‘Joanne can be an inspiration’

Joanne Burnett, Horncatle's young slimmer of the year
Joanne Burnett, Horncatle's young slimmer of the year

Two years ago, Joanne Burnett admits she didn’t like going to the gym, dancing or even socialising with her friends.

She weighed 19st 11bs. “I felt like the odd one out,” she says. “I used to feel self-conscious about doing anything physical in public.”

Now, it is a different story. Joanne has been named Horncastle’s young slimmer of the year after losing 7st 5lbs in 24 months.

The 21-year-old received the accolade from her fellow members at Horncastle Slimming World group.

As well as looking fabulous - and feeling fitter and healthier - Joanne could reach the national finals of the young slimmer competition with prizemoney of £2,000 at stake.

Joanne said: “Two years ago, I was so unhappy with my weight.

“The first time I went along to the Horncastle group, I felt embarrassed and thought everyone would judge me for being overweight at such a young age.

“I couldn’t have been more wrong.”

Joanne now weighs 12st 6lbs after following one of Slimming World’s healthy eating plans.

She adds: “I thought losing weight meant not eating very much or cutting out all of your favourite foods, but that’s not the case,

“I’ve learned a lot about food and can cook quite a few recipes for myself, so I don’t rely on microwave ready means or junk food.

“I love being able to wear the same clothes as my friends and enjoy going out with them more now I’ve lost weight. I walk everywhere, I’ve got so much more energy.”

Karen Hamilton, who runs the Horncastle group, said: “Everyone is so proud of Joanne. Obesity in young people is a problem and I hope she will inspire other young people.”