A slimmer who transformed his life by losing over eight stone is using his success to shape a whole new career helping other people change their lives and achieve their weight loss dreams too.
Reece Bradley joined his local Slimming World group in Coleraine two years ago.
Now, he has trained as a Consultant for Slimming World, the UK’s largest group-based weight loss organisation, at their national training academy in Derbyshire. Members at the group are getting ready to welcome Reece as their new Consultant when he takes over the group on August 28.
The latest government figures reveal that around one in four adults are obese and it is estimated that, by 2034, this will increase to one in three. 35% of the Coleraine’s population is now overweight or obese, and Reece says his new role has never been more important.
He says: “Obesity is becoming such a huge issue across the UK. When I first joined Slimming World as a member, I never dreamed that I would end up helping other people to lose weight but now I just can’t wait to get started. After losing 8 and half stone and completing my training, it’s a privilege for me to be able to pass on the experience, insight and understanding that helped me, so that I can give my members the support they need to get to target.
“Support is really the most important thing. It all starts with feeling that you’re not alone. I couldn’t have lost 8 and a half stone without the weekly help, encouragement and understanding of my own Consultant and group. As someone who has lost weight myself I know the challenges people can face, which is why, along with the group, I will be there to support every one of my members all the way to their chosen target weight. Setting targets, sharing recipes and other ideas, and working together as a group to overcome challenges and celebrate success is so important to a successful journey. That’s why, at my Slimming World group, there’ll be tons of support, encouragement and fun.
“Like a lot of slimmers, I had tried to lose weight so many times before by following numerous diets but they were never sustainable because I’d always get tired of restricting what I ate. I thought I was destined to struggle with my weight for the rest of my life, but when I came to Slimming World it was different. I never felt like I was on a diet. The eating plan encourages you to eat lots of tasty, filling foods like pasta, rice, potatoes and lean meat and fish, you are never hungry and no foods are banned so there’s no deprivation. I couldn’t believe I’d found a way to lose weight without starving myself.
“Slimming World isn’t just about changing what you eat. Becoming more active is important too. Our Body Magic programme takes the threat out of activity by showing people, many of whom have unpleasant memories of being forced to take part in activity at school, how they can build activity into their daily routine without having to take up traditional forms of exercise like going to the gym or running. Everything counts from walking to gardening to washing the car. I love to go out walking to get my Body Magic! As a Consultant it’s my role to create that warm, supportive atmosphere to get people sharing their ideas and experiences to help others - it’s going to be great fun!”
Like Reece, Slimming World Consultants are all former members who have lost weight at their local group themselves and groups are set up as micro businesses in the heart of local communities. There are currently around 4,000 Slimming World Consultants across the UK and Ireland running 15,000 groups. Consultants receive training in Slimming World’s healthy eating and physical activity programmes and learn how to use the power of group support to empower members to take control of their own weight loss journey. As self-employed micro-entrepreneurs, Consultants also learn how to build a successful community-based business.
Reece says he can’t wait for the new challenges running his own business will bring. “For me becoming a self-employed franchisee was a great option. I wanted a job that was well paid, flexible and could fit around my family life and my friends. As a new male consultant I want to end myths that Slimming World is only for women and not for men. I wanted also to avoid a regular ‘nine-to-five’ routine, so launching my own Slimming World group was an ideal option – I feel like I’ve got a brand new career and I can’t wait for my new group to run now! .
Anne Hamilton, who runs Slimming World’s Ballykelly group and manages Reece as a Team Developer, says: “Slimming World Consultants are chosen for their positive outlook and because they genuinely care about the health and happiness of others. With Reece’s experience of being a successful Slimming World member and his kind and warm personality and great sense of humour I just know that he’ll be an amazing support to members, cheering them all the way to their target weight.”
Reece’s Slimming World group will be held at Agherton Parish Centre, 19 Church Street, Portstewart every Wednesday at 7:30pm from August 28.
For more information or to join Reece’s group either pop along or call him on 07935866513.
For more information visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.