Shirebrook slimming guru practises what she preaches with weight-loss success
A popular slimming expert has practised what she preaches at her Shirebrook classes by shedding a huge amount of weight herself.
Mum-of-two Gemma Dring, 44, once lost six stone in six months, but piled most of it back on again.
Now she is on the verge of her target weight of 10st 10lb, having weighed in at 14st 3lb at the beginning of last year.
And those feeling proudest for her are the dozens of members who attend her weekly Slimming World sessions at Holy Trinity Parish Church Hall on Main Street in Shirebrook.
"I have been a full-time consultant there for ten-and-a-half years and built it up from nothing,” said Gemma, who lives in the town
"As well as anyone, I know what it’s like to want your weight-loss dream, and how difficult it can be to keep hold of that dream!
"My weight has yo-yoed, and I have found it extremely difficult to lose weight by myself.
“When you are a consultant, it is a lot harder because you have everyone else’s interests at heart, and you put yourself on the back-burner.
"But in January 2020, I joined a group at Turner Hall in Mansfield Woodhouse, where the consultant was Amanda Severn and is now Lee Madin.
"I felt it was different this time, and I have never been more motivated.
"The weight-loss hasn’t been mega-fast, but I am now only 2lb away from my target.
"I am really proud of myself, and it’s good that my members feel proud as well.
"They have followed me on my journey, and they say I am inspiring them, which is amazing.”
Gemma, who lives with husband Craig, a car sales manager, and children, 18-year-old Fenton and ten-year-old Macey, lost the weight through Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan.
"There are no restrictions, and you are never hungry,” Gemma explained of the plan as she looked forward to a dinner of spaghetti bolognese that night.
"It revolves around eating foods that keep you fuller for longer. For instance, I eat out a lot, but I can choose almost anything on the menu and know I am keeping to the plan.”
Being overweight has always plagued Gemma, going back to her childhood days. It even caused problems when she was pregnant and led to Fenton being born ten weeks early.
That persuaded her to go on the slimming spree that lost her six stone from 15st 9lb. But she gradually put it on again, largely through complacency.
"Last year, however, I decided enough was enough!” she said. “I have dropped four dress-sizes, and it feels amazing to get into a size ten.
"As a family, we still enjoy burger nights, and it’s good to know the children are eating healthily too by following Slimming World recipes.
"I am determined to stay at my target weight now.”
Gemma’s classes in Shirebrook had to be held online via Zoom during the Covid restrictions and lockdowns.
But they are up and running again every Wednesday, with 170 members currently signed up, which is way above the Slimming World average.
They range from youngsters, aged 11 to 15, to men and women of all ages up to 80.
Now they all know there are no excuses. If the boss can do it, so can they!