Harpenden widow has 'new lease of life' after weight loss
PUBLISHED: 15:15 21 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:21 21 June 2019
A Harpenden widow, who transformed her life after losing four stone in under a year, is now helping others achieve their weight loss dreams.
Leonie Newell will lead the Harpenden Slimming World group, based at St Nicholas Primary School.
Leonie joined Slimming World in 2017 after a series of life-changing events that saw her weight spiral out of control, including twice being made redundant and caring for her terminally ill husband Vic, who died from a rare cancer in 2015.
Leonie set a personal target to lose four stone, and achieved it in 10 months with the Slimming World Food Optimising plan.
She said: "I feel like I've got a new lease of life. I have a whole new wardrobe. My health has improved significantly.
"My blood pressure is normal, my BMI is in the healthy range and my back and joints no longer ache by the end of the day."
Unlike other diets and slimming organisations, with Slimming World, no foods are banned - and there is no calorie counting.
The Food Optimising plan consists of three steps designed to balance nutrients: Free Food, Healthy Extras, and Syns (short for synergy) - treats and snacks to help keep members from veering off track.
Now a successful slimmer, and having maintained her new weight for over a year, Leonie is ready to embrace the challenge of leading the St Nicholas Harpenden group herself.
"I wanted to be that person who helps others to have the courage to walk through the door to change their lives and then walk out believing 'I can do this!' I wanted to help people on their journey to making their weight loss dreams a reality with a healthier, slimmer lifestyle.
"I feel that leading a Slimming World group is something I am meant to do, so I am excited to be taking on that challenge. The team at Slimming World believe in me and are supporting me through the process of becoming a trainee consultant."
Leonie is also motivated by the memory of her husband, Vic.
She said: "I believe that the spirit of my husband lives on with me, and an important dream for me is always to honour him and make him proud.
"I know that he'd be so pleased with everything I've achieved so far, and he'd be immensely proud of me in this new venture."