A MOTHER had no idea how a trip to the beach would inspire her incredible weight loss journey. 

Jane McRea joined Slimming World in Penarth when she weighed 21 stone – seeing a photo of her on the beach in a pink dress was a “defining moment” which inspired her to slim down to 12 stone.

Penarth Times: This photo inspired Jane McRea to lose weight

“I told myself that no matter how much stress I was under, I was the one eating the wrong foods and I needed to stop,” explained Jane. 

“I came off the beach, threw that awful dress in the bin, and began my weight loss journey.” 

Jane shed an impressive nine stone through food optimising (rather than dieting) and regular exercise; she began walking to the corner shop for a newspaper and, amazingly, completed the Camino last year, walking 240 km in 10 days. 

Penarth Times: Jane McRea lost an impressive nine stone

And now Jane’s son is also reaping the rewards of Slimming Word. During lockdown Gareth McRea, who was already overweight, gained two stones and found himself feeling demotivated and felt he looked “awful”. 

He joined Slimming World just over two years ago and has lost 4.5 stone.

Penarth Times: Gareth McRea before and after Slimming World

“I find the group supportive, friendly, and we have a good laugh,” said Gareth, also praising the “great camaraderie” of the group which includes men and women. 

“Slimming World gives me a sense of community and a purpose in supporting others to lose weight,” he continued. 

“I feel supported and it's a place where I belong.” 

Before Slimming World, he had developed a “negative relationship” with food but now he’s able to “focus on eating healthily” and has developed his cookery skills, while enjoying running, completing the Cardiff Half Marathon this year - his first in 11 years and setting a new personal best. 

Penarth Times: Gareth taking part in Race for Life

“I find cooking cathartic and Slimming World recipes are tasty and basically fat free - I can't believe what I used to put in my body.  

“I feel much better about myself, look younger, feel less tired and generally am more confident. “ 

He added that the group consultant, Kath Thorne-Thomas is “excellent” and “her encouragement helps me to believe that I can achieve what I want.” 

Penarth Times: Gareth (right) with Kath Thorne-Thomas

You can find your nearest Slimming World group online at slimmingworld.co.uk