An Edinburgh mum who shed half her body weight has reached the semi-finals of a competition to find the UK and Ireland’s top female slimmer.
Karen Hume has been through a dramatic transformation which has seen her drop from a size 30 to an eight.
She started her weight loss journey two and a half years ago after her family organised a cruise holiday.
The mum-of-one hadn’t been abroad for seven years after having to ask for a seatbelt extender on a flight.
The 46-year-old pharmacy worker said: “After sitting on the plane and having to ask for the extra seatbelt I knew something had to change. I cried every day on that holiday because I knew I’d have to ask again on the way home.”
But the ordeal has been used as inspiration on her remarkable journey – losing incredible 10st 4lbs and turning her life around. By September she was five stone lighter and had the best family holiday ever.
“It was so different going on holiday slimmer – I had so much fun,” she said. “I wasn’t going to go when I was fat. I thought ‘I’m not putting myself through that’.”
Karen, who slimmed from 19st 5.5lbs to 9st 1.5lbs, made it to the semi-finals after fellow members voted for her to be their representative in the national Woman of the Year competition. She triumphed at the regional heat, which saw her go through to the Woman of the Year 2018 semi-finals at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire.
Karen followed her niece to the Longstone Slimming World group in January 2016. She lost a whopping 6lbs in her first week and hasn’t looked back.
She said: “Before I found Slimming World, everything just felt like such a struggle. Simple tasks would become massive chores because I’d get out of breath so easily, and having so much weight to lose just felt like a huge battle. After I joined Slimming World it was as though my eyes were completely opened and I found a new way of eating that easily fit around my life.”
She still tucks in to burgers, pizza and curries, but now she makes her own with healthy ingredients – and she says they taste even better.
“What made it even easier was that I could still enjoy the same meals as my friends and family,” she added.
“Old favourites like spaghetti bolognese, macaroni cheese and cajun rice were all still on the menu, I just prepared and cooked them differently. The changes I’ve made were so simple – little things like switching white bread for wholemeal and using low-calorie cooking spray.”
Karen enjoys weekly Pentland walks with her Slimming World friends and is a regular swimmer as well as enjoying hula hooping and skipping at home.
Steven Cranston, who runs the Longstone group, said: “Karen’s remarkable transformation has inspired so many of her fellow slimmers, so we feel very lucky to have her.
“The change on the outside is plain to see, yet she has changed so much on the inside, too. These days she’s ready to take on whatever challenges life throws at her and we couldn’t be prouder of her.”