Rosemary Conley is the UK’s foremost diet and fitness expert with over 40 years’ experience in helping people to lose weight and get fitter.
Rosemary has lived in Leicestershire all her life and left school at 15. After training as a secretary and working as a Tupperware dealer she started her own Slimming and Good Grooming business in 1971 with an investment of £8 and ran classes across the city and county. Ten years later she sold the classes to IPC Magazines for £52,000 running them until 1985 when she then went freelance again.
In 1986 Rosemary discovered a low-fat diet plan, which transformed her body in a way she had never been able to achieve with previous diets. Rosemary put her experiences down on paper and the result was her Hip and Thigh Diet, which was published in 1988 and captured the attention of the nation. This book and its sequel, Rosemary Conley’s Complete Hip and Thigh Diet, have sold more than two million copies.
In 1993, Rosemary and her husband and business partner, Mike Rimmington, launched Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs to give additional help, support and motivation to people following her diet and fitness programmes. The national network of clubs was a franchise operation, with 170 professionally qualified exercise teachers running 2,000 weekly classes across the UK for over 70,000 members. Just two years after its launch, the British Franchise Association presented Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs with its Newcomer of the Year Award and, in 1998, the organisation was presented with the national BFA/Midland Bank Award. In 2002 and 2005, it won the coveted BFA Franchisor of the Year Award.
In 1996, the Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness magazine was launched. This award-winning publication had more than half a million readers and became market leader in its sector after just three issues. The magazine contained celebrity interviews, diet and exercise plans, expert columnists and the Fat File, a unique sliding scale guide to the fat and calorie content of food.
From 1996 to 2000 Rosemary was a consultant to Marks & Spencer and helped them to develop their low fat, calorie-controlled food range.
In 2014, following a downturn in the economy and a decline in the printed media market, Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Magazine closed and the franchised club operation came to an end. Many of the classes continued to operate independently under the name of the class leader. As the market and technology has developed, Rosemary continues to be in the forefront of the industry and now chairs one of the UK’s leading online weight loss clubs Rosemaryconley.com.
Over the years Rosemary has written 37 best-selling books, presented 31 fitness DVDs/videos and has presented over 400 cookery programmes on television as well as presenting her own series on both BBC and ITV in addition to appearing weekly with Richard and Judy on This Morning for seven years from 1993 – 2000.
In January 2012 Rosemary appeared in ITV’s Dancing On Ice. She skated with International Skating Professional Mark Hanretty and reached week 6 of the competition. As a result she holds the record for being the oldest celebrity to go the furthest in the history of the show.
In 1999 Rosemary was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire and in 2001 she was granted the Freedom of the City of Leicester, the first woman in Leicester ever to receive this honour. In January 2004 Rosemary was awarded a CBE for “services to the fitness and diet industries”
Rosemary is a Christian and is often called upon to address groups and give her testimony and also supports many charities.