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Bride-to-be Jennifer is ‘Miss Slinky’ and Slimming World magazine cover star after halving her body weight
- Weighing more than 19st at her heaviest, Jennifer Ginley had to use seatbelt extenders, couldn’t fit into rollercoaster seats and even discouraged her long-term boyfriend from proposing
- Now Jennifer is ‘half the size but double the person’ after losing an incredible 9st 9lbs in just over a year and slimming from a size 24/26 to a size 8/10
- The 26-year-old caseworker has been named Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2017, will feature on the cover of Slimming World magazine and has said ‘yes’ to getting married
- More than 75,000 people have followed her weight-loss journey on Instagram.
Stunning Jennifer Ginley has already attracted more than 75,000 fans on social media with her remarkable transformation, which has seen her halve her body weight in just over a year. Now she’s hoping to inspire even more people after winning a national award for her weight loss and becoming the cover star of a top magazine.
The 26-year-old, whose Instagram followers have watched her lose 9st 9lbs and drop nine dress sizes, has been named Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2017 and will grace the cover of the March/April 2017 issue of Slimming World magazine.
Her weight-loss journey began after Jennifer was forced to buy size-26 clothes for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Florida with her family and was left devastated by the photos from the trip.
I might be half the size but I feel like I’m double the person now!
Jennifer, who lives with her mum Janet in Liverpool, says: “I’d been a fairly averaged-size child but I was a size 18 by the time I went to university in Manchester. Living away from home saw me gain even more weight and I was around 5st heavier when I graduated. I’d tried so many diets in the past, but all of them seemed to make food the enemy, so I never addressed my relationship with over-eating and nothing seemed to work for me.
“When I found myself buying size-26 clothes for the holiday I’d been looking forward to for so long, I knew something had to change. I had to ask for a seatbelt extender on the plane, I spent our time there having to ride on the adjusted seats for larger people and I was horrified when I saw the photos. One picture of me with the Little Mermaid – my favourite Disney character – actually made me gasp. I saw myself in a whole new light – I looked so unhealthy that I cried, wondering how and why I had done that to myself.”
Jennifer joined the Kirkby Slimming World group in May 2015 along with mum Janet and her sister Christine, and together they began following the Food Optimising healthy eating plan. She says: “We got such a warm welcome from everyone and I can honestly say that walking into that Slimming World group was without doubt the best thing I have ever done in my life. I’d been a Slimming World member before but this time it just clicked, I think because I just didn’t want to waste any more of my life being overweight and disliking myself for it.”
In fact, Jennifer, a Citizens Advice caseworker, says that the biggest change since her 9st 9lbs weight loss has been to her positive mentality: “Before I lost weight I had a massive lack of belief in myself and I feel like I wasted so many years with fake smiles that hid how unhappy I was. I was a serial failed-dieter and could never understand how I could achieve so much in other areas of my life, yet I couldn’t control what I ate. Finally taking control of my weight was such a huge turning point for me, both physically and mentally.
“My boyfriend Luke and I have been together for more than 11 years and I always used to discourage him from proposing because I couldn’t imagine myself as a bride being the size I was. I reached my target weight just over a year after joining Slimming World and just before Christmas Luke asked me to marry him! It was such an incredible feeling to be able to say ‘Yes!’ without even a second thought about my weight, and I can’t wait to go dress shopping.”
And it’s not just Jennifer who has benefitted from her amazing transformation, she’s already inspired lots of other people to embark on their own weight-loss journeys, too: “A really key part of my journey was keeping an online food diary so that I could chart my progress. From day one I posted my meals on my Instagram account and it really helped me to stay on track. Now I have over 75,000 followers! I still have to pinch myself when people call me an inspiration, or say that they’re going to start slimming because of me. My mum and sister have lost over 7st between them, so we’re always swapping ideas and cooking lovely Food Optimised meals for each other. The support of my friends and family and my Slimming World group, as well as the Instagram community, has been incredible.”
Since joining Slimming World Jennifer has a whole new approach to eating, swapping takeaways and convenience food for delicious, fresh and filling food. She says: “Before Slimming World I wouldn’t eat any breakfast or prepare any lunch or snacks for work, so I always found myself eating whatever I could lay my hands on – shop-bought sandwiches, packet noodles, chip shop meals. Now I prepare in advance so I’m ready for the day ahead – enjoying porridge and fruit for breakfast and taking tasty salads or homemade soup to work with me. My sister and I used to bond over eating really unhealthily – we would go out for indulgent meals, have takeaways together and eat junk food almost as a hobby. Now we cook and enjoy Slimming World feasts together and instead of having takeaways up to four times a week, we’ll make a lovely chicken stir-fry or homemade Bolognese. We’ve both changed our outlook on life and I think we’re closer now.”
Jennifer’s also rediscovered a love of exercise. She says: “About five years ago I used to dance regularly, but as I got bigger my joints would hurt and I’d get out of breath after just a short walk, so I gave it up. After I’d lost about 7st I felt brave enough to go back to my dance class and I absolutely love it now. I’ve also joined a gym.”
New bride-to-be Jennifer has dropped from 19st 4lbs to 9st 9lbs and from a dress size 24/26 to a 8/10. On top of hitting her weight-loss target, getting engaged and being named Miss Slinky 2017, Jennifer’s also ticking another ambition off her ultimate wish list – being the cover star of the March/April 2017 edition of Slimming World magazine. She says: “I honestly can’t believe all of the amazing things that have happened to me since I first walked through the doors of my Slimming World group.
“During my weight-loss journey, I’d visualise myself at target and on the cover of the magazine, inspiring other slimmers with my success. I even superimposed a photo of my face onto a magazine cover and stuck it on my bedroom wall! Recently, I’ve also had surgery to remove some loose skin on my tummy, which has given me an extra boost of confidence. I feel like I’m a butterfly, emerging from my cocoon. Best of all, I finally believe myself when I say ‘I am going to…’ across all aspects of my life. I might be half the size but I feel like I’m double the person now. I know I have the strength and the willpower to achieve anything I put my mind to, and that’s a really powerful feeling.”
Name: Jennifer Ginley
Starting weight: 19st 4lbs/270lbs/122kg
Current weight: 9st 9lbs/135lbs/61kg
Weight loss: 9st 9lbs/135lbs/61kg
Starting dress size: 24/26
Current dress size: 8/10
Date joined Slimming World: May 5th 2015
Group: Jennifer attends the Kirkby group run by Jackie Whewell
Mid-morning: Crisps and chocolate
Lunch: Shop-bought sandwiches, greasy café food, chip shop meals or packet noodles
Mid-afternoon: Fresh cream cakes and biscuits
Dinner: Chinese takeaway or frozen pizzas and oven chips, fizzy drinks
Evening: More crisps, white toast with butter
Breakfast: Porridge with lots of fresh fruit, baked oats with fruit or a Slimming World ‘fry’-up
Lunch: Homemade Slimming World-style crust-less quiche, homemade vegetable soup or a tuna sandwich in wholemeal bread
Mid-afternoon: Small bag of Cheetos crisps
Dinner: Chicken stir-fry, spaghetti bolognese, Diet cola chicken, Scouse (beef stew) or Pizza omelette with salad
Evening: Fresh fruit topped with quark, small chocolate bar
The March/April 2017 issue of Slimming World magazine is on sale in Slimming World groups from Monday 30th January 2017 and on newsstands from Thursday 9th February 2017. – ends –
Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. There are now more than 18,000 groups held weekly across the UK and Republic of Ireland via a network of 4,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques.
Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people and a recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. 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 behaviour change in a 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 Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.
For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.
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