The local slimming guru who was inspired by the death of her friend

Hannah Paterson pictured before and after her major weight loss journeyHannah Paterson pictured before and after her major weight loss journey
Hannah Paterson pictured before and after her major weight loss journey
A woman was inspired by the early death of a friend to lose more than eight stone in weight and she now runs her own slimming company which operates across three counties.

Hannah Paterson (47), who lives in Croxton Kerrial, ballooned to a size 32 at one stage but a visit to the Melton Mowbray group of Weight Watchers (WW) turned her life around.

She eventually became a WW weight loss coach in 2017 only to lose her job during the Covid pandemic when the rural areas lost their groups.

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Hannah was determined to help other people lead healthier lives, however, and two years ago she launched Friends On A Journey Ltd, which supports members to find the best plan for them which fits around both their lifestyle and their personal finances.

Looking back to the trigger which changed her life, she told the Melton Times: “My weight escalated over the years as I had my children and at my biggest I got to a size 32.

“My friend and I had discussed losing weight many times, but time passed, and we never got around to doing it because of our busy lives and our children’s needs.

“One morning in 2012, my friend died suddenly, leaving behind her beautiful young family.

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"I was heartbroken for her, her young family and the thought it could have happened to anyone, me included.

“I visited her grave on that New Year’s Eve, making a promise to her that I was going to lose weight for both of us, to be healthy and be there for my children to see them gain their achievements in life and for hers if they reached out.”

Hannah, who grew up in Grimston, said she was ‘a big girl from puberty’ and was brought up on a very healthy diet of meat, vegetables and fruit, three home-cooked meals a day.

She believes her weight gain was down to changes in her body development, portion control and secret snacking.

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At the age of 15, Hannah was a size 16 and when she got married five years later her wedding dress was a size 20.

Continuing to gain weight – up to a size 32 – and devastated by the death of her friend, she decided to do something about it

Her weight loss journey started on January 3, 2013, with the support of a work colleague who reassured her she wouldn’t be made fun off, embarrassed or shamed.

“We walked through the doors of Weight Watchers Melton Mowbray and the now retired coach, Rhonda Bolton, made me feel very welcome and put me at ease straight away,” recalled Hannah.

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“I remember being asked my goals. Numbers frightened me, they still do.

"So my goals were non-scale victories, the desire to wear heeled shoes all day again and to be able to buy a pair of jeans from a high street shop.

“With just the focus to chisel away one day, one pound at a time, I have since lost over eight stone and am still losing.”

Friends on a Journey is made up of eight groups across Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, including Melton Mowbray (Sage Cross Methodist Church), Grantham, Keyworth and Bingham, and has over 100 members.

Click HERE to fund out more about the sessions.