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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Barrow slimmers celebrate with TV star Paddy McGuinness

FURNESS slimmers “likey being lighty” and celebrated 2013’s successes by cuddling up to comedian and TV presenter Paddy McGuinness.

Karen Clarke, who runs Slimming World groups in Ulverston, Dalton, and Barrow, met the Take Me Out host at an annual awards ceremony in Birmingham.

The consultant and team developer for South Cumbria said meeting Paddy at the event was the cherry on the top of a great year for the local Slimming World group.

“I just wanted to bring him home,” says Karen, who attended the event with district manager for Cumbria and Lancashire, Amie Meloy.

“I go to the Slimming World Awards every year and we’ve had some amazing celebrities but he was just fabulous.”

Barrow mum-of-two, Lorraine Edmondson, who attends Karen’s Dalton group was a semi-finalist in the competition after winning Woman of the Year 2013 for South Cumbria. She has successfully lost 4st 10lbs with Slimming World this year.

Speaking about her slimming success Lorraine said: “It’s so friendly and everyone helps you and they understand what you’re going through.

“You share each other’s success and it’s a great boost to see someone succeed, it shows you can do it too.”

Karen is incredibly proud of her groups’ achievements.

“My three groups lose on average of 16st a week, every single week,” she says.

“Obviously the most important thing of all is that the group have lost weight and improved their health throughout 2013 and I’m so proud of all of my members.

“Many of them have achieved their target weights and been able do things they never thought possible before slimming down, including doing more with their families, taking up new hobbies, reducing medication or simply fitting in smaller-sized clothes. And they’re helping their entire family to eat more healthily too.”

Karen says the key to her success is understanding, support and encouragement.

“I truly believe that Slimming World is the best way for people to take control of their weight this new year.

“Obesity levels are not getting any better and the strain on the NHS is crippling.

“Even if they’ve struggled to stick to slimming plans in the past, I know we can help them to make a change for life this time around – my members are proof of that.”

The Bolton-born comic, who shot to fame in Phoenix Nights with school friend Peter Kay and whose Take Me Out catchphrase is “no likey no lighty” , said: “I have to admit the most I knew about Slimming World before the awards was a gag in Peter’s routine that refers to Slimming World as being £1 cheaper than its competitors! Jokes aside, I was genuinely amazed to hear about what a difference consultants like Karen make to people’s lives. At the ceremony I met lots of people who’d lost incredible amounts of weight and it had totally changed their lives. Every single one of them told me that they couldn’t have done it without the support of their Slimming World group and their consultant.

“Before I started working in comedy I was a fitness instructor so I know how important it is to look after yourself, but equally I know it’s not always easy to motivate yourself. So, having the help and support of someone like Karen to keep you on track and be there with advice when you need it really is invaluable.”

Karen runs groups at St Mary’s Community Centre, Victoria Road, Ulverston, every Tuesday at 5pm and 7pm; Hindpool Community Centre, Barrow, every Wednesday at 9.30am and 11.30am and Dalton United Football Club, in Beckside Road, every Wednesday at 5pm and 7pm.

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