Shaun’s back in the saddle after losing 21st!
Since losing two-thirds of his body weight Shaun Carrington has rediscovered his love of mountain biking and is now back on the open road
Before losing weight the 31-year-old would struggle for breath and had constant pain in his back and joints. At his heaviest the circumference of his waist was 66ins (5ft 5ins)
He’s now been named Slimming World’s Greatest Loser 2018 after losing a staggering 20st 12½lbs
A keen cyclist who was forced to give up his favourite hobby after his weight rose to more than 33st is now back on the open road after losing two thirds of his body weight.
Shaun Carrington, from Dorset, was in almost constant pain at his heaviest – struggling with back and joint issues, skin infections and breathing difficulties. After becoming increasingly concerned about his health, Shaun was eventually persuaded to join Slimming World by his mum – and went on to lose a remarkable 20st 12½lbs.
The 31-year-old, who has now been named Slimming World’s Greatest Loser 2018*, says: “My weight was affecting every aspect of my life – so much so that I hadn’t been to the doctors in years because I was so scared of what they’d say. I even became self-employed and set up my own camping and caravan shop because I was too self-conscious to get a job. It got to the stage where I thought nobody would employ me because of my size, so it was the only solution I could think of.”
Shaun had been overweight since childhood but his weight really spiralled in the five years prior to joining Slimming World in 2016. At his heaviest, he found himself wearing an 8XL clothes with a 66-inch waist. He says: “Before I lost weight, even small things would be a struggle. I just had no energy so it felt like all I would do is sit down in the shop all day and then come home and watch TV. Even walking up a flight of stairs would be a massive effort, and my family had commented on how laboured my breathing was.
Although it was terrifying, plucking up the courage to join was the best decision I ever made.
“At work I’d snack throughout the day on chocolate, crisps and cake and wash everything down with a fizzy drink. Then once I was at home, I’d order a takeaway of some sort followed by ice cream and biscuits. It was the classic cycle of eating unhealthily and being very inactive. Suddenly, the scales were at 33st and I just couldn’t see a way out.”
Shaun’s mother Karen had achieved a great weight loss of 5st 12.5lbs with Slimming World herself, and encouraged her son to attend the local group with her. He says: “I saw how well Mum was doing yet for a long time I was just too scared to join. I was worried that I’d be the biggest person there, as well as the only man in the group. She didn’t give up though and eventually I just ran out of excuses and went with her. Although it was terrifying, plucking up the courage to join was the best decision I ever made. I was given a warm welcome and was made to feel completely at ease. And I wasn’t the only man in the room, either, in fact – plenty of men go to Slimming World!”
Although keen to lose weight for his health, Shaun didn’t want to be living on a heavily restricted diet, and he knew from his mum’s experience losing weight with Slimming World didn’t mean having to mean going hungry. He says: “I must admit I did think I would have to restrict myself and go hungry to lose weight. In fact, I’d never even really tried to lose weight before because I think I’d just accepted that I’d be big forever. It was amazing to know I could still eat a Full English breakfast, steak and chips, curries, pasta and paella to fill up and satisfy my appetite – all while losing weight. I found a whole new love for cooking and really enjoyed whipping up delicious meals every night and I love buying new recipe books or searching for new dishes to try online.”
Since losing more than 20st Shaun has rediscovered his love of cycling. He says: “I loved my bike as a teenager but eventually I just became too big to ride anymore. Now that I’m a healthy weight I love going for a long ride at the weekends with my mates. A year into my weight loss I treated myself to a new bike and I haven’t looked back since! At more than 33st riding a bike again was little more than a dream – yet these days I’m taking part in 20-mile cycle rides for fun. Life is totally different now and I have so much more energy to do the things I enjoy.
“After losing weight I made the decision to try and help others to change their lives too and opened my own Slimming World group. I’ve lost nearly two-thirds of my body weight and if I can help just one person to lose weight and feel healthier then it’s all worth it. At just 29-years-old my health was in a terrible state, yet now I’m 31, fit and active and have a new job that I love. I’ve gone from just existing to actually living and loving my life – and that’s an incredible feeling. I want to share with everyone who feels hopeless because of their weight.”
Name: Shaun Carrington
Starting weight: 33st 10lbs/214kg/472lbs
Current weight: 12st 11½lbs/81kg/179½lbs
Weight loss: 20st 12½lbs/133kg/292½lbs
Starting waist measurement: 66ins/168cm
Current waist measurement: 31ins/79cm
Before clothing size: XXXXXXXXL
Current clothing size: L
Date joined Slimming World: February 2016
Group: Shaun attends the Broadwey group run by Teresa Paul and now runs his own Slimming World groups in Weymouth.
Breakfast: 2 bowls of cereal followed by buttered toast
Lunch: Sandwiches, crisps, more chocolate and cake - followed by a pasty or sausage roll
Dinner: Some form of takeaway – like curry, Chinese or pizza
Snacks: Ice cream and biscuits
Breakfast: A Full English of grilled bacon, low-fat sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms with eggs cooked in low calorie cooking spray
Lunch: A homemade pasta salad or something batch cooked previously such as chilli con carne or curry
Snacks: Fresh fruit
Dinner: Something made from scratch from one of Slimming World’s recipe books – such as chicken and bacon risotto served with lots of vegetables
Snacks: More fruit or a small chocolate bar
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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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