Grandmother Karen is sparkling slimming winner after maintaining weight loss for 16 years!
- Karen Tucker, 59, lost 3st 12lbs and has kept it off for more than 16 years
- The grandmother-of-five, from Cleethorpes, has been named Slimming World’s Diamond Member of the Year 2020
- Karen, a pharmacy technician, joined Slimming World after being unhappy at photos of herself and having to buy size 18 clothes for a party
- Before losing weight Karen would get out of breath easily, now she walks miles every day and has taken up running and fitness classes.
Flicking through photos of herself in 2003, Karen Tucker was left devastated at her size in the snaps and pledged to finally lose weight.
Fast forward to 2020 and today the 59-year-old grandmother is celebrating being crowned Slimming World’s Diamond Member of the Year 2020 after maintaining her nearly 4st weight loss for more than 16 years.
The coveted Diamond Member award celebrates members who have achieved long-term successful weight loss. Around 10% of Slimming World’s members are target members who have reached their target weight and attend the organisation’s community groups for free.*
Karen, who lives with her partner-of-13-years Ian in Cleethorpes, first put on weight when she was pregnant with the eldest of her three sons – now 32, 31, and 30 – and, after becoming a single parent, she would seek solace in food after putting her boys to bed.
She says: “I tried every diet going – slimming clubs, shakes and even the cabbage soup diet, which was absolutely awful. One day I was looking through some photos and I was so upset about the way I looked in the pictures, then I had to buy size-18 clothes for a 40th birthday party. That was it – I knew I had to do something. A leaflet for a new Slimming World group that was opening in my area came through my door and I thought ‘well I’ve tried everything else, I might as well give this a go!’ All these years later and I still go every week.”
There’s no restrictions with Slimming World, it’s just everyday food and there’s so much choice. I definitely eat a lot more vegetables now and I drink more water, too.
Karen, who works as a pharmacy technician at Tesco, was extremely nervous walking into the group for the first time in January 2003. However, she says she was reassured that because it was a brand-new group everyone was in the same boat: “It was a fresh start for all of us. My group are incredible – you can talk about anything and everything and there’s always someone there to help you. They inspire me every week and say that I inspire them and it’s really special to me to know that they feel I am there for them as much as they have been – and still are – for me.”
Before joining Slimming World Karen used to eat buttery toast for breakfast, a sandwich with chocolate and crisps for lunch and would regularly order a Chinese takeaway for dinner, followed by biscuits and chocolates every evening. Nowadays she enjoys cooking homemade meals from scratch, including her favourite swede-topped cottage pie with vegetables.
She says: “After trying so many diets before, I couldn’t believe that I could lose weight without starving myself. There’s no restrictions with Slimming World, it’s just everyday food and there’s so much choice. I definitely eat a lot more vegetables now and I drink more water, too.”
Eighteen months after joining Slimming World, Karen reached her target weight of 10st 6½lbs in June 2004, dropping from 14st 4½lbs, and going from a size 18 to a 12. And, incredibly, she’s kept the weight off ever since.
It’s not just the grandmother-of-five’s diet that’s had a makeover either, she’s also much more active nowadays. Karen says: “Before I lost the weight even the smallest amount of activity like climbing the stairs would leave me out of breath, it was really scary sometimes – I thought ‘this is silly, I’m still young!’ Since losing weight though I exercise every day – I’ve taken up running, I do lots of walking and during lockdown I loved doing lots of online fitness classes too. I can run around after my grandchildren as well. There’s no way I would have been able to do all of this when I was carrying nearly 4st in extra weight.”
Karen says her ambition now is to remain at target and hold on to the healthy habits and confidence she’s found thanks to her weight loss: “It’s not always been easy – I have had missed weeks at group and had challenging times, especially in the early days of my weight-loss journey. I feel like a different person to the woman I used to be though – I’m very determined that I don’t ever want to go back to feeling the way I used to. It’s been 16 years, so I’m confident this is me now – what were new habits I discovered thanks to Slimming World are just my way of life now! If anyone’s thinking about joining Slimming World, I’d say go for it! It’s changed my life and if I can do it, anyone can!”
Karen’s top tips for long-term weight loss:
- Be kind to yourself – “Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or two, we’re all human. Just get back on track as quickly as you can.”
- Planning is a must – “I always write a shopping list – and I never go shopping when I’m hungry!”
- Get support – “Stay to your Slimming World group. The support you get from your Slimming World Consultant and the other members is invaluable. Whatever you’re struggling with there’s always someone who’s been there themselves and someone to help.”
Name: Karen Tucker
Starting weight: 14st 4½lbs/200½lbs/91kg
Current weight: 10st 6½lbs/146½lbs/66.5kg
Weight loss: 3st 12lbs/54lbs/24.5kg
Starting dress size: 18
Current dress size: 12
Date joined Slimming World: 30th January 2003
Date reached target weight: 17th June 2004
Time at target: 16 years and 5 months
Group: Karen attends the New Waltham Slimming World group run by Karen Wraith
Breakfast: Buttery toast
Lunch: A sandwich with crisps and a bar of chocolate
Dinner: Sausage and chips, pizza or Chinese takeaway
Evening: Biscuits, chocolate
Breakfast: Overnight oats
Lunch: Chicken or ham and beetroot salad
Dinner: Swede-topped cottage pie with vegetables
In addition, you can view a video of Karen talking about her weight loss here.
For further information please contact Megan Featherstone in the Slimming World press office on 07770 807740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
- This story is NOT for syndication to any magazines without the consent of Karen Tucker and the Slimming World press office (details above).
- Slimming World and Karen Tucker retain copyright of all images attached to this press release.
- Slimming World’s Diamond Member competition is open to all members who have reached their personal achievement target weight and maintained that weight for more than 12 months. Around 10% of Slimming World’s membership are target members.
*At Slimming World, members choose their own personal achievement target and once they reach that weight, they can continue to attend their Slimming World group for free every week, while they remain 3lbs either side of their target, to receive support and inspire other members.
About Slimming World
Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. Members join local weekly groups or an online programme. Groups are run by a network of community-based Slimming World Consultants across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Consultants are trained in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as recognised behaviour-change techniques. Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of energy density and satiety. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly-developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating, encouraging and empowering members to make changes in a supportive, warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.
For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit slimmingworld.co.uk. Follow Slimming World on Twitter at www.twitter.com/slimmingworld or become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/slimmingworld
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