A teenager from Aylesbury has reached the final of a national slimming competition after losing 3st 12lbs.
Eleanor Brown, 17, was over the moon to make the final 28 of Slimming World’s young slimmer of the year competition.
Since joining the Thame group Eleanor has gone from 13st 11lbs to 9st 13lb, and feels on top of the world.
Following her incredible achievement, fellow members of her Thame group voted for her to represent them in the semi-finals of the competition.
Eleanor then went one better going on to make the final.
She said: "I knew that I had an issue with my weight and that I needed to address it but like many young people I just didn’t know where to start when it came to making healthier choices.
"I was starting to become more and more self-conscious, and my weight was affecting me in lots of different ways.
"I didn’t want to go out with my friends and when I did just felt very shy and reluctant to join in because I would worry people were judging me for the way I looked.
“I felt nervous at the thought of joining a Slimming World group because I didn’t think people my age did things like that and I was worried I might get judged for being young and overweight.
"I was wrong though, everyone was so welcoming and there were a few other young people there too – so I felt a lot more at ease.
“My friends and family have all said that they are proud of my achievement – and I’m proud of myself too actually.
"I discovered that it’s possible to lose weight by satisfying your appetite and without going hungry!
"I enjoy everything from chicken to steak, pasta to potatoes and pile my plate with loads of vegetables.
"My favourite meals are burgers, chips, curries and pizza topped chicken.
“I’ve learned to cook from scratch and just have to make a few healthy swaps, like using low-calorie cooking spray and choosing lean cuts of meat.
"Now I have a better understanding about the relationship I have with food.
“I also began to think about becoming more active, so I’ve started walking more.
"I can do this now without getting out of breath and I love it.
"I’ve learnt so much from my Slimming World group, as well as lots of guidance and support, they’ve helped me to develop healthy habits that will stay with me forever.”
To make the awards memorable, Joe Swash, who co-hosts the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here spin-off show Extra Camp, came along to Slimming World’s Derbyshire head office.
Joe said: “I honestly can’t believe the difference in Eleanor, to have achieved something like this at such a young age is just amazing.
"I think a lot of people think that losing weight is all about eating less, but everyone I’ve met today loves food just as much as me!
"It takes a lot to turn your life around like that, so hats off to Eleanor for setting her mind to something and actually being strong enough to see it through.”
Sam Bogacki, who runs the Thame Slimming World group which Eleanor attends added: “I’m so proud of Eleanor.
"What she’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight.
"I’ve watched Eleanor transform into a strong and confident person who has the world at her feet.
"Joining Slimming World has given her the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and develop new active habits that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life.
"Most of all it’s given her the self-belief to achieve whatever she puts her mind to.
“Anyone who wants to lose weight – whatever their age – and wants to know more about the difference that Slimming World can make is welcome to pop along to my group at Thame Snooker Club or call me on 07850829581.”
Eleanor was chosen from 25,500 16 to 21-year-olds attending 19,000 Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland.
The competition recognises the achievements of young people who are making long-term lifestyle changes to become healthier, happier and more active.
The title of Slimming World young slimmer of the year for 2019 went to Lucie Hadley from Peterborough who lost 10 stone - her story is featured in the video at the top of this article.