130 people turn up to Crouch Hill woman’s first Slimming World class

Debbie Thomas advertising her class.

Debbie Thomas advertising her class. - Credit: Archant

Six months ago Debbie Thomas saw a poster for Slimming World and decided to give it a go.

Her father had just died and she was starting to get better after four years of serious illness, so the time felt right.

Turns out that decision changed Debbie’s life. This week she hosted her first ever session as a consultant at Islington Central Methodists Church.

She bought new chairs incase more people turned up than could be provided for, but didn’t really expect anyone to. She had taken over a 15-member session and new consultants are meant to have 25 people in their class.

“I did a couple of events at Iceland and some leafleting” said Debbie, 53. “But I didn’t know if there would be anyone there.

“People say they will come but you’re too afraid to think they will. I was practicing my talk over and over and didn’t think it was any good.

“When I turned up there were 130 people. We were so busy we ran out of chairs! It was like being at the sales. I had to give new members the opening talk while they were queuing.”

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The incredible turnout capped off a transformative period for Debbie, who lives on the Holly Park Estate in Crouch Hill.

“I was too ill to work for four years,” said the former Hackney Council worker. “I thought I was washed up and past it.

“But within three months of joining I put in to be a consultant. I had to do three diplomas and train at head office. It was really full on – I thought I was in an army boot camp! It was like taking lessons while on a running machine.

“I had really bad Crohn’s disease and I’m in my third year remission from bladder cancer. I saw the poster for Slimming World. I thought ‘Well, I’ll go in’. It changed everything for me really quickly.

“I’m not a great weight-loss story, because I didn’t have that much to lose. I only lost 10lbs in a month but I found I made some friends and got my confidence back and joined a gym. It was massive for me. I got a personal trainer and, it wasn’t that I lost a stone-and-a-half, but it changed my body shape.

“Health is such a big issue so hopefully this can inspire other people.”

Debbie still wants more people to sign up, and will put on another class if necessary. The sessions are at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at the Palmer Place church and cost £4.95 a week.