Former sporty schoolboy scores his weight-loss goal after losing 6st!
A 25-year-old who gained weight after giving up his sporty hobbies has lost 6st in six months to become Slimming World’s ‘Mr Sleek’ 2017.
Liam Smith, from Normanton in West Yorkshire, dropped from 19st to 13st – and lost 10 inches from his waist – after joining his local Slimming World group with his mum. The support worker has also rediscovered his childhood passion for fitness since slimming down, taking up football, badminton and cycling once again.
Liam says: “When I was at school my whole life revolved around sport. I played badminton for East Yorkshire at county level, was in a football team every weekend and was studying Physical Education at A-Level. I chose to study theatre at university and left sport behind though, and that’s when I began to gain weight.”
Within a few short years Liam went from being an athletic 10st teenager to an unhealthy 19st. His confidence fell, he found it difficult to find clothes to fit and hated seeing photos of himself so much that he often ‘untagged’ himself on social media sites.
It was in May 2016 after celebrating his birthday weekend with his friends – and having to buy an XXL shirt for the special occasion – that Liam decided to make a change. He says: “I’m originally from Bridlington and my friends had come to visit. We had a really unhealthy weekend – McDonald’s breakfasts, takeaways, lots of alcohol – and the moment they went home I knew I had to do something about my size. Luckily my mum was joining Slimming World the following week so I made her promise to take me along.”
Liam’s mum Donna, who has also lost 2st, kept her promise and the pair of them joined Kirsty Spencer’s Normanton Slimming World group at Normanton Junior Academy. Liam says: “I was so nervous that first night because it didn’t feel like something many males in their mid-20s do, but everyone was so welcoming and before long I considered them friends. I was excited too though because I knew people said Slimming World worked so I was eager to crack on.
I really enjoyed the support I got and feeling like I was inspiring other people, too.
“I’d only ever tried losing weight by eating healthily and exercising on my own before and I’d never managed to keep it up longer than a few weeks. This time I really enjoyed the support I got and feeling like I was inspiring other people, too. Our group’s like one big family.”
Before, Liam relied on convenience foods, including ready meals and microwavable burgers, and takeaways. Now, following Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan he’s learned how to cook homemade versions of his favourite burgers and curries. He says: “Eating for me used to be about comfort food and laziness, I enjoy cooking now and regularly cook for my best friend who I live with too – he’s lost 2st just by eating the same meals as me.”
Liam’s also become more active along the way, joining a local football team and getting back into badminton, as well as joining a gym, walking and cycling. His ambition now is to train to become a football coach so one day he can coach his two-year-old brother Charlie in a team, and he’d also love to try skydiving and bungee jumping – activities he’d previously been too heavy to attempt.
By November 2016 – just six months after walking through the doors of Slimming World – Liam reached his target weight, having lost 6st. His family – mum, stepdad Paul and sister Bethany – have also lost a combined weight of 5st between them. And now Liam’s been named Slimming World’s Mr Sleek 2017 and says he hopes to inspire lots more young men to tackle their weight, too.
He says: “I’m much more confident and I love sharing pictures on social media now. Since seeing what I’ve been able to achieve lots of people I know have started slimming too. I feel so passionate about it that I’ve decided to open my own Slimming World group to help more people lose weight like I have.”
Liam’s Slimming World group opens at St Joseph’s Church Hall, Castleford from Wednesday January 18th and will be held at 7pm every Wednesday.
Name: Liam Smith
Height: 5ft 11½in/1.82m
Starting weight: 19st/266lbs/121kg
Current weight: 13st/182lbs/83kg
Weight loss: 6st/84lbs/38kg
Starting waist measurement: 42in/107cm
Current waist measurement: 32in/81cm
Date joined Slimming World: May 2016
Date reached target weight: November 2016
Breakfast: McDonald’s breakfast
Lunch: Pre-packed sandwich
Dinner: Takeaway curry or ready meal
Snacks and treats: Microwave burgers, chocolate, crisps, sausage rolls, beer.
Breakfast: Big plate of grilled lean bacon (visible fat removed), mushrooms and tomatoes, scrambled eggs and baked beans, with wholemeal toast
Lunch: Chicken salad or homemade omelette
Dinner: Homemade lamb kofte curry with potato wedges (baked in the oven in low calorie cooking spray) and vegetables
Snacks: Fresh fruit and fat-free yogurts
Treats: Sauces with meals like tomato ketchup and mayonnaise and a beer
Fact box: Men and obesity
- Men are more likely to be overweight than women and to carry weight around the waist – which is a serious risk factor for health
- While overweight men see physical activity as the most socially acceptable way to lose weight, many say they struggle to do this in reality
- Losing weight improves men’s health, fitness, confidence and body image
- Men lose more weight than women at Slimming World – 5.7% body weight in 12 weeks compared to 4.3%
- Slimming World research in 2016 found that overweight men see typically high-calorie foods like meat pie, fried chicken, chips, ribs and fried breakfasts as ‘masculine’. Eating big portions and drinking lots of alcohol in one go are seen as more manly behaviours, too.
Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. There are now more than 18,000 groups held weekly across the UK and Republic of Ireland via a network of 4,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques.
Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people and a recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating behaviour change in a warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.
For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.
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