Family wedding inspires minister’s 8st weight loss!
A Unitarian minister who was deeply ashamed of his weight has dropped 8st in eight months after being inspired to start slimming by his worried sister.
Danny Crosby began his weight-loss journey after attending his nephew’s wedding last summer, where he felt self-conscious about his size and embarrassed at seeing family members who he hadn’t seen for years. Meanwhile, his sister spent the weekend singing the praises of her local Slimming World group.
The 44-year-old, from Altrincham in Cheshire, says: “It was a very joyful occasion but in the midst of all the happiness I hit emotional rock bottom. I felt like everyone was commenting on my size and patting my stomach. I hated seeing the pictures and videos of myself and when I came home I was determined to do something about my weight. My sister was a Slimming World member and had spent the weekend of the wedding talking about the merits of it to me – she was very worried about my health – so I decided to give it a go.”
He joined Slimming World just three days later and dropped from 20st 4lbs to 12st 4lbs in eight months. Now he’s been named Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2016.
Danny says he wasn’t always overweight and in fact his step-father used to call him the ‘runt of the family’ when he was younger. However, he began to get bigger and bigger from his mid-20s: “I was born with back problems and always felt self-conscious about the way I walked and ran, so I feared I’d be ridiculed if I went to a gym and developed a bit of a phobia of exercise. In a way, because I’d always I felt small and weak becoming larger in weight gave me a sense of being bigger and stronger.”
“I’m the son of a butcher so the fact that I can still have a steak with potatoes and vegetables is great too.”
By the time he was in his 40s Danny weighed more than 20st and began to feel very self-conscious about his size. He says: “About nine months before I joined Slimming World I went to Alton Towers with friends and every time I went on a ride I had to sit in the special seat and harness for extremely large people. It made me realise just how big I had become.”
After joining his local Slimming World group in July 2015, Danny began following the club’s Food Optimising eating plan, which he says has been a complete re-education: “I love that you don’t have to go hungry and I’ve made lots of easy changes, like swapping gallons of sugary fruit juice that I thought was good for me for fresh fruit which is much more filling. I’m the son of a butcher so the fact that I can still have a steak with potatoes and vegetables is great too.”
Danny’s also conquered his fear of exercise and has transformed from someone who struggled to walk for even 15 minutes to someone who enjoys walking for miles. He’s even had the confidence to overcome his exercise phobia and start personal training sessions at a gym, and was recently told that his heart rate and blood pressure was as good as an athlete’s.
By April this year Danny was delighted to reach his target of losing 8st, which he’s maintained ever since. He says setting small achievable targets of 7lbs at a time enabled him to stay motivated throughout his journey, and he loved winning Slimmer of the Week awards at his group. He adds: “The group was such a healthy, mutually supportive environment. You definitely get out what you put into the group, I never miss a week and I’ve learned so much from the more experienced Slimming World members. I’m still surprised when people ask me for advice or describe me as an inspiration, but it’s a nice feeling to be able to help others now.”
As well as losing 8st, he’s shed 12 inches from both his chest and waist measurements and loves that he doesn’t have to wear ‘old-man clothes’ with elasticated waists anymore. However, Danny says the biggest change is on the inside with his confidence and emotional wellbeing both increasing ten-fold.
He says: “Perhaps the greatest thing that’s happened as a result of my weight loss is the way it’s lifted my self-esteem and self-worth. While Slimming World gives you great education and great support, you’re responsible for the choices you make each day. That’s really empowering and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come – and my family are very proud too, especially my sister. I’m no longer ashamed of myself and my physical being, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next. I’m a lot more confident and open in my work too.”
Name: Danny Crosby
Height: 6ft ½in/1.84m
Starting weight: 20st 4lbs/284lbs/129kg
Current weight: 12st 4lbs/172lbs/78kg
Weight loss: 8st/112lbs/51kg
Starting waist measurement: 44in/112cm
Current waist measurement: 32in/81cm
Date joined Slimming World: July 2015
Date reached target weight: April 2016
Group: Danny lost weight at the Altrincham group in Cheshire run by Consultant Janet Cullen.
Breakfast: Sugar puffs with semi-skimmed milk and toast with marmalade or marmite, with a glass of fruit juice
Lunch: Ham salad baguette, cheese and onion pasty, a packet of crisps and another glass of fruit juice
Dinner: Takeaway chicken and chips or a frozen microwave meal, with slices of bread, butter and cheese with a fizzy drink. Followed by cheese and crackers, chocolate and more fruit juice later in the evening
Snacks: Crisps, chocolate, biscuits, sweets, coffees from coffee shops with full-fat milk, bread, pasties and lots of fruit juice.
Breakfast: Porridge made with skimmed milk and mixed berries, followed by red grapefruit, oranges and apples
Lunch: A homemade ham and mushroom omelette with salad
Dinner: Grilled lean steak with a baked potato and mixed vegetables
Snacks: Fat-free yogurts, lots of fresh fruit, fish sticks, a chocolate hob nob and some sherbet lemons.
Fact box: Men and obesity
- Men are more likely to be overweight than women and to carry weight around the waist – which is dangerous 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%
- More than 40,000 men attend Slimming World groups across the UK and Ireland – an average of three per group.
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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