I’ve been an electrician for 13 years. As a bigger bloke working in a male-dominated environment, you have to put up with a lot of banter. I always took it on the chin and laughed it off, but deep down I was really unhappy.
Over the years I took comfort in food and was never really happy with my weight. A soul-destroying moment came when I realised I wasn’t fit enough to run around on the football pitch and had to start playing in goal instead.
At my heaviest I felt that I wasn’t as competent as I should be at work either – I couldn’t do jobs as quickly or as efficiently as my work mates and I often felt nervous about fitting through hatches or into tight spaces. Every night I’d come home exhausted and in pain, especially with my back.
My wife, Rachel, joined Slimming World and after a week of eating the same meals as her, I’d lost 10lbs and was convinced enough to join a group myself.
Walking into that room was so daunting. I was instantly put at ease, though, and I’ll never forget how well my Consultant, Gemma, looked after me on that first morning. It sounds clichéd but my group are like a family to me now and I rarely miss a weekly session.
I’d yo-yo dieted for so long and it seemed like I started something new every January, so I feared that this might be short-lived, too. I was so wrong.
My colleagues were all asking how the weight was falling off me. They couldn’t believe I was eating so much and losing weight. While everyone else tucked into fry-ups, I’d have a lean bacon sandwich on wholemeal bread and feel just as satisfied.
Now I feel like a new man. I have so much more energy to play with my two girls, Emma and April, and we love going on long family walks with our dog, Maggie. I’m loads fitter at work, too.
My physical health is the best it’s ever been (I’m currently training for a marathon) and, more importantly, so is my mental health. This time last year I thought I was starting out on another failed New Year’s resolution. This year I’m proof that a decision you make in January can change your life!
Lunch: Breakfast baguette
Dinner: Frozen southern fried chicken pieces and oven chips or kebab meat and chips
Snacks: Cakes and biscuits
Breakfast: Cereal topped with fruit
Mid-morning: Protein quark or a fat-free yogurt
Lunch: Pasta salad or home-made soup
Mid-afternoon: An apple or a pear
Dinner: Home-made chilli con carne with Slimming World chips (baked in the oven with low-calorie cooking spray), steak with butternut squash chips or home-made crispy chilli beef and egg-fried rice
Snacks: Fruit, fat-free yogurts, home-made banana and chocolate cake, high-fibre cereal bars
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.