I was very slim until a foot injury put my professional basketball career on hold. While resting my broken foot I’d eat the same food as I did when I was active – a fast-food breakfast, pastries, curry, beer, chips. My clothes felt tight and I even grew a beard to hide my double chin!
My brother had gained weight and developed a thyroid problem, while my dad has diabetes. I didn’t want to end up in the same boat. One of the lads at work mentioned that he went to a Slimming World group and that his mum had lost 8st! I asked him about it and it sounded like my kind of thing: no counting calories, just a list of foods you can eat as often as you like. My wife, Laura, had put on 3st and wanted to lose weight, too, so we went together.
Everyone at our Slimming World group was so friendly and welcoming and I liked the way everybody shares tips and advice. Laura lost 4lbs in her first week and I lost 2lbs – I was flabbergasted! I had no idea you could lose weight just by changing your eating habits – I always thought you had to do tonnes of exercise, too!
The weight dropped off me while I ate loads. People at group always asked me, ‘How are you doing it?’ and all I said was: ‘Stick to the plan – it works!’ In just four months I reached my target and my foot had healed so that I could play basketball again – amazing!
The best thing about Slimming World is that it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change – and I’m a complete convert. I love big bowls of fruit salad topped with fat-free natural yogurt, baked beans on wholemeal toast with Marmite and huge chicken stir-fries. If I fancy a snack, I’ll eat cold cuts of lean meat, or have couscous and vegetables with lemon squeezed over.
One of the main results of losing weight is how much energy I have. I’m racing up and down the court really quickly and I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for 10 years. I put the young guys to shame! Before, I didn’t go jogging because my knees hurt – now I go for half an hour every day and also go interval training.
Losing weight has been a learning curve and it’s changed my life. I’m so pleased to be back on the basketball court doing what I love!
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.