Shawnee Ridha, 28, from Westerhailes has been named Longstone’s Slimming World ‘Woman of the Year,’ landed her dream job and helped her mum loose almost 5 stone thanks to her life-changing 6st weight loss.
Shawnee Ridha, from Westerhailes, has gone from 16 stone 3lbs to 10 stone in just over a year.
Her weight loss made her determined to help her mum Pamela, 51, who has Hashimotoes an autoimmune disease which attacks the soft tissues and thyroid making weight loss feel impossible.
After joining her daughter’s group in the Westsider function hall on a Wednesday evening, Pamela lost a whopping 4 stone 12lbs.
More than half of all women in the UK and Ireland (58 per cent) are overweight and a quarter of women’s weight risks impacting on their health by increasing their chances of developing a range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Shawnee, who has gone from a dress size 22 to a 10, said: “When I started out I never dreamt I’d be able to achieve all that I have. Losing the weight has made such a big difference – it’s changed my life. My health is better, I have more energy and I’m much happier now – I definitely feel more comfortable in my own skin.”
She joined Slimming World in August 2016 after becoming increasingly unhappy with her size.
“I started to put on weight after having my children I was just so miserable,” she said. “I remember being so scared to walk into my first ever Slimming World group I had to take my friend. I tried lots of different diets, but they usually left me feeling hungry or miserable – or both, in fact.
“With Slimming World it’s completely different, I never have to miss out and I don’t have to get hung up on weighing and measuring everything I eat. My family and friends are all amazed by how much I can eat and still lose weight. I still eat many of the same meals that I did before I started losing weight, like spaghetti bolognese, curries and roast dinners. Now I just prepare and cook them differently – and they taste so much better. I’ve picked up lots of new healthy recipes from the other members at my Slimming World group, too.
“I know a lot of people worry about joining a slimming club because they don’t know what to expect. Right from the first moment I walked into my Slimming World group I felt comfortable though, and the support I’ve received has been amazing.”
Shawnee lost 5lbs in her first week and was blown away that the changes she’d made had such a big impact so quickly. As the weight started to come off, her fitness improved Shawnee now loves tone up in the gym twice a week.
She said: “I remember feeling like there was no hope when it came to my weight, but I’ve realised that when people believe in you – and you believe in yourself – you can do anything you set your mind to. I really hope my weight loss can inspire other people to get started on their own journey and know that there’s a whole group of people waiting to support them every step of the way – especially at my Westerhailes group.
Steven Cranston, who manages the Edinburgh area, said: “We are so proud of Shawnee and her mum. Shawnee is a fantastic ambassador for Slimming World and what she’s achieved is nothing short of incredible! She’s a huge inspiration to everyone in her group and what she inspired her mum to achieve is really amazing and I know is inspiring other women – and men – in Edinburgh South to change their lives in the same way.”