Anyone wanting tips for losing the festive weight this year should take tips from Horsham’s Andy Turner, who has lost about ten stone with Slimming World.
Andy, 42, who goes to a group in Roffey, started his weight loss journey in April last year at 28 stone, 9lbs. He was finding walking difficult and his weight was impacting his health as well.
The dad is now just under 18 stone for the first time in 25 years and his waist from 46 inches to 36 inches.
Andy, of Rowlands Road, said: “I have always been big, even as a kid I was usually one of the biggest in class, and so this carried on through my life.
“That’s not to say I was inactive, but I’ve always been overweight.
“Why did I never do anything about it before? Because I’ve always got away with it. Despite being big I still did everything I wanted to, I didn’t let it stop me doing things, although I know it affected how good I could do them.
“However, a year or so ago I did start to feel it more and more, maybe it was the turning 40 thing, but I was struggling.
“Walking was becoming a hassle, my blood pressure had gone up, my skating was suffering and I felt more conscious of my size and how it was affecting me.
“I felt heavy for perhaps the first time in my life. I tried to ignore it, then tried to diet at home without any support or a proper plan, and didn’t lose anything, and earlier this year it just couldn’t carry on.”
He then found the support of Slimming World.
“Attending that first group was a big thing for me,” he said.
“To admit I needed help, to walk in to that group as possibly the only man there and to have to stand on the scales in front of someone and a stranger knowing how big I was, I was very nervous.
“Now I never weighed myself, to be honest I couldn’t find scales that would read my weight, but I knew I was a bit over 25 stone.
“Well it was more than a bit. My first weigh in I was 28 stone 9lb. I was shocked I was close to 30 stone. Perhaps that moment was the trigger I needed.”
The Slimming World plan does not ban any foods, but instead educates slimmers about healthier choices and what it really means to eat in moderation.
Andy said: “That first day I sat with the other new members and Claire the consultant talked us through exactly what Slimming World was. It suddenly clicked that this was no voodoo magic. This was about healthy eating, not measuring everything, counting calories, eating three cabbages a day or anything like that; just going to back to basics - healthy food, cutting out the rubbish, limiting the treats.”
Now, having lost more than a third of his body weight, he has been able to enjoy activities with his children he was once unable to do.
He said: “We recently had a family day out to Chessington, and I have been able to fit on all the rides with my youngest daughter.
“When she hugged me and said how she loved going on the rides with Daddy now he was thin I choked up.
“That one thing had made it all worth it. The next day I went skateboarding with my friends, a part of my life that has been with me on and off since I was a kid, and something I really enjoy, and now with the weight going it just gets better and better each time I skate.
“I’m doing tricks I haven’t done for years as I am more agile and lighter.
“But my journey is far from over. Losing 10st,10lb in 34 weeks is fantastic, but it’s made me rethink my final goals.
“When I started I just wanted to get under 20 stone, now I want to get under 15. I might even end up losing half my original body weight.
“I could end up being a size I haven’t been since I was at school, that’s why it’s hard now to set my final target, I will keep going until I look in the mirror and think yes, that’s who I want to be.
“All I know is that I never want to go back to being the nervous, unhealthy man of nearly 29 stone who walked in to Slimming World on April 20 2015.
“Slimming World is changing my life, and I can’t thank Claire the consultant and all the other members for all the support and advice they have given me, plus of course my family for their love and help, plus putting up with my now constant preaching about healthy eating and showing off my latest Slimming Wold award.”