Needham Market teacher relaunches career after redundancy and weight loss
- Credit: Sammy Teather
After losing six stone, a former middle school teacher from Needham Market is preparing a relaunch of two weight loss support groups to pass her experience on to others.
Sammy Teather said she began comfort eating and "feeling sorry for herself" in 2014 and 2015, following a challenging few years.
She explained: "I was made redundant from the job I loved as a middle school teacher when the government closed them all.
"I was devastated and I struggled to find another teaching job but being a middle school specialist, a head of department and almost 50 years old, I was not a good fit for retraining in either primary or secondary.
"My confidence was at rock bottom; as colleagues moved on, daily exercise and socialising stopped too, and the fridge beckoned.
"Then in 2015, the dreaded menopause kicked in with a vengeance and my daughter left home to go to uni."
Sammy made the decision to join Slimming World at the beginning of 2018, after weighing in at almost 17st and disliking how she felt, both mentally and physically.
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Speaking about her initial experience, Sammy said: "I was so nervous, I almost didn't go, but my consultant was so welcoming and showed me how I could still eat generous amounts of the food I love like shepherd's pie, lasagne and even burger and chips without needing to weigh or measure - and that there would be absolutely no calorie counting, expensive supplements or 'shakes'.
"I was also really relieved to hear that my weight would never be made public even in group, and that there was never an ounce of judgement or humiliation in the weeks where it didn't go so well, just support and encouragement."
Her confidence increased with the newfound friendships and soon Sammy was venturing out for short walks in the village, working one day a week in a gift shop and finding a routine that worked for her.
Sammy reached her target weight in September 2019, just under two years after beginning her journey, and after the Covid lockdowns decided to train as a consultant in order to help others.
She said: "When I walked through those doors on my first evening, I never dreamed that I would end up helping other people to lose weight, but now, having lost over 6st myself, I just can't wait to be able to pass on the experience, insight and understanding that helped me.
"I feel like I've got a brand-new career and I can't wait to get started."
Sammy will take over two Tuesday evening groups - at 5.30pm and 7.15pm - at Needham Market Community Centre from April 19.
To find out more, call Sammy on 07501 104696 or drop in at either group.