A Banbridge slimmer was congratulated on tackling his weight issues and losing 13st 10.5lbs by Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster at a national slimming competition.
Nigel Ringland, 47, was one of just 36 entrants from across the UK and Ireland to win a place in the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2014 contest where he met Charlie, who is well-known for reporting on sports.
Slimming World research has found that men who join a group are actually more successful when it comes to shedding the pounds.
Nigel is real-life proof of this, having gone from 25st 11.5lbs to 12st 1lbs since joining his local Slimming World group in June 2012.
Nigel says it can be hard for men to admit that they have a weight problem and need help to slim down, especially from a slimming club: “When men want to lose weight they usually start talking about exercising more or watching what they’re eating, rather than joining a group.
“So I was quite worried about telling people I was going to Slimming World but I needn’t have felt that way because when my friends and family saw how much weight I was losing – and how much food I was eating – they were really impressed and they’ve been extremely supportive.
“It’s been the same at the group. When I first walked through the doors I was worried that, as a man, I’d be the ‘odd one out’.
“It was nothing like that though, everyone was very friendly and made a big effort to make me feel welcome.
“Now I realise it doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, younger or older or where you’re from, everyone in that room is there for the same reason – because we want to lose weight, become healthier and feel better about ourselves.
“I look forward to going to my Slimming World group every week. Everyone there motivates me so much, whether I’ve had a good week or a not-so-good week I always leave feeling inspired and ready for the next seven days.”
Nigel loves picking up new recipes and food ideas from the other members of the group too: “Before I joined Slimming World I didn’t think that eating healthily would ever be able to satisfy my big appetite without leaving me feeling hungry.
“I can still enjoy all my favourite meals, from a curry with rice to a juicy steak with chips and salad, they’re just cooked differently now. I never feel like I’m missing out.”
Sharon McAlinden, who runs the Banbridge group which Nigel attends, added: “Nigel is almost unrecognisable from the man who walked into my group all those months ago but it’s been quite a gradual change.
“He’s shown that making small changes to the way you eat and becoming more active bit by bit can make a huge difference, and I hope he inspires lots of other men in Banbridge who’d like to lose weight to go for it and join Slimming World.”
Everyone’s welcome – men and women – every Wednesday at 9:30am or Tuesday at 5pm or 7pm at Banbridge Bowling Club, and you never know you might even get to meet Charlie one day too.”