A super slimmer from Bedford has been congratulated on losing more than 9 stones by a TV soap star after reaching the semi-finals of a national competition.
Samantha Bloomer’s inspirational weight loss earned her a place as one of just 46 women from across the UK and Ireland who made the finals of Slimming World’s Woman of the Year 2015 competition.
She met Anthony Quinlan, who plays Pete Barton in ITV’s Emmerdale, during a celebration event at the slimming organisation’s headquarters in Derbyshire on Sunday, October 4.
Samantha, 44, joined the Wootton Slimming World group, which meets every Thursday at 5.30pm at the Village Memorial Hall, in September 2013. She has since trimmed down from 22st 2.5lbs to 13st, and earlier this year her transformation inspired members of the group to vote her as their representative in the annual Woman of the Year competition.
After winning the regional heat, Samantha secured a place in the national semi-finals, which put her in the running to win the overall title of Slimming World Woman of the Year 2015 and a holiday to Dubai.
She said: “I’d tried losing weight before – I’ve done pretty much every diet there is – yet I always found the plans that I followed too hard to stick to because they left me feeling hungry and deprived, which made me miserable.
“Slimming World was completely different, I don’t have to go hungry and I’ve never once felt like I’m missing out on anything. Many of the changes I’ve made to the way I cook and eat have been small ones, like swapping white bread for wholemeal and using low calorie spray instead of oil or butter in my cooking, but they’ve made a big difference to my weight.
“With Slimming World I still enjoy all my favourite dishes like Slimming World-style burger and chips too. The meals I cook taste great, so my family and friends are always happy to tuck in as well, which means I don’t have to spend time preparing different dishes for everyone and they’ve benefited from eating more healthily without even trying.
“Nowadays, instead of snacking on biscuits or crisps, I’m more likely to have a piece of fruit or a fat-free yogurt. Although nothing’s banned at Slimming World so I still enjoy a glass of Baileys and some chocolate, too.”
Samantha says even with Slimming World’s easy eating plan she couldn’t have achieved all she has without the support of her group.
She said: “I can remember the first time I walked into the group. I felt very self-conscious and so nervous, everyone was really friendly though and made me feel really welcome. Now I look forward to it every week. We swap recipes and advice, and it’s a lot of fun. The best thing is great support though and I don’t think I’d have been able to get to where I am today without my consultant Diane and the rest of the Wootton group.”
Diane Baker, who runs the Wootton Slimming World group, said: “Samantha hasn’t only changed how she looks, she’s a different woman on the inside too. She’s blossomed into a happy, confident person and it’s been a pleasure to share in her journey. She’s already such an inspiration to so many of us in the Wootton group and I’m sure she’ll inspire even more people now.”
Anthony was amazed by Samantha’s weight loss. He said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Samantha and hear about her inspirational weight loss – she looks so happy and healthy now! I’m glad I didn’t have to be a judge in the competition because I think all of the women I met were amazing – they’ve completely changed their lives and that makes them all winners in my opinion.”
Samantha didn’t make the final of the competition and the overall winner of Slimming World Woman of the Year 2015 will be announced next month. If you’ve been inspired by Samantha’s story and are interested in joining the Wootton Slimming World group anyone can visit or call Diane on 07845 017177 for more information.