TRIM Vanessa Davies has helped thousands of people lose weight after shedding seven stones to boost her health.
The 55-year-old lost the weight four years ago through Weight Watchers when she was diagnosed with diabetes.
I can play with my grandchildren in the play park, something which I could not do with my own kids.Vanessa Davies
Now she has been recognised as a top coach after earning a new lease of life herself and getting a kick out of helping others keep the weight down.
Her determination has seen her keep her target weight, something she says is hard to do, and become a diamond coach.
Vanessa, from Catherington near Waterlooville, said she has helped thousands of people lose weight.
She said: ‘Since losing the weight, I can do so much more than before.
‘I can play with my grandchildren in the play park, something which I could not do with my own kids.
‘They joke now that I play more with the grandkids than I did them. I was just known as the “fat mummy”.
‘Being able to share my own experiences with people really helps the coaching side of things and I was shocked when I became a diamond coach.
‘It is based on statistics but numbers aren’t what I care about. It is about helping people lose the weight but also remain healthy and having a holistic approach to weight-loss.’
Vanessa runs two Weight Watchers classes a week – one in Horndean and one in Cosham. As part of her service, she also sees people who are referred through their GP or Hampshire County Council’s new self-referral scheme.
Weight Watchers previously won the tenure from the council to provide free 12-week sessions for people who qualify.
Vanessa was herself referred to a group under a previous scheme by her GP after her weight saw her diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It was not until her vision deteriorated rapidly that she knew she had to shed the pounds.
Now she is sharing tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
n Keep attending group meetings even when you reach your goal weight to carry on that support.
n Stick to eating plans.
n Make sure you do whatever exercise you can.
n Make small steps that are achievable rather than lots of big steps all at once.
n Allow time for yourself.
Vanessa added: ‘Do not try to cut out all sugars while also training for a run, do one and then the other.’
‘Don’t be disheartened if your weight varies by a few pounds. I am human and my weight has changed but not by a lot.
‘As long as you stay a few pounds within your goal, that is all that’s important.’