weight loss means her blood pressure is now within normal range, cholesterol levels have reduced, no more swollen legs and ankles, improved mood – and she can even play on the floor with her grandchildren. Carole’s own Slimming World group will begin on April 11 and then be held every Tuesday at 5.30pm and 7pm, at Hayle Rugby Football Club in Marsh Lane.
Susie Tait, who runs Slimming World’s Leedstown group and manages Carole as a team developer, said: “Slimming World consultants are chosen for their positive outlook and because they genuinely care about the health and happiness of others.
“With Carole’’s experience of being a successful Slimming World member and her kind and warm personality and great sense of humour I just know that she’ll be an amazing support to members, cheering them all the way to their target weight.”