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Slimming World super slimmers from Lincolnshire share secrets of success

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 05, 2013

  • Glen Gowers lost 9st in 36 weeks

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One of the most common new year's resolutions is to lose weight and get in shape. Here, five Echo readers share their amazingly inspirational stories of how they have shed the pounds with Slimming World. As reporter Paul Whitelam discovers, their success means improved health and a massive confidence boost...

GLEN GOWERS, 31, from Skellingthorpe, is his Slimming World group's Man of the Year 2012 after losing an incredible 9st in 36 weeks.

"I have always suffered with a weight problem since I was a teenager and over the years tried all the diets but never got anywhere. I would lose weight and then put it back on," he said.

"I joined slimming world at the end of February 2012 and up to now I have lost just over 9st. I'm 6ft 8in and at my heaviest I was 30st.

"I want to lose at least another 4st and I'm also doing weights.

"I was starting to suffer from sleep apnea because my weight was putting pressure on my lungs. Since I've lost weight it's pretty much cleared up.

"I'm a doorman at Sugarcubes and a social sciences student at university. A lot of my problem has been finishing work at 3am and the only thing available to eat is a takeaway.

"But the plan teaches you to eat smaller portions and cook things different ways, for example, grilling rather than frying.

"Now, for breakfast, I have an omelette or eggs and bacon, soup for lunch and chicken with potatoes and veg for my evening meal.

"It's all about successful planning and you get a lot of support from the group. To start with, you have to have willpower, but Slimming World allows you to eat what you want. But you learn about nutritional values and how many calories are in certain foods.

"It's been good for me and my 5-year-old daughter. It's amazing now that people come up to me and say I look good or loads better than before."

KEVIN HEHIR, 50, from South Carlton, who is Lady Monson's groundsman, previously weighed 21st.

He joined Slimming World in June 2012 and in 24 weeks got his weight down to 13st 2lb, meaning he no longer takes blood pressure tablets.

"When I was a heavy weight I was suffering high blood pressure and cholesterol problems," he said.

"Now my cholesterol level is what it should be and I don't have to take medication for my blood pressure.

"I decided to do something because of my family's health history – my brother has had a heart bypass and my mother had a stroke before she passed away.

"I used to work away a lot doing campsite security at motorsport events, driving around. I would come home hungry but too tired to cook so I'd pick up an Indian takeaway or other fast food.

"This is the first time since the age of 12 or 13 that I have been my normal weight. When I was younger, I would bunk off cross country. Now I crack off 5k on the treadmill and then enjoy a sauna.

"If I have a meal of meat and veg I make sure a quarter of the plate is potatoes, a quarter is meat, and half is vegetables.

"My partner has also lost weight with Slimming World – down to 10st from 15st 7lb.

"We'd eat takeaways about four or five times a week – now it's more like once a month.

"I went to my GP and said I was sick of taking medication. I was looking at myself in the mirror and decided enough was enough and I had to do something about it.

"Someone recommended Slimming World and I went along to a meeting and gave it a chance.

"Just after I started I said I would do the Santa Run in December. I did just that and raised £100 for charity.

"I was a 52in chest and a 44in waist, now it's a 34 waist and a 42 chest.

"I've had to get a whole new wardrobe from head to toe and Oxfam have done really well out of me. I used to walk around six shops to find clothes that would fit me. Now, I walk around six shops because I cannot decide what to buy."

NICOLA PINKNEY, 42, from Heighington, who works for Anglian Water, joined Slimming World in February and has lost almost 6st 7lb.

"I was a size 24 and now I'm a 16 but I would like to be 12 to 14. I have won the slimmer of the year and Miss Slinky awards at my group in Washingborough," she said.

"My motivation was that I was worried about the health implications if I got diabetes or mobility issues.

"Even walking up stairs would make me so out of breath I couldn't talk properly – it was embarrassing.

"I'm feeling loads better about myself and I have a whole new wardrobe and much more confidence and look forward to nights out and planning what I'm going to wear.

"I do Zumba and cycle five miles each way to and from work about two to three times a week."

AMY REES 31, from Heighington, is a senior residential support worker at the Kisimul school in Swinderby. She has lost just over 5st.

