Rosemary Conley is one of the UK’s foremost diet and fitness experts with almost 50 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 continuing to run the business for them as Managing Director until 1985 when she went freelance again. In 1986 she married Mike Rimmington. Rosemary has one daughter from her first marriage to Phil Conley.
In 1986 Rosemary suffered a problem with her gall bladder and on medical advice she started to eat a low-fat diet. This new regime transformed her body in a way she had never been able to achieve with previous diet plans. Rosemary put her experiences down on paper creating the low-fat 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 worldwide.
In 1993, Rosemary and Mike 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 160 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 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.
Over the years Rosemary has written 37 books, many of which were best sellers, presented 31 fitness DVDs/videos and has presented over 400 cookery programmes on television as well as presenting her own series on both BBC1 and ITV in addition to appearing weekly with Richard and Judy on ITV’s This Morning for seven years from 1993 – 2000.
Rosemary has been called upon to address a committee of the House of Commons and spoken at events at the House of Lords, the National Obesity Forum, the Association for the Study of Obesity and for the Fitness Industry Association.
In January 2012 Rosemary appeared on 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 (aged 65 at the time) to go the furthest in the history of the show.
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 clubs operation came to an end. Many of the classes continued to operate independently while Rosemary retained her involvement with the online weight loss club Rosemary Conley Online operated by Digital Wellbeing Ltd. She finally stepped down as Chairman and resigned from the board of directors of Digital Wellbeing Ltd. at the end of 2019.
Today Rosemary is concentrating on helping her fellow “baby boomers” to live longer, fitter, healthier lives and to this end she is Editor-in-Chief of Life and Style magazine, an in-house publication produced by FirstPort for the 100,000 residents of their many residential retirement complexes across the UK.
In 2018 Rosemary became the UK distributor for Facial-Flex®, an anti-ageing facial toning product she had personally used and sold through her previous businesses for nearly 20 years. Her new company, Facial Toning Solutions Ltd, sells the device directly to the public through www.facialflex.co.uk, Amazon and Ebay and also supplies the product to Digital Wellbeing Ltd.
Rosemary is a Christian and is often called upon to give her testimony, she also supports numerous charities as Patron and is most actively involved with Steps Conductive Education Centre. Steps, based near her home in the East Midlands, is a centre of excellence dedicated to helping children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other motor disorders to maximise their full potential.
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 in the Queen’s New Year Honours “for services to the fitness and diet industries”.