Published: August 14, 2013
Teenager meets Olympic star at Young Slimmer of the Year Awards

A teenager from Highbridge has met an Olympic star after reaching the finals of a UK-wide slimming competition after losing 6st 3lb.

Steph Jeffries, 16, was chosen to represent Burnham at Slimming World's Young Slimmer of the Year 2013 competition.

She reached the final 33 people out of all 10,000 Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland.

At the awards, she met Olympic gold medallist bantamweight boxer Luke Campbell who is one of the stars backing the competition.

The annual contest aims to shine a spotlight on the achievements of young people aged 16-21 in making long-term lifestyle changes to become fitter, healthier and happier.

Steph, who joined Burnham-On-Sea Slimming World group in October 2011, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I used to feel like I was different to all my friends, I felt like I stood out because I was bigger and I couldn’t always do the same things or wear the same clothes as them."

"It affected my confidence and I didn’t want to be like that for the rest of my life. I knew that I needed to make changes and I knew I needed help to do that."

"I came to Slimming World with my mum and dad. I was really nervous but everyone was friendly and helpful."

"It was much easier than I expected to start making healthy choices and I soon realised that I didn’t need to make drastic changes, just small things like swapping white bread for wholemeal and starting to cook instead of having junk or convenience foods made a big difference."

"I picked up lots of recipes and tips in the group – I’m actually not a bad cook now – and the encouragement I got from the other members and my Consultant Keran really kept me going, even if I had a bad week."

"While I know my disabilities will never go away, I am living a healthier, fitter, happier life thanks to Slimming World."

Since her first visit Steph has gone from 17st 9½lb to 11st 6½lb and says she feels great.

Her fellow members in the Burnham group voted for her to represent them in the Young Slimmer of the Year competition and she was invited to the semi-finals, which were held at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire.

It was there she met boxer Luke Campbell, who came along to make the day extra special for the 33 young people taking part.

Luke, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics boxing for Great Britain in the 56kg bantamweight division and received an MBE in June, says: "It was incredible to win gold at London last year and I’ve had some wonderful opportunities since then, like meeting all of the amazing young slimmers."

"The reason the Olympics were so special to me was that it wasn’t just one fight, it was the result of years of hard work and I’m sure it’s the same for Steph. She didn’t achieve this weight loss overnight, it takes real dedication to make such a change but it’s great that she’s now got a happy healthy life ahead of her. It shows true fighting spirit!"

Keran Parker, who runs Burnham-On-Sea's Slimming World group which Steph attends, agrees: "Everyone is so proud of Steph. What she’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight. The changes Steph has made now have given her the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and new active habits that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life. Most of all it’s given her the self-belief and confidence to achieve her dreams, and hopefully meeting Luke has inspired her even more."

"Anyone who wants to lose weight – whatever their age – and wants to know more about the difference that Slimming World can make is welcome to pop along to my group at The Old Court House every Tuesday at 3.30pm, 5.15pm or 7pm or give me a call on 07800 832196.”

Unfortunately Steph wasn’t the overall winner of the competition. The Slimming World Young Slimmer of the Year 2013 will be announced shortly.



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