Stevenage mayor is dropping the pounds for her slimming challenge

Mayor Sherma Batson is taking part in the mayor's weight loss challenge

Mayor Sherma Batson is taking part in the mayor's weight loss challenge - Credit: Archant

Almost two months into her new weight loss regime, Stevenage mayor Sherma Batson is beginning to see some results - and she is urging the town’s residents to join her in shedding the pounds.

In October, in front of the Comet, councillors and members of the Stevenage Leisure Centre Gym, she stepped on the scales as part of a new campaign, So Active.

It hopes to drive down obesity levels in Bedwell, one of the most deprived and unhealthy wards in town.

She told the Comet on the launch day that she could not tell people to lose weight if she was not doing it herself.

Since then she has been going to the gym three times a week and is trying to inspire people to join her in leading a healthier lifestyle.

Sherma said: “I have banned the d-word – diet. This is about changing my lifestyle.

“There have been a few slip ups, being mayor I get invited to a lot of dinners and lunches.

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“But it is about starting over the next day, getting back on the horse and not giving up.”

And although she is yet to set foot again on the scales, she said: “I have a skirt that I like, but I couldn’t get into it.

“But now I can get it on and do it up, so that’s progress.”

The project is trying to find out what people in Bedwell want and what is the best and most useful way to spend the money.

Sherma also floated the idea of running cookery lessons and chided people for saying fresh fruit and veg is too expensive.

She said: “If you go to Lidl it is not expensive, and much better for you than a ready meal.”

Funded with a £220,000 grant from Sport England, the three-year initiative seeks to make people healthier and more active.