‘Excited to be back!’ Slimming World clubs to reopen across Suffolk after four months
Slimming World clubs in Suffolk are to start reopening from Monday – with organisers saying they “excited to be back” helping members with their weight and lifestyle goals in person.
Weight loss groups were forced to cancel their weekly sessions in community venues across the county when the coronavirus lockdown came into force in March.
Franchisees running the groups quickly moved to holding sessions remotely via Zoom.
Yet despite the benefits of the online catch-ups, Sarah Pearsons – Slimming World team developer for east Ipswich and Suffolk coastal – said: “It’s different when you step on the scales on your own at home.
“We know that, regardless of the results, when you’ve got a room of people who know what it feels like, they will give you support and motivation.”
A phased reopening of the groups will start on Monday, August 10, starting with shorter, smaller sessions.
Each session will be open to a maximum of 30 people, meaning that pre-booking places in groups will be essential.
Social distancing rules will be in place at each group, with minimum distances between each chairs and one-way systems around venues.
“It’s so we can make sure everyone is safe,” said Mrs Pearsons, who hopes all groups will be reopen by September.
Of this year’s lockdown, Mrs Pearsons – who is also Slimming World consultant for Matlesham Heath – said: “I’m a local mum from Kesgrave and we’re all self-employed franchisees, so we didn’t know what it was going to mean.
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“People come to our groups for help. We’re a real family and community.
“Not having that contact every week was a scary thing for a lot of people. It was an emotional rollercoaster for everyone.
“Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight, regardless of what their target is, knows that you can still have those negative thoughts.
“Everyone was in the same situation, but at the same time everyone was in a completely different place within that – so it’s been really hard for a lot of people.
“Everyone has had their wobbles and has picked up some new bad habits, or gone back to something they managed to change in the past. A lot of people have been really lonely.”
While she said many people had improved their activity levels by taking advantage of the daily exercise allowance during lockdown, Mrs Pearsons said: “Food habits are different.”
While restaurant and café closures took away the temptation for many to eat out, she admitted that she was one of those to have the odd “Pringles moment” at home.
“Working from home with children meant I had biscuits in the cupboard and snacks I would normally keep away from,” she said.
“When you’re at home it’s really easy to fall into bad habits.
“That’s where the groups are helpful – to give each other a few different ideas.
“We’re so excited to be back, see all those familiar faces and all be together again.”
More information about groups is available on Slimming World’s website.
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