A cut above the rest
Throughout her late teens and early 20s hairdresser Jackie Rogerson tried everything she could to lose weight. It wasn’t until a client recommended she join her local Slimming World group that she managed to make a change and lost 3st ½lb*.
More than 19 years later, Jackie, now 45, has maintained her target weight ever since and hung up her scissors to become a Slimming World Consultant and, later, a fitness instructor, too. She’s also been named Slimming World’s Top Target Consultant 2016.
“I'd been a sporty teenager but gained weight when I left school to work in a local hairdresser’s and gave up my active hobbies. At my heaviest, I hated looking at myself in the salon mirrors every day and tried a long list of weight loss methods to shift the weight. Every time a new fad diet came out or someone came in the salon and told me about a new way to lose weight, I'd give it a go. One of the best – or should I say worst – was a suit which claimed to sweat off the fat while you slept. All I remember is that it cost me £20 and the only thing I lost was that £20.
“It was another one of my clients who told me about Slimming World in 1994. I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never been to a group before, but I’d tried everything else so I thought I might as well give it a go. When I got there I was one of the youngest ones, everyone was really welcoming though and straightaway I was hooked.
I became a vegetarian when I was 17 so I thought I ate pretty healthily, but looking back I had a lot of creamy pasta sauces and ready meals. Now I make all my own soups and sauces from scratch, and even though I’m not the world’s best cook I’m famous for my Slimming World-friendly creamy garlic mushroom pasta.
Jackie when she
“In my first week I lost 7lbs and I've never looked back. Two years later I reached my target weight of 10st 1lb, having lost 3st ½lb. I didn’t race to target because it was important to me that this wasn’t just another quick fix. I’ve always thought the word diet meant ‘dare I eat that?’ and Slimming World has never once felt like a diet – to me it was about getting to where I wanted to be and staying there. The day I hit target I felt incredible – and fitting into a pair of size 12 jeans was the best feeling!
A typical day might be scrambled egg on wholemeal toast or Quorn sausages, baked beans, scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms fried in low calorie cooking spray; chunky home-made soup or jacket potato and baked beans for lunch, and a big plate of pasta with lots of veg for dinner. In the evening I enjoy a small packet of crisps and a bottle of lager.
“Within a year of becoming a Slimming World Consultant I decided to give up hairdressing to concentrate on it full time. Now I look after 500 members in my Slimming World groups each week – and I love it. Then about six years ago I discovered Zumba and I absolutely loved that too. I trained as a fitness instructor and started teaching Zumba on a Friday night to all of the Slimming World members in the area. All of the money goes to charity and recently we raised £1,000 for Help for Heroes.
“This year I’ll be celebrating 20 years at my target weight, which is amazing in itself, so to be Slimming World’s Top Target Consultant 2016 is the cherry on the top. I love being able to say to people ‘I’m going to help you get to where you want to be and stay there’, and I think that keeps me even more motivated too because I don’t want to let any of my members down. To me Food Optimising is just natural now; it’s the way I shop, the way I cook, the way I look at a recipe – I always joke that it’s as natural as putting on my red lipstick. If by winning this award I can inspire one person to walk through the door at Slimming World that wouldn’t have done otherwise, then I’ll be happy.”
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose
You'll find more delicious recipe and menu ideas at your local group, along with all the help you need to get started and reach your target weight.