Kirkcaldy slimmer is a gem after maintaining Slimming World weight loss for five years

Shirley Gourlay has been named Diamond Member of the Year at Torbain Slimming World Group.  (Pic: submitted)Shirley Gourlay has been named Diamond Member of the Year at Torbain Slimming World Group.  (Pic: submitted)
Shirley Gourlay has been named Diamond Member of the Year at Torbain Slimming World Group. (Pic: submitted)
A Kirkcaldy slimmer has been awarded the title of Diamond Member of the Year after setting a dazzling example of long-term weight loss.

Shirley Gourlay joined the Torbain Slimming World group in July 2015 and lost one stone, 9.5 pounds to reach her target weight. Impressively, she’s kept the weight off ever since proving she’s made lifelong changes to her eating and activity habits.

Now the 56-year-old, who dropped from 12 stone 5.5 pounds to 10 stone 10 pounds, has been named the Slimming World group’s Diamond Member of the Year 2023. The title is awarded to a group member who has lost weight and maintained it for at least a year or longer, and is voted for by the members of the group.

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Shirley joined Slimming World eight years ago after a holiday photo shocked her into action. She explained: “Like most people, I’d tried to lose weight countless times, yet nothing ever really seemed to stick. Slimming World was completely different because it was just so simple. I started cooking basic meals from scratch instead of just buying ready meals – all while losing weight, which seemed like a miracle at the time.

“Previous weight loss attempts left me feeling hungry – nowadays I eat more than ever. Slimming World isn’t a diet, it’s a way of life.

"With Slimming World the support that I needed was there right from day one. I picked up new ideas and recipes every week – I still do now in fact – and I started to really believe that I could do it. And I did, because five years later I’m still at my target weight.”

Back in 2015, Shirley began following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and as the weight came off she decided to try increasing her activity levels.

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She began slowly by walking a little bit further and a little bit faster until being active was part of her routine. Now she is so proud of herself for being able to complete the flag walk in her favourite holiday destination of Turkey, something she never would have attempted before losing weight.

Slimming World members who achieve their target weight, which they set themselves, can continue to attend their local group every week for free as long as they stay within three pounds either side of their target weight.

Shirley says: “I’ve made so many friends that I can’t imagine not going to the group each week – they’re like 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 and support that I was shown. I hope to be able to help members realise that even if they struggle sometimes, they can still get to their target weight like me.”

Colin, who runs the Torbain group which Shirley attends, said: “At Slimming World we believe that losing weight and maintaining for the long term is the most under-recognised achievement in weight management – I’m so proud of Shirley, she has proven just what incredible things you can achieve when you make that commitment to improve your health and truly believe in yourself. She is a real inspiration, not only to me but all the other members in the group.”

To find out more about the Torbain Slimming World group, which is held every Tuesday at 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm, call Colin on 07584 124810 or visit

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