Life begins at 50 for slimming couple who lost 27st


Helen and Kieron Buxton have lost an incredible 27 stones between them in just two years

The couple decided to tackle their weight when Kieron was referred to Slimming World by his doctor after developing type 2 diabetes, which he has now reversed

Despite initial worries that the group would be aimed at women, Kieron says he likes being part of a group of like-minded people and would recommend Slimming World to other men

A couple from Nottingham have lost an incredible 27 stones between them after joining Slimming World on Valentine’s Day.

Helen and Kieron Buxton decided to join Slimming World following a 12-week referral from Kieron’s GP. Since losing 19.5 stones Kieron has reversed his type 2 diabetes and no longer needs medication for the condition.

Kieron, 50, says: “I’d been overweight for much of my life, to the point where I didn’t really acknowledge it anymore. Being inactive, wearing 5XL shirts and asking for seatbelt extenders was just normal life for me. I was even used to the abuse that would get thrown at me in the street. It wasn’t until my doctor told me that an injury to my leg was struggling to heal because I’d developed type 2 diabetes that I decided to make a change. I knew that type 2 diabetes was often weight-related, so it was a big wake-up call for me. I was almost 30st at the time and couldn’t even put my own shoes and socks on, Helen used to have to do it for me.”

Helen, 51, was keen to support her husband of 16 years. She says: “I had struggled with my weight since school and although I’d had the odd weight-loss attempt here and there, I never really had much success. I thought joining Slimming World with Kieron would be a good way to support him and to improve my own health as well. The first group we could attend happened to be on Valentine’s Day. We don’t usually celebrate it, but it turned out to be a great night for our marriage!”

Helen and Kieron soon got to grips with Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan, which enables members to enjoy a wide variety of healthy everyday foods – such as fresh fruit and veg, lean meat and poultry, fat free dairy, pasta, rice and grains. This means that slimmers can lose weight without being hungry and also personalise the plan to the way they like to eat. Kieron was able to fit the plan around the dietary advice he received from his diabetes healthcare team, too.

He says: “I didn’t know much about Slimming World so I assumed I would be on a diet of salad and worried it would be very restrictive and complicated to follow. I was blown away when I discovered how wrong I was. We found it really easy to fit the plan around our lives and we still eat our favourite meals like satay chicken, cottage pie and homemade chips – we just cook them in a different way – and we’re never hungry.

“The group was really great too. I was worried about being judged, having my weight read aloud or being the only man, none of these things happened though and instead we found ourselves surrounded by so much support. After a few weeks the country entered a national lockdown, so our group moved to a virtual service. It was still brilliant in ensuring we never felt alone though – without the usual visits from our family and friends it became a bit of a lifeline for us. It was the highlight of our week and really kept us motivated.”

Helen Buxton, Slimming World's Couple of the Year 2022

I dread to think where we could have ended up weight-wise if we hadn’t joined Slimming World before lockdown hit. 

Helen Buxton, Slimming World's Couple of the Year 2022

Helen adds: “I dread to think where we could have ended up weight-wise if we hadn’t joined Slimming World before lockdown hit. Being furloughed meant we had time to experiment with new recipes and get to grips with cooking from scratch, which was great. Having each other really spurred us on and we encouraged each other to stay on track.”

Kieron says: “We really got on board with Slimming World’s physical activity programme, Body Magic, and loved that it was about finding an activity we enjoyed and taking it at our own pace. This was really important for us as we hadn’t been active at all beforehand. We found it reassuring that even little improvements to our activity all added up. I could barely walk 100 steps at first, but that didn’t matter because we were making those all-important changes.”

Helen and Kieron’s gentle walks gradually increased until they were doing 10,000 steps a day or more. He says: “Before losing weight we’d get the bus or the tram for even short journeys. We’d started to really enjoy our walks though, so by the time Helen went back to work I started walking her there and back – most days I’d done a few miles before the ‘old me’ would have even woken up. I’m still in shock that such simple changes have totally transformed our lives. I genuinely think that if I hadn’t tackled my weight when I did, I wouldn’t be alive right now.”

