A PENSIONER who has been attending a slimmer club for 17 years has been awarded the title of Diamond Member of the Year.

Jean Knight, from Colchester, is a member of Highwoods Slimming World.

Consultant Linda Duncan took over the group six years ago and said she “inherited” Jean.

Jean lost four stone within a year of joining Slimming World in 2002 and has kept the weight off ever since.

Now the 77-year-old, who dropped from 12st to 8st, has been named the group’s Diamond Member of the Year.

The title is awarded to the group’s most inspirational member who has lost weight and maintained their new shape as voted for by the slimmers in the group.

Jean began following Slimming World’s eating plan in 2002.

The plan has evolved over the years but the concept remains, encouraging slimmers to fill up on fruit and veg, pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat and fish.

Jean said: “I’m not really adventurous in the kitchen, I enjoy lots of traditional meals like roast dinners and cottage pies but it’s been great to carry on enjoying these meals and I’ve passed lots of healthy habits on to my family and friends.”

As the weight came off she decided to try increasing her activity levels. Jean began slowly by walking and now has a treadmill in her home which she uses every day.

Since reaching her target weight in 2003 she continued to attend the Slimming World group and believes without the unwavering support she would have struggled to keep her trim figure.

Slimming World members who achieve their target can continue to attend their group for free as long as they stay within 3lbs either side of their target weight.

Jean said: “I’ve made so many friends I can’t imagine not going to the group each week –they are like my family.”

“Everyone inspired and supported me to achieve my target and now it’s my turn to do the same for other people, to show the same kindness, warmth and compassion I was shown.

“Coming to group each week has kept me focused on my goal.”

Consultant Linda said she was proud of Jean as she shows what is possible.

Jean’s group win puts her in the running for the national title of Slimming World Diamond Member competition.