Motorbike-loving mum Maria Taylor is celebrating living life in the fast lane after winning the title of Top Target Consultant 2012.
After losing 4st 9½lb with Slimming World, Maria’s partner Alan bought her a set of skin-tight leathers so she could ride on the back of his motorbike. Now she’s kept the weight off for more than six years and today Maria loves going riding with Alan.
Maria, who now runs her own Slimming World group in her hometown of Market Weighton, says: “At my heaviest weight I’d never have dreamed of getting on a bike. I lived in baggy tracksuit bottoms and no amount of money would’ve got me in leathers. But now I love it, Alan and I like nothing more than going out on the bike together.”
The 39-year-old had been overweight since childhood. She says: “I was the youngest of six children and we were all big I suppose. My mum and my grandma made homemade jams and cakes and I loved their cosy cooking. After leaving school, I got a job in a factory and would snack from the vending machines all day, then I discovered the pub too so I got steadily bigger and bigger.”
Maria continued to gain weight until 2003 when she decided to join her local Slimming World group with some colleagues: “My son Joel, who’s 11 now, was a toddler and I looked horrendous. We’d been away on holiday and I couldn’t keep up with him at all. I didn’t want to be a frumpy mum anymore.”
Following Food Optimising and getting active saw the mum-of-one slim down from a size 20 to a 10. Maria says:
It’s not like a diet. The plan fits in with your life rather than you having to fit in with it. We all eat together and enjoy the same healthy meals as a family, we love big roast dinners and barbecues in the summer with lean meats, homemade burgers, jacket potatoes and salads. The best thing for me is that Joel, and Alan’s children, have learned how to make healthy choices and eat a big variety of foods including lots of fruit and vegetables.
After transforming her figure, Maria decided to overhaul her career too. She trained as a Slimming World Consultant, taking over running the group at Market Weighton Community Centre she attended as a member, and she now supports more than 100 members every week. Maria’s new-found confidence also saw her approach her local GP surgery about her weight loss success and they were so impressed that they offered her a part-time job.
She says: “I’m so lucky to have two jobs I love and they work perfectly together. The medical staff recommend my group to lots of their patients and it’s amazing to see the difference it makes, I’ve got members who’ve been able to come off asthma medication since losing weight or people who are walking without a stick for the first time in years. The doctors like my healthy cooking too – so much that I now cater all of their meetings! I can tell people Slimming World works and that you can lose weight and keep it off because I’m the proof. My group’s support helped so much when I was losing weight and now with all the extras like apps for your phone, the LifelineOnline website and Facebook it’s even better.”
Maria’s not only inspiring people at work, her mum and three best friends have all lost weight including her oldest friend who’s shed 7½st. Since reaching her own target weight Maria’s also discovered huge health benefits as she was told she has Perthes’ disease which attacks a bone in the hip and that if she hadn’t slimmed down she might have needed a hip replacement.
She says: “Losing weight – and keeping it off – has changed my life completely. I’m the fit mum I wanted to be – now Joel has to keep up with me; I’m back together with my childhood sweetheart and we’re very happy; I’ve got my own motorbike and leathers; and I have two jobs that I love. I always said that I wanted to be still in my size 10s for my 40th birthday, I turn 40 next January and I know I’ll be slim then and for the rest of my life thanks to Slimming World.”