Weight loss teenager meets former EastEnders’ star Joe Swash

Joe Swash and Kathryn Bateman at the finals of Slimming World's Young Slimmer of the Year 2019 competition. SUS-190416-121510001
Joe Swash and Kathryn Bateman at the finals of Slimming World's Young Slimmer of the Year 2019 competition. SUS-190416-121510001

An inspirational young woman who shed more than four stone, reached the finals of Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2019 competition and met former Eastenders’ star Joe Swash.

Kathryn Bateman, 19, weighed 15st 12.5lbs when she joined the Bexhill Slimming World group.

Kathryn Bateman pictured before she lost 4st 3lbs to reach the finals of a national slimming competition SUS-190416-121920001

Kathryn Bateman pictured before she lost 4st 3lbs to reach the finals of a national slimming competition SUS-190416-121920001

With determination and support from the group she slimmed down to 11st 9.5lb - a total loss of 4st 3lb.

As a result of her achievement, the group voted for Kathryn to represent them in the Young Slimmer of the Year 2019 competition and she successfully made it through to the final 28.

The competition recognises the enormous achievements of young people who are making long-term lifestyle changes to become healthier, happier and more active.

Kathryn says she feels on top of the world. “I knew I had an issue with my weight and that I needed to address it, but like many young people I just didn’t know where to start when it came to making healthier choices,” she said.

“I was becoming more and more self-conscious, and my weight was affecting me in lots of different ways, such as not wanting to eat in public. I was afraid that people would judge me because of my weight and what I was eating.

“I would visit the doctors or hospital because of a chronic illness I have, but doctors would only focus on my weight and make that the main topic of conversation, which was hard because I wasn’t getting the help I needed.

“I felt nervous at the thought of joining a Slimming World group because I didn’t think people my age did things like that and I was worried I might get judged for being young and overweight. I was wrong though, everyone was so welcoming and my consultant is around my age, so I felt a lot more at ease.”

Though Kathryn was not the winner of the competition she is still pleased with what she has accomplished.

She said: “My friends and family are all proud of my achievement – and I’m proud of myself too.

“I discovered that it’s possible to lose weight by satisfying your appetite and without going hungry.

“I’ve learned so much from my group. As well as lots of guidance and support, they helped me develop healthy habits that will stay with me forever.”

Actor and presenter Joe Swash says he was blown away when he met Kathryn at the semi-finals of the competition. “I honestly can’t believe the difference in Kathryn,” he said.

“To have achieved something like this at such a young age is just amazing.

“It takes a lot to turn your life around like that, so hats off to Kathryn for setting her mind to something and actually being strong enough to see it through.”

To find a Slimming World group near you visit; www.slimmingworld.co.uk