THREE pals who shed 14.5 stone are using their success to inspire others.
Firm friends since the age of 15, Janet Aynsly, 44, and Deborah Harper, 43, were on holiday in Spain when they decided to take action over their weight.
In November 2009, they joined Slimming World where they met Vanessa Mavin – a Slimming World member of 15 years.
After winning their fight against the flab, the trio have now decided to help others by becoming Slimming World consultants.
Mum-of-one Deborah, who lost more than three stone, described herself as having been a yo-yo dieter in the past.
She said: “The eating plan is brilliant. You can eat as much as you want. No food is forbidden.
“I’ve made small changes to my everyday life. I used to love wine, now I’ll have a Bacardi instead because there’s less fat.
“My husband has taken over the cooking, so now we’ll have a home-made curry rather than getting a take-out.
“I feel absolutely fantastic. The last time I was a size 12 was 22 years ago on my wedding day.
“Now I’m back down to a size 12 and that’s starting to feel loose. I’ve got lots of energy. Losing those three stone really has changed my life.
“I never thought I’d be doing this consultancy thing. I had no confidence before but now I want to shout to the world, if I can lose weight you can.”
Janet, who has lost eight-and-a-half stone, added: “I lost 50 pounds, but then put it all back on and more.
“I was attracted to Slimming World because it shows you what the right foods are that you should be eating, but you can still eat a lot of food. It’s called food optimising.
“I get a buzz out of getting on those scales to see the weight loss I have achieved. Now I want to help others feel that.”
Mother-of-one Vanessa is now a healthy 10 stone.
She first heard about Slimming World after reading a leaflet 15 years ago and has now left her previous job to devote herself to becoming a consultant.
Vanessa said: “I know Slimming World is a success and I want to move into something that helps people achieve their goals and lose weight.”
The friends are taking over established classes in the area.
Deborah’s class meets at Town End Primary School in Borodin Avenue. For information, phone 5536996.
Janet’s class meets at the Enon Baptist Church. For information, phone 07961041908.
Vanessa runs her class from Newbottle Primary School and can be contacted on 07796173977.