sw2A super slimmer is proving to be a winner at the losing game after shedding 6 ½ stone and being named Strood Slimming World ‘Greatest Loser’, with the emphasis well and truly on Greatest!

In August 2012, the 30-year-old weighed just over 20 stone and his size was affecting every aspect of his daily life. Since joining his local Slimming World group in Strood, he is 6st 7lb lighter. Not only has he won the best prize of all – a fitter, healthier, happier future altogether – he’s also won the group’s Greatest Loser 2013 prize for the member who’s lost the most weight – and all in just 7 months.

Peter says: “I feel like a new man since losing weight – in fact, I look so different that people I haven’t seen for a while say they don’t recognise me! I feel happier and healthier, I’ve got more energy and I’m much more confident now too.

“Before, I lost the weight, I was not to bothered about my size as I was happy, how I was, but inside I knew I needed to change, and a hospital visit gave me that reason”

sw1Peter’s weight was also putting a huge strain on his health and after visiting is doctor he decided he needed to lose weight. People who are severely overweight, with a BMI* above 30, are more likely to suffer from health problems like coronary heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer, and obesity is linked to a reduction in life expectancy of between seven and nine years. In Strood over 30 per cent of people are in this category.

So, after looking on the Slimming World website Peter joined his local Slimming World group at St Nicholas Church Strood. He says: “Walking through those doors was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I was embarrassed, that I was going to be the biggest person there. But I needn’t have worried because everyone there was so very friendly and welcoming. I’ve made so many friends there and their support and encouragement has been the best. When you have a lot of weight to lose there are many hurdles to overcome to change old ways and adopt new healthy habits that you can sustain for the rest of your life. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my Consultant Lauren and the rest of the group. Every week they were there with a new recipe or shopping tip and if I was struggling someone always seemed to have the perfect piece of advice.”

The club’s now-famous Food Optimising plan was a surprise too: “People think slimming means going hungry, eating nothing but salad, obsessively counting every calorie you eat and weighing or measuring everything on your plate, but it’s not like that at all at Slimming World. I love food and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’. I still enjoy all my favourite meals like burgers and chips and roast dinners but I’ve learned how to make small changes like using lean meat or low calorie cooking spray instead of oil or butter. It fits in really well with the rest of my family as well. We all enjoy the same meals and we all feel tons better for it.”

Now Peter’s lost a total of 6st 7lb and gone from 44” waist to 36”. He’s also more active nowadays and regularly swims and walks.

Lauren, who runs the St Nicholas Slimming World group, says: “The change we’ve seen in Peter is amazing. He’s a huge inspiration to the other members and I hope his success will inspire other people in Strood who’d like to lose weight and become happier and healthier to take action. There’s a warm welcome waiting at Slimming World.”

Each of Slimming World’s 10,000 groups in the UK and Ireland has their own ‘Greatest Loser 2013’ and winners will go forward to the national competition. Peter is now waiting to find out if he’s in the running for the £3,000 cash prize. He says: “I would love to win but I didn’t lose weight to win a competition, I wanted to feel healthier and better about myself and I’ve definitely done that. I feel great and that’s priceless.”

The Strood group meets every Wednesday at 7.30pm at St Nicholas Church or Wainscott School every Thursday at 7.30pm. For more information contact Lauren on 01634 303012