WHEN Josie Griffin’s husband died, she decided to do something about her weight. It led her to train for the challenge of a lifetime - training, at the age of 73, for a trek in Costa Rica and Nepal to raise £11,000 for Marie Curie in her husband’s memory.

Josie, of Allerton, lost three stone to prepare herself for the fundraising venture. “My husband had a heart condition and was diabetic, when he died I knew I had to do something about my weight or else I could go down the same road as him and I didn’t want my children to go there again,” said Josie. “So I decided to do something about it, but I wasn’t sure if I could go it alone. I’d seen a Slimming World sign outside the local church. I was nervous walking through the door but I was made very welcome and since then I’ve made some lovely friends. I’d tried to lose weight countless times, yet nothing seemed to stick, especially with online diets as I never had the support I have at my group.”

Added Josie: “Slimming World was completely different to anything I’d tried before. I’d always tried to cook well with my husband’s condition, but when I started the food optimising plan I realised there was so much more I could be doing; it changed the way I shopped, cooked and ate.”

As her weight came off, Josie started to increase her activity levels slowly, then set herself a challenge to raise money for Marie Curie in memory of her husband. She started by walking around the village, each day adding more steps until she was ready to start training for the charity treks. “You don’t have to become a professional athlete to get active - just making a commitment to moving more all adds up,” said Josie. “Many people make the mistake of joining a gym, overdoing it in week one and quickly giving up, thinking ‘exercise isn’t for me’. Finding an enjoyable, sustainable way of building active habits into your routine is key - what’s most important is making it a regular habit, as natural to your day as brushing your teeth.”

Siobhan Bower, West Bradford’s Slimming World Consultant, said: “Studies show that embarking on a weight loss journey alongside other slimmers brings more success than going it alone; sharing ups and down, advice and tips, and having cheerleaders on your side. And people who are supported to lose weight in a group increase mental toughness, developing more control, embracing challenges and growing in confidence. Josie is a shining example of all this.

“As well as setting an overall weight loss target, my members set a mini goal every week. Whether it’s to lose weight, get more active, plan ahead or try something new, making that commitment to a goal helps them achieve more. We’re so lucky to have Josie in our group, she is a true inspiration.”

* To find out about local Slimming World groups call Siobhan on 07977 592211 or visit slimmingworld.co.uk