My weight loss story started in September 2012, when I was 63. I was at my annual blood pressure review when the doctor asked me to step on the scales. On seeing the reading of 18st, he asked if I’d ever thought of losing weight. My jokey reply was: ‘Yes, I’ve thought about it.’ He offered me a 12-week membership at Slimming World through Slimming World on Referral*, but I refused, imagining myself being the only man in a room full of women. I was then told quite plainly that, because my blood pressure and cholesterol were sky-high, I was a heart attack or stroke waiting to happen. I agreed to think about it, just to get out of there!
Over the next few days, the doctor’s words played on my mind and I realised that I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. Feeling very reluctant and nervous, I set out to the Slimming World group at my local leisure centre.
I must’ve looked very lost, wandering in with my referral letter in my hand, and I got a really warm welcome from the Consultant, Hilary. I don’t know why I was so worried – everyone was friendly and one of the regular members looked after me that first week. I listened to the new member talk, where Hilary went through the basics of Slimming World’s eating plan, Food Optimising. There wasn’t anything complicated or faffy to worry about, it all made sense and I was surprised to find that I could eat as much meat (as long as all the fat was cut off), potatoes, pasta and rice as I wanted.
It definitely worked for me, as I started to lose weight straight away.
I’d been going to group for a few weeks when Lynda joined, and took an empty seat next to me. We got chatting and I found out that she was already at her target weight – so every week I’d pick her brains on what healthy recipes she’d made, getting some good ideas to try out myself.
One day, after group, we ended up carrying on our conversation outside. It was freezing cold, but that didn’t stop us from standing there talking for an hour. Lynda commented that we could’ve gone for a coffee to chat in the warm, and my reply was, ‘Let’s do that next week, then’. On our second coffee meet-up, I asked Lynda if she’d like to go for a meal that night. She agreed and, on 12th January 2013, we went on our first official date.
Over the next few months, we enjoyed each other’s company while continuing to attend group together. Slimming World encourages you to get active, too, and we decided to join a ballroom dance class where we learnt to waltz, tango and quickstep. Then we found a rock and roll club, where we still go dancing every month. Dancing is an activity we can enjoy together, and we’ve made some great friends along the way.
I was over the moon to hit my target weight, having lost more than 3st. And, because Lynda and I still go to group, I’ve found it easy to stay at that weight ever since. We have a new Consultant now, Amie, who’s brilliant at keeping us on track – and we’re still in touch with Hilary. My doctor was shocked when I went to my next check-up, and very pleased to report that my blood pressure and cholesterol were normal. Losing weight and meeting Lynda gave me a brand-new lease of life in my 60s. Over the last nine years, we’ve had many wonderful adventures together, travelling to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.
Maybe the biggest adventure is one of our most recent… I proposed to Lynda in December 2019 and, after having to rearrange it twice because of the pandemic, we were finally married on 17th September 2021. Lynda looked incredible. I couldn’t even guess what her dress was going to look like and, when I saw her, she just blew me away!
We have a little saying between us now, which is ‘Eeee, who would have thought it?’. Who would’ve thought that plucking up the courage to go along to Slimming World would change my life so much? At 72, I’ve lost 3st and gained a beautiful wife!
I joined Slimming World 11 years ago and took to the plan straight away. I see it as a lifestyle change – those little changes to how you cook and what you eat all add up – and I’ve always found it fairly easy to keep the weight off. I was already a target member when I joined Hilary’s group and met Chris. We hit it off immediately, although I remember being a bit reluctant when he asked me out for a meal. I phoned my friend and she said, ‘Lynda, just go!’. We had a lovely night and that was that – the rest is history!
We’re perfectly matched as a couple because I do the cooking and Chris does the washing-up.
We enjoy our roast dinners during the week – usually roast chicken or pork with roast potatoes or mash and lots of vegetables. At the weekend I like to cook something a bit different, like sticky chicken with my home-made egg fried rice, or chilli with sweet potato wedges. If I don’t feel like cooking, we’ll each have a meal from the Slimming World food range at Iceland – Chris likes the chicken tikka masala.
All my life I’ve worked hard and looked after my mam and dad. All my friends were married and I was on my own. I never holidayed, because I had no one to go with. Now I have Chris and we love to travel together. We’re not really ‘sit around the pool’ people, and losing weight means we cope better in the heat and have the energy to do all the sightseeing we want. We even did a seven- week trip to Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.
I lost more than 2st with Slimming World and slimmed from a size 14 to a size 10 – and I’m now celebrating 10 years at my dream weight. I used to walk around with my head down, completely covered up. Now I hold my head high. For me, it’s all about feeling comfortable in myself and staying healthy for as long as I can.
I felt amazing in my wedding dress. It was such a lovely day, I only wished that my mam and dad were there to see me so happy. Chris and I have built a wonderful life together that we love and, at 66, I’m looking forward to a happy, healthy, adventure-filled future.
At Slimming World, we’ll support you all the way to your dream weight – and beyond! Through the personalised Slim for Life plan and ongoing support in group (which target members attend for free while they’re within their target weight range), we make sure our target members have all the help they need to stick to their new healthy habits and maintain their weight loss forever!
*Your GP will be able to tell you if Slimming World on Referral is offered in your area and if you meet the qualifying criteria.
Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.