A Chorley mum is championing curvy women to enter beauty pageants after her own experiences have boosted her confidence.
Lisa Williams has become an advocate for beauty pageants after taking part in National Elite’s Miss section five years ago.
Following her own experiences with her weight, the 35-year-old has been keen to encourage women with a fuller figure to enter and is now organising Miss United Kingdom Rose, which has a curves section.
The mum-of-four, who was a size 18/20 when she first started pageants, says: “I first got into beauty pageants when my then nine-year-old daughter entered the Chorley Carnival Princess.
“She won the title and began fund-raising for its charities.
“As she was no longer able to compete in any more pageants that year, I decided to enter National Elite in the Miss section.
I am particularly passionate about encouraging more curvy women to enter. I don’t want them to think there are any barriers.Lisa Williams
“I weighed 14 stone 8 and was about 18/20 in dress size.
“I wanted to build my confidence after seeing how much more confident my daughter was.
“I felt I had lost who I was when I had my children and I wanted to boost my self esteem, whilst also raising money for charity and working in the community, as I have met many new people.
“I am particularly passionate about encouraging more curvy women to enter. I don’t want them to think there are any barriers.
“Some pageants have curve sections and I want to see more of this.
“I direct Miss United Kingdom Rose, meaning I deal with advertising it, payments, booking people in and organising the fund-raising, which this year is for Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Mind.
“Participants do interviews, talking about the charities and why they are taking part. They also do a catwalk, with evening wear and there is a talent round.”
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Lisa has competed in various pageants throughout the past few years, including Dream Girls and Miss Belle Pageants.
Her new-found confidence through such events led her to improve other aspects in her life and she joined Weight Watchers at St Mary’s Club, Chorley, last February, losing two stone to become a size 12/14.
But she insists she joined to take on a healthier lifestyle, for her own health, rather than to slim down for pageants.
She adds: “I didn’t need to lose weight for the pageants but I wanted to do it for myself.
“I was fed up of looking at photos with the children and hating them or hiding behind them making sure they covered most of my body on the photo.
“My health wasn’t great either and I had constant back ache and didn’t like doing any form of exercise.
“I decided I need to change my habits for life.
“Joining the Weight Watchers group was all about improving my health and boosting my self esteem.
“When I joined, I was getting out more and getting more confident.
“I enjoy going for long walks with the dogs or a walk in the park with the children and can now do so without my back hurting plus I’ve recently joined the gym and am enjoying the benefits in both mind and body.
“I’m still on my journey and am looking forward to sharing in the success of members now too as I go for gold.”
Lisa is now extending her work in the community and wants to use her experiences to boost people’s confidence through Weight Watchers Wellness Workshops.
The workshops will be held every Monday at Adlington Primary School, Park Road, at 6.30pm.
It will provide support and advice to members who have personal health goals they would like to achieve. It will also help people develop a healthier mindset.