Woman told no ring would fit her fat fingers is now UK’s first official eating officer


A woman has swapped fast food binging for fine dining after her dramatic weigh loss and eating experience landed her the job of the UK’s first official eating officer.

Sophie who as a teen struggled to find clothes which fit, lost five stone WITHOUT a fad eating diet after she was shocked to hear her fingers were too fat for jewellery.

Super slimmer Sophie Hardy, 25, from Durham is the lucky eating officer, set to dine at the nation’s favourite restaurants to prove a social life and healthy eating go hand in hand.

Over 500 people applied to be paid for two meals out twice a week, deciding whether restaurant menus are healthy and delicious enough to get the Weight Watchers stamp of approval.

Sophie said: “Being chosen to eat out twice week in restaurants across the UK is an absolute dream job so I am delighted to be appointed as the first ever official eating officer.

“Clothes shops have turned me away for being too big and a famous jewellery shop chain also turned me away as they said they didn’t think they had rings to fit my fingers.

“I proved them wrong and took my fingers full of cash elsewhere!

“I love eating out and Weight Watchers has helped me to enjoy all the foods I love, including wine and cake, and still lose weight.

“I am excited to show the UK that life doesn’t have to stop while leading a healthier lifestyle.”

PIC FROM MIKAEL BUCK/ CATERS NEWS -Newly appointed Official Eating Officer, Sophie Hardy.

PIC FROM MIKAEL BUCK/ CATERS NEWS -Newly appointed Official Eating Officer, Sophie Hardy.

Sophie is no stranger weight watching since she ate her way to a size 26 dress size aged just 16 and decided enough was enough.

The newly appointed eating officer lost an impressive five stone but her weight slowly crept up again.

Now just two stone away from her target, Sophie is looking forward to proving that shifting weight need not come at the cost of eating out.

Sophie said: “I ate out definitely at least twice a week. But as a youngster it was more fast food and convenience food such as kebabs, Chinese All-You-Can-Eat Buffets- that was my weakness.

“I always went to McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Chinese Buffets, Frankie & Benny’s, fish & chips – choosing options which were not the most sensible and definitely not in moderation.

“I can eat at these places now knowing that it is a balanced option in my overall lifestyle.”

A recent survey conducted by Weight Watchers found that over two thirds of Brits feel that fad diets make socialising difficult and those aged 25-34 struggle most to socialise and eat healthily than over 45s.

The survey also found that a quarter of Brits admit to taking a rain check on social occasions because they are following a fad diet.

PIC FROM MIKAEL BUCK/ CATERS NEWS -Collect image of Sophie Hardy before her weight loss. Dember 2014.

PIC FROM MIKAEL BUCK/ CATERS NEWS -Collect image of Sophie Hardy before her weight loss. Dember 2014.

These cancelled plans equate to over 50 hours a year per person in time lost with friends, family and partners.

Women were found to be the worst affected by fad diets, with over two thirds of female respondents agreeing that a restrictive diet negatively impacted their enjoyment of social occasions.

For Sophie home was not a safe haven for eating either, she said: “Home is where I did a lot of my eating out of pure boredom but I’ve learned that food is not a reward or a distraction.

“Now I find other things to pass the time, such as visiting friends, taking a long bubble bath, reading a book, going for a walk or a gym class.

Hardy hopes she can demonstrate to others who are already on, or about to embark on their weight loss journey, that Weight Watchers unique counting system, SmartPoints, enables you to continue to live your life, confident that you can eat out or on the go and still lose weight.

As the official eating officer, Hardy will be posting a weekly blog of her weight loss journey and her dining mission across the UK.

Her blog will offer healthier options for those wanting the flexibility and freedom to socialise, lose weight and lead a healthy, happy life.

Sophie will attend meetings led by trained leaders who have all lost weight on the programme. She will also be able to use the Weight Watchers app with a barcode scanner and tracker for 360 support wherever and whenever she needs it.

PIC FROM MIKAEL BUCK/ CATERS NEWS -As Official Eating Officer Sophie will travel the UK, dining out twice a week testing restaurants menus for healthy and delicious options.

PIC FROM MIKAEL BUCK/ CATERS NEWS – Sophie before and after her weight loss.

Julia Westgarth, Programme Development Manager at Weight Watchers said: “It is shocking to see how big an impact fad diets and other well known weight loss programmes are having on British social lives.

“Losing weight doesn’t have to be restrictive and Weight Watchers can help you to enjoy all the foods you love, at home and while out, and still lose weight.

“We are proud to provide a programme that encourages a flexible and balanced approach to leading a healthier lifestyle that simplifies healthy eating meaning that with Weight Watchers, you can lose up to eight times more weight than on your own.

“Our official eating officer will demonstrate how Weight Watchers guides people towards smarter food choices and teaches skills, such as portion control, to achieve long term success, so social lives don’t need to be compromised.”

Sophie said: “You can eat anything you want on the Smart Points plan, as long as you have the allowance for it. It’s about making choices and owning them 100%.

“If you do want a treat, that’s fine. Enjoy it and start again tomorrow! 80/20 is the balance that Weight Watchers promotes to me.

“I’ve always been active, I’ve never been a couch potato type because I get bored too easily and I’ve always enjoyed exercise.

“I go to the gym around two to three times a week if I’m not too busy with work and I go to my local Zumba class once a week.”