Nineteen-year-old student Charlotte Randall, from Worthing, was named Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year after losing 4st 10lbs.
Winning the national award has encouraged Charlotte to pursue her life-long ambition of singing and dancing on stage.
Charlotte said: “My weight held me back a lot in my college studies. I was always the shy one hiding at the back in baggy clothes, and I’d never put myself forward for roles. Now I attend extra dance lessons outside of college and even had the confidence to take part in a dance competition recently.”
Numerous embarrassing incidents encouraged the teenager to join Slimming World, including her trousers ripping in public and being given a seatbelt extension on a rollercoaster at Thorpe Park.
Charlotte, who went from a size 18/20 to a size 10/12, said: “It was really hard for me in the beginning because I was only 17 and the youngest in the group. I was embarrassed because I felt that I shouldn’t have let myself get to this point at such a young age. I shouldn’t have worried though because everyone was so friendly. Now I absolutely love going to Slimming World every week and I really enjoy hearing how everyone else has got on.”
Her aim is to motivate more people to lose weight, especially young people.
She said: “Being overweight as a young person can be very difficult and something I wish no one had to go through, so if I can inspire just one person to make a change I’ll be very happy. Losing weight isn’t a fix for all of life’s problems, but it’s a great start and losing weight has certainly changed things for me and my family.”