Norfolk woman in finals for Young Slimmer of the Year after losing 7st

Faith Bodenham, who has lost more than 7st Picture: Submitted

Faith Bodenham, who has lost more than 7st Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A 20-year-old from Norfolk has reached the finals of a national slimming competition where she met Olympian and Strictly Come Dancing winner Louis Smith.

Faith Bodenham meets Olympian and Strictly winner Louis Smith Picture: Slimming World

Faith Bodenham meets Olympian and Strictly winner Louis Smith Picture: Slimming World - Credit: Archant

Faith Bodenham from Hunstanton made the final 25 in Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2020 competition after losing 7st, 5.5lbs.

The competition recognises the enormous achievements of young people in making long-term lifestyle changes to become fitter, healthier and happier.

Studies have shown that young people who are overweight or obese are also more likely to develop conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes and are more likely to become overweight adults.

Faith, who joined the Hunstanton Slimming World group to feel more comfortable with her size, says: “I knew my weight was an issue, and I was starting to become increasingly unhappy. I would feel uncomfortable in my clothes and I’d started to make excuses not to go out with my friends because I often felt self-conscious.

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“I was encouraged to join my local Slimming World group by a friend. I must admit, I was nervous at the thought of joining at first because I thought that people might judge me for being overweight at such a young age. I soon realised how wrong I was though.

“My friends and family are really proud of what I’ve achieved – and I’m feeling quite proud of myself too actually. I am doing things now that before I lost weight I didn’t think were possible. I’ve started jogging with my sister, Eve and I feel so much better for it.”

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Faith began following Slimming World’s healthy eating programme, which enabled her to learn how to prepare her meals in healthier ways.

Since that first group, Faith has slimmed from 18st 2.5lbs to 10st 11lbs. Fellow members in the Hunstanton group voted for her to represent them in the Young Slimmer of the Year 2020 finals, which were held at Slimming World’s head office in Alfreton, Derbys.

It was there she met Strictly winner and gymnast Louis Smith MBE, who came along to show his support for the youngsters taking part. Louis, who represented Great Britain as a gymnast at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, was amazed at Faith’s transformation.

He said: “Health and fitness has always been important to me, especially when I was competing professionally at a young age. I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to make healthy choices. The changes that Faith has made to turn her life around are nothing short of remarkable. It just goes to show that with the right support and mindset, anything is possible.”

Jo Jackson, who runs the Hunstanton Slimming World group which Faith attends, said: “I’m so proud of Faith. What she’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Faith grow in confidence each week.” Although Faith made the final eight, she was not the overall winner of the competition. Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2020 will be announced later this month.

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