Former heavyweight Stephen Cartwright knew he’d hit rock bottom when his wife threatened she’d never go on holiday with him again unless he lost weight.
The couple, of Glenboig, North Lanarkshire, had spent a disastrous fortnight with family in Benidorm in summer 2016.
At 25st 2lbs, Stephen missed out on the fun of the break because his size made the 30-degree heat unbearable.
Today, 10st lighter after joining Slimming World, Stephen, 54, is like a new man.
Gone are the 6XL shirts, replaced with far trimmer size Large, and he’s almost HALVED his waistband from 60ins down to 36ins.
He said: “It took that holiday to make me realise what my choices were doing to Karen.
“It wasn’t her fault I was so big, yet it was making her miserable too. I had to do something about it.”
Stephen, 5ft 7ins tall, has shifted 10st, taking him to 15st 2lbs. He has another 1st 5lbs to lose to reach his target of 13st 9lbs.
He joined his local Slimming World Group at Stepps Parish Church, run by Consultant Michelle Grantham, in January 2017 and hasn’t looked back since.
Stephen had seen his weight soar by eating huge portion sizes, bingeing on booze and takeaways and giving in to his sweet-toothed cravings for cakes and biscuits.
These days his daily intake couldn’t be more different. He starts the day with porridge, snacks on fruit and lunch is home-made soup. Dinners are now cooked from scratch most nights and he loves healthy veg-loaded pizza made with tortilla wraps or tasty low-fat pasta dishes.
When time is an issue, though, Stephen still likes convenience.
He added: “I’d rarely have a takeaway these days. I like Slimming World’s ready meals from Iceland instead.
“The Beef Madras is my favourite and really quashes that takeaway curry craving, but I know it’s all made from free food and I can still lose weight eating that kind of curry.
“It surprised how much food you can eat on the plan – but it’s the right food. I eat so much more fruit and vegetables, but I also like that I can have as much pasta, rice and potatoes as I want.
“I never feel hungry and I can still lose weight. It really works for me.”
The office worker has completely knocked boozing on the head and is virtually teetotal these days.
He’s also been able to get rid of the walking sticks he needed because of joint pain aggravated by his size.
Instead, Stephen, who works as a technical support engineer with bus-builder Alexander Dennis, now goes for regular walkies – unaided – with his and Karen’s new furry additions to the family, three cute West Highland Terriers called Rory, Jessie and Elsa.
He added: “I look back at the bloke I used to be and I don’t recognise him. My new way of eating hasn’t just changed my life – it’s probably saved my life.”
For more information about Slimming World, visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.
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For more info local groups, contact Michelle on 07913 681 528.