Joe Thompson, 35, had tried and failed to lose weight on his own many times but it wasn’t until the day before his friend’s wedding that he realised he needed to drastically change his life. He explained: “I tried to fit into a suit that I bought before the pandemic for a friend’s wedding as I was the best man. Dusting the suit off, the trousers didn’t fit and I needed to get it altered to be two sizes bigger. I was mortified and knew I needed to do something!”
Three days after the “mortifying” event, Joe decided to join Slimming World when he weighed 19st 9lbs.
The slimmer shared what his life was like before losing weight: “I’d been trying and failing to lose weight by calorie counting or cutting out carbs on my own for a long time. My weight had been causing me health problems.
“I was on medication for chronic gout and I could barely walk any distance because of the pain. I also suffered from crippling anxiety – I was full of self-doubt and worried about what people thought of me and hated having my picture taken.
“Although I know I’d have seemed confident at the time, especially professionally as I work from home in recruitment and my screen persona was always positive, in a way I felt quite isolated and inside I was nervous and felt people were judging me.”
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Joe has lost more than five stone since he joined a Slimming World group and started his flexible and “doable” meal plan.
Jow said: “When I told two of my friends how unhappy I was, I was surprised when they got quite excited. It turns out they’d both lost weight with Slimming World and they encouraged me to give it a try.”
He was given a “flexible” diet plan where he could eat foods like “meat and chicken, rice, pasta, fruit and veg freely on the plan, without needing to count, weigh or measure them”.
Joe continued: “After trying to prove the eating plan wrong that first week and eating as much pasta as I could, I was amazed when I lost 11lbs! Losing weight suddenly felt doable and I wanted to do well for the group as much as I did for me.
“I feel such a part of my community now, which is an incredible feeling. My Slimming World group is amazing, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a more supportive group of people. “
Before losing weight, Joe used to eat highly processed food and takeaways but now, when he is very hungry he makes healthy versions of the food he ate.
“Like a full English with bacon medallions and scrambled eggs using a low-fat cooking spray,” he explained.
In terms of takeaways, he swapped them for the Slimming World fakeaways, which he loves, “particularly the curries which I make from scratch, I love the chicken tikka”.
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Joe’s diet before:
Breakfast: Bacon and sausage sandwich on white bread with lots of butter and ketchup, greasy fry up at the weekends
Lunch: King size pot noodles and Pringles
Dinner: A lot of processed foods, takeaway Chinese, fish and chips, Indian or kebab
Snacks: Pringles, crisps, bars of chocolate, sweets
Drinks: Sugary cup of tea, can of coke, fizzy drinks, full sugar energy drinks
Joe’s diet after:
Breakfast: Baked beans on wholemeal toast with scrambled egg or bacon medallions
Lunch: Lunch pot from Slimming World’s food range at Iceland with extra vegetables
Dinner: Freshly cooked diet cola chicken with lots of vegetables and/or salad
Snacks: Individual packet of crisps, Freddo bar, low-fat yoghurt
Drinks: Six to eight glasses of water a day, occasional vodka and diet coke