When mum-of-seven Aishah Ghanem watched her own mother die because of her weight, she was determined not to let the same thing happen to her.
Aishah, 44, had reached 24st 4lb when she went to her first Slimming World meeting, determined not to die and leave her husband, Mohamed, to care for all their children.
The Evington mum said: “When I lost my mum she weighed more than 30st – too heavy for the hospital scales to say for sure.
“When I gave birth to my seventh child she was eight weeks premature because of my weight – we nearly both died.
“I didn’t want to die and leave Mohamed to look after our seven children.”
Attending her first Slimming World meeting in April 2014, Aishah rapidly lost weight and within just 18 months had shed an amazing eleven-and-a-half stone.
She said: “It felt so good to lose the weight. One of my sons told me that he used to tell his friends that his mum was one of the other mums because he was ashamed of me.
“After losing weight I could do so much more – like go to Twinlakes and go on things with the children instead of just standing and watching everyone else.
“I was focussed and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
“I was worried about things like how I was going to cook for myself separately and buy all the extra ingredients but I just changed the food we all eat.
“My husband’s North African and even traditional things like tagines can be made healthy so easily. We also do healthy roast dinners and biryanis.
“You think you’ll be hungry but you’re never hungry – you can eat unlimited amounts of things like lean meat, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, pulses and fruit and vegetables. Most of the change is just cutting out all the cooking oil.”
The reason Aishah wanted to share her story was not just to get more people to see how easily they can lose weight but also to help Slimming World recruit new consultants to run groups to cope with the growing demand for slimming clubs.
Aishah, now 44, became a consultant herself in October 2015 and in September 2017 became an area manager, responsible for overseeing 15 groups around east Leicester. She runs three of the groups in Evington and Oadby.
She said: “It’s amazing to know that I’m helping people to get the same feeling that I that I had when I’d lost 11st 7lbs.
“There is no better job in the world. I’m able to spend time with my children and family and fit work around life while at the same time having a fulfilling role helping others.
“It’s a win-win, that’s for sure.”
Consultants earn around £100 to £400 a week for working 10 to 20 hours. Anyone interested in starting their own group is urged to get in touch with Emma Clark-Monks, who manages a team of 60 Consultants who run 150 Slimming World groups in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Emma said: “For anyone who has ever struggled with their weight, finding understanding care and support to help you stay committed and reach your target is invaluable.
“And this is a rare chance to make a real difference.
“As we look forward to the easing of restrictions and given the links between Covid-19 and obesity, I know lots of people are worrying about their weight more than ever before, so there’s never been a better time to help motivate people in your community and support them to take the first step of their journey, and we’re looking for consultants in the area.”
Contact Emma by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit slimmingworld.co.uk/careers
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