A WOMAN from Wrexham has seen her life transform after losing a whopping eight stone in weight.

Super Slimmer, Helen Griffiths, from Rhos, went from a size 24 to a size 16 in just 16 months.

The 68-year-old said she had always struggled with her weight for most of her life and when Helen’s mum sadly passed away in 2021, she faced many moments of grief and comfort eating, where the weight continued to pile on. 

She was shocked to discover her weight had spiralled to 21½ stone and seeing a picture of herself at her cousin's wedding in July 2022, Helen finally made the decision something needed to change.    

Helen, who works as a part-time bookkeeper, said: “The photo made me stop and think. I’d heard great things about Slimming World, but it was never the right time, I’d always found an excuse.  I had tried many diets and lost weight over the years, but I then eventually ended up gaining more than I lost, I was definitely someone you’d call a yo-yo dieter."

Helen decided to join her local Slimming World group at Hafod Colliery Social Centre in Rhos.

“Joining something at first can be nerve-wracking when you don’t know what to expect," she said. "But I was met by Annette, the consultant, who explained what would be happening and put me at ease.

“The excuses of ‘I’d get bored because I’d have to eat the same food and that it would be restrictive’ were now put to one side. My downfall is chocolate and I feared I wouldn’t be able to go out and socialise. My mum and I would have pizza once a week and this was important to me. So, like a lot of people I’m sure, I didn’t think I could be successful losing weight so didn’t try."

Helen pictured prior to her weightloss journey. (Image: Slimming World)

Helen said she was surprised at how "generous" the Food Optimising plan is. "There is such a great choice of food and I don’t feel hungry," she said. 

"I have been able to fit it into my life and meal preparation has been so easy. I can still enjoy going out and enjoying my pizza, in fact, I make my own on occasions too, and there’s still chocolate in my life, I’m also enjoying my homemade burgers and chips, stews, soups and I just love my veg. The great thing is nothing is banned, it’s just learning to cook things in a healthier way and having things in moderation."     

She added: "Even my health has improved. I always suffered with lower backache, I was in constant pain and couldn’t walk far, I couldn’t even walk up the stairs without being out of breath. 

"I knew deep down if I lost the weight my back pain would go, so by losing this weight I’ve become fitter, too. My constant back pain has disappeared, I can walk up the stairs without being out of breath and I can walk from Johnstown to Rhos without stopping and there are some steep hills.

"What is so incredible is that I feel healthier, happier and fitter and I feel confident in keeping this weight off for good."

Consultant Annette Duffy said nearly half of UK adults (49 per cent) say they’ve put off trying to lose weight due to ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) – with missing out on favourite foods and social events fuelling this fear.   

Dr Amanda Avery, health and research consultant dietitian at Slimming World, said: “Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures so it’s no wonder food FOMO is a very real factor for many of us when it comes to losing weight. As the research shows, in many cases certain foods can have a powerful pull on us, evoking memories and emotions and rekindling flavours and pleasures experienced in the past.

"Often, finding the desire or motivation to alter deeply ingrained habits around the way we shop, cook and eat can be challenging and that’s where support can be crucial to help slimmers.”  


She added: “Changing habits takes real effort and without support, it can be easy to give up. Being part of a community where you’ll meet other people on the same journey who share their ideas, experiences and advice has been shown to help keep motivation high. 

"There is no need to give up your favourite foods or miss out on the pleasure they bring you though – it’s just about finding new ways to prepare and cook the meals you love."

Annette said: “I feel so privileged to have played a part in Helen’s transformation. She has come so far and her determination and motivation has remained the same. 

"I couldn’t be more proud of everything she has achieved.” 

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