"Five years ago we were trying for a baby and I was told I was unable to conceive without IVF, but I would first have to lose weight," she said. "I lost 2st but was then told I needed to lose 5st. I went away and lost 6½st, became pregnant naturally, and I now have two children, aged 4 and 2.

"Then I decided to go back to trying to lose weight for my health and my kids, to be able to do a full-time job and still have some energy left when I came home.

"At my biggest I was a size 26 and now I'm a size 18, having lost just over 5st. I'm really feeling the benefits."

DONNA HAWLEY, 46, from Carlton Boulevard, Lincoln, is Slimming World's coordinator for the city.

"I have been doing this job for over 10 years and I have kept my weight off all that time," she said.

"I had a weight problem since I was a child and tried every diet, lost weight, but put it back on again.

"At my biggest I was 1lb off 20st. I stopped seeing my relatives because I was big.

"I think what people like about Slimming World is that you can eat the food you like, which means they are more likely to stick to it.

"It's amazing to see how many more years people have put on their lives."

Slimming World clubs are held at Our Lady of Lincoln Church, Ermine, on Tuesdays at 5.30pm and 7.30pm; at the Grandstand, in Carholme Road, at 6pm on Mondays; and at Washingborough Methodist Church Hall, at 6pm on Thursdays. For details, visit www.slimmingworld.com or call 0844 897 8000.

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  • AaronJewel  |  January 05 2013, 2:29PM

    oinkment, okay, love the patronising last line, so let me explain how this works... People, communities, charities, schools, local government, events organisers and businesses all have stories which can be considered as news. They send them to media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, radio, tv and websites who then choose whether to report on them or not, depending on what they consider has 'news value'. These media outlets will then approach these same organisations, as mentioned above, throughout the year for advertising in one form or another in an effort to make money. They are much more likely to reciprocate if they have seen a favourable response from any particular outlets in the past. Regarding the 'news value' of this story, given that many people at this time of year have recently made a resolution to lose weight, hearing the success stories of five people who have achieved their goals has a certain 'news value' to it, regardless of whether it was with Slimming World, Weight Watchers, a fad diet plan or at a local gym. The figures regarding 'success and failure rates' would be much more of an advert for Slimming World than the story above as it would focus purely on the company! This article is about real people and their genuine success, which is to be applauded, and many people reading it may aspire to emulate them - and not necessarily with Slimming World. Given some of the news today, you could be arguing the 'free advert' issue for the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre with the Lancaster story and Sleaford U3A with the New Age Kurling. Blimey, what about the DW Sports Fitness Gym coming to Lincoln which appeared on Thursday? A new £3m gym opening in Lincoln, creating up to 30 jobs? Bah, nothing but an advert eh?

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  • oinkment  |  January 05 2013, 12:34PM

    I agree with Vexxed, well done everyone. Aaron, simply repeating "it's business" as though it were a mantra that forgives shoddy news simply will not do. What is business? The Echo reporting adverts as though they were news or Slimming World not giving us success rates and only showing the one or two spectacular results they have had? Of course a newspaper is business but we, as the customer, have a right to have things described accurately. If it's an ad then we should be told it is. If it's news then it should have journalistic balance and we should be told what the failure rates are, what average losses were etc. I wish I'd met you in the days when I was a saleman; you seem to be ready to swallow any guff put before you without a single question.

    |   3
  • AaronJewel  |  January 05 2013, 12:00PM

    oinkment, no, it's called a news angle. Vexxed has hit the nail on the head. There is an interesting news line which is what the Echo has presented. I doubt they'll have paid for it at all, but I bet the ad reps go back to Slimming World in the future armed with the readership and web figures to suggest how worthwhile it would be to advertise with them. As I said, it's called business.

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  • Vexxed  |  January 05 2013, 11:38AM

    Well, whether an advert or not, well done folks!

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  • oinkment  |  January 05 2013, 9:57AM

    Aaron - it's called journalistic integrity. It's what (allegedly) keeps the press independent of extraneous financial pressures.

  • AaronJewel  |  January 05 2013, 9:41AM

    oinkment, why? It's a business.

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  • oinkment  |  January 05 2013, 8:25AM

    The Echo should make it clear that this is an advert for Slimming World rather than a piece of news.