Helen and Kieron aren’t the only ones who’ve been surprised, as the couple didn’t tell their family and friends they were losing weight. Kieron says: “It wasn’t a big secret, we were just making changes and taking it one day at a time, but because of lockdown we weren’t seeing anyone. I don’t think we realised quite how different we looked until we started socialising again and some of our closest friends didn’t recognise us. In fact, on one shopping trip I walked straight past Helen, and one of her colleagues of 15 years asked her if she was a new starter.”

Helen has now lost 8st, dropped from a size 26 to a 12 and seen improvements in her rheumatoid arthritis. Kieron believes losing weight has had a positive impact on his mental health as well as physical health and he’s started volunteering with a mental health charity.

Helen says: “The difference in our lives really is amazing – it’s like the whole world has opened up for us. We’re off to Berlin soon and for the first time ever we aren’t worried about being uncomfortable on the flight or asking for a seatbelt extender – we’re just looking forward to spending time together. For us, life really has begun at 50.”


Name: Kieron Buxton

Age: 50

Height: 5ft 7in

Starting weight: 29st 12lbs

Current weight: 10st 5lbs

Weight loss: 19st 7lbs

Waist size before: 56”

Waist size now: 32”

Date joined Slimming World: 14th February 2020

Name: Helen Buxton

Age: 51

Height: 5ft 4in

Starting weight: 18st 4.5lbs

Current weight: 10st 3.5lbs

Weight loss: 8st 1lb

Dress size before: 26

Dress size now: 12

Date joined Slimming World: 14th February 2020

Combined weight loss: 27st 8lbs

Group: Helen and Kieron attend the West Bridgford Slimming World group in Nottingham, run by Consultant Vanessa Chatwin

Helen and Kieron’s before menu

Breakfast: A fried breakfast with sugary tea

Lunch: Packets of biscuits, sandwiches, crisps

Snack: Share bar of chocolate, sweets

Dinner: A takeaway, two bottles of wine and cans of beer

Helen and Kieron’s after menu

Breakfast:  Overnight oats made with fat-free natural yogurt and fresh fruit

Lunch:  A platter of lean meats, fruit, yogurt and vegetable crudites

Dinner: A homemade meal such as cottage pie with lots of vegetables

Snack: Slimming World Hi-Fi bar, gin and slimline tonic



For further information please contact Lucy Fisher in the Slimming World press office on lucy.fisher@slimmingworld.co.uk  or 01773 304245

To watch a video of Helen and Kieron talking about their weight loss, click here.

Notes to editors

●        This story is NOT for syndication to any magazines without the consent Helen and Kieron Buxton and the Slimming World press office (details above).

●        Slimming World and Helen and Kieron Buxton retain copyright of all images attached to this press release. After photos should be credited: Slimming World/Paul Buller

About Slimming World

Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE in Derbyshire in 1969 and has become the UK and Ireland’s leading weight loss organisation with more people choosing to attend a Slimming World group each week than any other weight loss programme. We support hundreds of thousands of people, both in our groups and online, to lose weight and to adopt new habits to stay slim for life.

Over the years our founding principles haven’t changed:

·         Our unique programme is based on a powerfully motivating support system called IMAGE (Individual Motivation and Group Experience) Therapy. Underpinned by a deep understanding of the psychology of overweight people, and incorporating the most effective sustainable behaviour change techniques, IMAGE Therapy is designed to inspire and motivate slimmers to make positive changes and to develop new, healthier habits around food and activity.

·         Food Optimising is our healthy eating plan, based on the liberating concept of Free Food. We encourage our members to fill up on those foods that are naturally lower in energy density (calories per gram) and also highly satisfying while limiting foods that are highest in fat and sugar and are less satisfying, so they lose weight without ever feeling hungry or deprived and without having to weigh, measure or count everything they eat.  

·         Our activity programme, Body Magic helps members to overcome any barriers around activity. Members choose when to start and they set the pace, finding activities they genuinely enjoy, until regular physical activity becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine.  

At the heart of everything we do lies our passion for treating every member with genuine care, empathy and respect.

We’re proud to work with the NHS, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), The Royal College of Midwives and others to help shape the future of weight management in the UK and Ireland.

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit slimmingworld.co.uk or slimmingworld.ie

Follow Slimming World on Twitter at twitter.com/slimmingworld or become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at facebook.com/slimmingworld

For the Press Office visit our newsroom or email public.relations@slimmingworld.co.uk