Slimming world champion Debra Maloney has reached the semi-finals of a national competition after she has maintained her 3st 3lb weight loss for over 10 years.
She runs Ross-on-Wye Slimming World groups and uses her own experiences to support her members each week.
Debra was one of 17 Slimming World consultants from across the UK and Ireland to secure a place in the semi-finals of the organisation’s Top Target Consultant 2023 competition. The competition celebrates consultants who have shown commitment to maintaining their weight loss.
Debra lost weight after joining her local Slimming World group in August 2011, weighing 14st 3lbs after finding both her health and confidence were suffering. She reached her target weight in September 11, 2012 and has maintained it ever since—so far that’s 10 years 4 months.
She said: “I had always told myself that losing weight meant restricting myself and missing out, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. At Slimming World I learned new, healthy habits and discovered I can eat all the foods I loved by just cooking and preparing them differently, from spaghetti bolognese to my Friday night chicken tikka masala. I could always eat something if I felt hungry so I never felt deprived, so I think that’s been a key part of my success. Well, it must have been because I still eat in this same way today.
“Although I was nervous when I walked through the doors of the group for the first time, I soon realised I was surrounded by like-minded people who were all on the same journey. There was no judgement at all, and I knew with the support from the other members and my wonderful Consultant I could lose the weight I wanted to—and keep it off too.”
Before long Debra started to think about how she could get more active and Slimming World’s physical activity support programme—Body Magic—helped her to take small steps to an active lifestyle at her own pace: “Now I walk and dance regularly, which really helps me to manage my weight.”
After losing 3st 3lbs and reaching her target weight, Debra realised she had a passion for helping others and in 2015 decided to train to become a Slimming World Consultant herself. Now she supports 210 slimmers at her groups every Monday and Tuesday at the Larruperz Centre.
During January, 2023 her members lost a collective 65 stone in weight.
She says: “Before joining my Slimming World group, I felt tired and unattractive and suffered regularly with back ache. Since losing weight, I no longer have back ache and am full of life!”
“I could never have dreamed I would be in the position I am now, happy, healthy and doing a role I absolutely love. My Consultant was such a key part of my journey that the opportunity to do something for people in a similar situation just seemed perfect. It’s such a flexible role that fits into my busy life.
“Of course, losing weight is just one part of the journey—being able to keep it off is another equally important step. I’m so glad that this is recognised by Slimming World and making the finals of this competition is such an honour.”
Slimming World’s Top Target Consultant 2023 competition was open to all of the organisation’s consultants who have successfully maintained their weight loss.
Slimming World currently has opportunities for past and current members or former consultants who are keen to open a local group. To find out more or to sign up to attend an opportunity event, please contact Debra.
For those inspired by Debra’s journey, her Slimming World groups are held every Monday at 9.30am, 4pm and 5.30pm plus Tuesday at 7.30am and 9am at the Larruperz Centre, Ross-on-Wye.