As my girlfriend, Vicky, came in from work, I could tell right away that she had something on her mind. She sat down next to me on the sofa and said: ‘Matt, I think I need to do something. I feel really unhappy about my weight.’ I said I’d do anything I could and Vicky explained she thought her chances of sticking with it would be better if I came to group with her. I knew, deep down, that I needed to lose weight myself. She reassured me that it wasn’t just for women, and that men went along, too.

I work with a bunch of men, I socialise and play football with a bunch of men – it just didn’t seem like my kind of thing. Maybe that was the whole point, though. Perhaps doing something that was out of my comfort zone would finally give me the kick up the backside I needed to make some real changes.

Taking the plunge

To my relief, when I went along to group, there were a couple of other blokes there. As we listened to the new-member talk, I was amazed when the Consultant, Emma, listed all the foods we could eat in unlimited amounts – rice, pasta, potatoes.

A week of following Food Optimising, I nervously stepped back on the scales…and I’d lost 7lbs! The other men hadn’t stayed for IMAGE Therapy, so I felt a little self-conscious when it was my turn to share with the group. I told everyone how pleased I was that I’d already lost half a stone. ‘That’s fantastic,’ one of the ladies said. ‘How did you do it?’ ‘Well, I’ve spent the whole week eating potatoes,’ I replied.

I couldn’t believe how fast Vicky and I were losing weight. Just three weeks after joining I was a whole stone lighter.

And by making healthier choices, I was actually eating more than before. I particularly loved Slimming World versions of our old favourites, and spaghetti Bolognese became our signature dish.

After years of being a fussy eater, I was enjoying food I would never have tried before. I liked the taste of vegetables and started eating roasts and steaks – different types of meat instead of just burgers all the time – and cooking noodle and rice dishes. I’d never been a fan of curries, either, so it was a big surprise when I really started to like spice – now we love sitting down to a Slimming World curry!

By the end of November last year, I’d reached my target weight of 11st 7lbs, and in the same time, Vicky had lost 4st, dropping from a size 16-18 to a size 10-12.

We looked like a very different couple after losing 9st between us! And we had the perfect opportunity to show off our new slimline figures when we got married. We’d even taken dance lessons so our first dance would be something everyone – including us – would remember...

Two days later we jetted off on our honeymoon – I felt so much more confident stepping out in swimming shorts than I ever had done before.

Bang on target

Being slimmer has certainly changed things for the better. I still play football with the lads once or twice a week, and I’m enjoying it so much more now. Another big bonus  is how much fitter I feel at work. Eventually, I did come clean with the lads that I was going to a Slimming World group, and there’s been no leg-pulling at all – I think the results speak for themselves.

I laugh when I look back and think that I was reluctant to try Slimming World – it’s improved my life in so many ways. Sometimes it really is good to talk!

*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.