Horncastle business owner Clare Fordham is not the woman she used to be...but she could not be happier!
Clare, who has lived in Horncastle for 15 years, owns ‘Cloudnine Crafts’ and has taught card-making for the last 14 years.
Two years ago, she joined Slimming World - a decision that changed her life.
To date, she has lost 10 stone!
She has just begun training to become a Slimming World consultant and will be re-launching a Tattershall group on Monday, October 29.
Clare says: “Hopefully, I can help and inspire others to reach for their dreams.”
Clare admits that for most of her adult life, she was always out of breath and constantly in pain from aching joints.
She hid herself away and only ventured out when absolutely necessary.
Her confidence was at an all time low and although she was surrounded by amazing family and friends, she simply hated what she had allowed herself to become.
She went to bed each night terrified that she wouldn’t wake up.
The pain in her chest had become so bad while leg pain had her constantly worrying about DVT’s. She knew she was on the verge of ‘type 2’ diabetes and other weight related health issues.
The real turning point came in the shape of a four-legged friend called ‘Stanley’.
Clare’s parents had just bought a new Italian Spinone puppy and having previously shown their Old English Sheepdogs they really wanted to see Stanley in the show ring.
But due to her father needing two knee replacements and her mum having recently recovered from cancer, Clare stepped in.
Training was easy when he was a puppy but as his legs got ever longer and his first show loomed, Clare knew she would have to run with him!
Something had to be done.
Clare’s best friend had just joined Slimming World and suggested she go too.
So, on the following Monday, she ventured through the doors of Tattershall Village Hall, nervous but determined.
After a warm welcome, she sat through the new members’ talk and couldn’t believe all the things she was being told she could eat.
Clare recalls she left that night feeling happy but a little sceptical.
She made a promise to herself that she would stick to the plan 100% for a week - and see how she got on.
After a week of eating homemade burger and chips, pizza and even an Indian takeaway, she returned to class and tentatively stepped on the scales and had lost a staggering 10.5lbs.
Previously, Clare had fallen into the habit of skipping breakfast and then filling up on cakes and pastries mid-morning.
For lunch, she’d often order far more than one person needed and claim she was taking it home for her husband!
In reality, she knew that she would eat it all but was just too ashamed to admit it.
Her evening meal often consisted of something that could easily be thrown in the oven such as a stuffed crust pizza and whole garlic baguette followed by a huge sugary dessert.
While finishing off her work in front of the TV, she would polish off bags of chocolates or crisps.
But, as the weight continued to fall off, Clare found time to start cooking meals herself.
She began to quicken her pace around the showring with Stanley and not only was she less red faced, she could finally breath without pain.
By gradually increasing the length of walks with Stanley, Clare had achieved her ‘bronze body magic’ award and had greatly improved her fitness - all without going to a gym.
At just eight months old, Stanley qualified for the biggest show in the world Crufts.
Three days before Crufts, Clare was presented with her five stone award.
This year, in March, she showed two dogs at Crufts as Roscoe had now joined the family.
Also this year, Clare completed a ‘Go Ape’ assault course in Sherwood Forest for charity.
She even convinced her father to join Slimming World and he has now lost over eight stone and is a target member which has enabled him to have his knee replacement operation which would not have been possible.
Many of Clare’s other family and friends have also joined and are all enjoying their successes.
Clare says: “Losing weight really has changed my life and I would like to help others look forward to a brighter, happier and much healthier future.”
l Join Clare at Tattershall Village Hall groups on a Monday from 5pm to 7pm.