We kick off with Slimming World's Sara Ward, who explains why we should be excited and not intimidated about embarking on a weight-loss journey. So Sara, what is the best part of being Editor of Slimming World?
It’s just a dream job! As a team, we get to meet amazing people at our photos shoots, come up with gorgeous recipes and help and support readers on their journey to a new happier, healthier life. The best bit is that moment when the new issue lands on our desks – I don't think I'll ever stop getting excited about it.
What is your number one tip for someone looking to get healthy this January?
The magazine is packed with nutritious, filling food ideas, motivational tips and inspirational success stories so it’s a great introduction to Slimming World and, I’d say, the perfect handbook for anyone making a New Year’s resolution to eat more healthily or slim down. I’d also really recommend joining a Slimming World group, too. There you'll meet other people who are in exactly the same boat and get support to slim down in an enjoyable and sustainable way, so you’ll find a new healthy groove that fits into your life.
Getting support from the group inspires you, keeps you focused and gives you a lift when you’re having a bad day – we pride ourselves on our groups being warm, friendly and free from judgement. Just knowing that other people have faced the same challenges as you makes all the difference.
What are the challenges of being a magazine editor?
Slimming World is such a well-loved magazine and I know that the readers are expecting every issue to be better than the last. I’m determined to never let them down, which can mean I put a lot of pressure on myself. Fortunately, I’m not in it alone, I work with an incredibly talented team of people who are devoted to putting together an amazing magazine, too.
Is it rewarding being Editor of a magazine that can literally change people’s lives?
It’s fantastically rewarding. We speak to people who have transformed their health, their confidence, their quality of life because they joined Slimming World. For some of them it might mean being around longer with their families, because they've cut their risk of developing serious, weight-related diseases such as diabetes or heart disease by losing weight, so Slimming World doesn’t just change lives, in some cases it saves them too. To think that picking up our magazine might have started someone on that journey is the best feeling in the world.
Weight loss can be daunting; what in your opinion, is the greatest motivational advice?
Instead of telling yourself, 'I need to lose weight,' try saying, 'I'd love to lose weight'. When you start to view weight loss as a gift to yourself, not a punishment, it can change your whole approach. It's worth taking some time to think about what a great weight loss would mean to you - is it confidence? Improved health? Freedom from the guilt and shame that overweight people often feel? As the stories in Slimming World magazine show, not only can you achieve all of those things, the journey can be enjoyable too.
What is your favourite way to relax once an issue is completed?
I'm usually pretty tired once we've put to issue to bed, so all I want to do is get home to my little boy and my husband. I might sneak in a celebratory glass of wine too! Slimming World is a really sociable company so there’s always something fun going on - often involving fancy dress!
How do you stay both inspired and find time for your own fitness?
I’m a real foodie – I loved cooking even before I joined Slimming World magazine so it was a big draw when the opportunity to join the team came up – and am always whipping up recipes from the magazine for dinner at home. So when I tell people the recipes in the magazine are quick and easy, even on a hectic midweek evening, I know it’s true! I love sharing pictures of my meals on my Instagram channel too - @saraward_sw – and find lots of inspiration from other people on social media as well.
Our slimmers really inspire me as they're full of ideas for fitting healthy weight loss around a busy schedule. I loved meeting my first cover star, Rasha Saberi. Like me she's a busy mum and she had loads of tips for cooking delicious food the whole family can enjoy.
My own fitness is definitely a work in progress. I’m really lucky, though, that at Slimming World head office we have an amazing in-house fitness instructor. She’s great at getting me moving- even if I’m not always thanking her immediately afterwards! I'm also trying to get fitness into my daily routine - whether it's jogging up the stairs while doing household chores or running around the park with my son.
What can subscribers expect from future issues? Why subscribe?
Every issue focuses on a different season; so every issue will give you a fresh set of ideas that will fit in with your life right then and there. We’ve got some fantastic new regular features coming in for the spring, including brilliant breakfast and lunch ideas and a new series of meals for special occasions- I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of them.
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