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This is the life!

Claire's life takes on a new dimension

University Principal Clerk Claire Di Palma, nominated for Slimming World Woman of the Year, was delighted to have the opportunity to meet actor Gary Lucy (alias Luke from Hollyoaks, Kyle from Footballers' Wives) at the district finals in September.

"I didn't get through to the finals - the lady who actually won Woman of the Year 2003 was in my group, and she had lost an incredible 19 stone! However, I did get to pose for a photo with Gary Lucy, which more than made up for any disappointment", said Claire.

"Another bonus is that I shall be going to London in December for a photo shoot where I get to try on loads of clothes, have my makeup and hair done, with all expenses paid, for a feature in March/April's issue of Slimming World."

[Photo: Claire di Palma and Gary Lucy]
Claire di Palma meets Gary Lucy

Claire's story has attracted considerable publicity. News of her achievement has featured in Central and BBC News, local media (a feature on Claire will appear in the Leicester Mercury in the New Year), and BBC Radio 4 Hometruths with John Peel. She has also recently been the Guest Speaker on the Women's Springboard programme.

Her two-year journey from being a size 24 to bordering on a size 12 started when she had to ask an air stewardess for an extension to her seatbelt. Since losing nine and a half stone, she now enjoys regular exercise. She took part in the Flora Light Challenge for Women in September and raised over 400 for Epilepsy Action.

"I am a glutton for punishment and I'm now training to attempt a 10k run early next year. "There's no stopping me now!"

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Last updated: 1 December 2003 10:00
Created by: Barbara Whiteman

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