An office worker inspired to shed the pounds at a family wedding has won an award for her incredible weight loss.
Di Smith, 57, has won Slimming World’s woman of the year award after she persevered to lose 2st 7lbs in 18 months.
Di, from Ludford, joined the Market Rasen group in January last year after her weight rocketed forcing her to buy her clothes from special shops.
She said: “I was quite surprised to win the award.
“It’s not just about weight loss because I haven’t lost the most weight - there’s people at the group who have lost more than me.
“There are lots of different things taken into consideration.
“It’s because of my perseverance and not giving up.
“A lot of people take the motorway route, I’ve taken the scenic route.
“It’s slow but it works. It’s about perseverance.
“Staying to the group each week, persevering and getting the support from the group and Shona (group leader) has made for a healthier, slimmer new me.”
At a family wedding Di saw her cousin and brother who had both lost three stone and thought ‘if these men can do it so can I’.
By this point Di was wearing size 22/24 clothes to hide her big belly and sitting at a desk most of the time - the only exercise she got was gardening.
But Di, who is vegetarian, took steps to change her lifestyle - and soon noticed improvements.
She said: “I’m a vegetarian and the plan suits me fine.
“At one time I used to make all of my curries and pastas with a jar of sauce - now I do it all from scratch and it’s far healthier.
“You know what you’re putting in and when you get used to it, it doesn’t take that long.”
And Di says Market Rasen’s Slimming World group leader Shona Drew has been a big inspiration.
Di, who works in the office at Wold Engineering in Swinhope, said: “Shona is marvellous, she’s brilliant - I love her style.
“She’s not a sort of namby pamby person, she’s straight talking.
I” need a direct approach and she is direct - she’s very sympathetic as well.
“She’s a good inspiration.
“Within 18 months I’ve got back down to a reasonable weight.
“And I’ve lowered my BMI (body mass index), which is important.”
And Di’s weight loss means she no longer needs to go to special shops to buy her clothes.
She said: “Clothes are a lot easier to buy.
“It’s nice to be able to go shopping and go into any high street shop instead of having to go to shops for extra large s izes.”
Di’s target weight loss is three stones - like her brother and cousin.
This means she only has another seven pounds to go.
She said: “Friends and family are all noticing I’m losing weight and asking how I’m doing it.”
As a vegetarian Di said she she can eat all her favourite foods, like jacket potatoes, vegetables and pasta and still lose weight.
Slimming World groups are held in Market Rasen’s Festival Hall every Tuesday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm and every Wednesday at 9.30 am.
For more information call Shona Drew on 07769 3423 70.