I’m the active dad I always wanted to be
35-year-old Brendan Wren from Arlesey, Bedfordshire lives with his partner Charlie and their 3-year-old son Freddie. Losing a life-changing 7st 5lbs has turned his health around and helped him become the active dad he wanted to be.
‘Puffing and panting, I sat down for my lunch break, glad to be off my feet for a while. My painting and decorating business kept me active, but it was hard work at my weight of 21½ stone, and I’d get lots of stick about my size whenever I worked alongside other tradesmen.
‘I began putting weight on in my late teens and it continued into my adult life, leading to dangerously high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I tried meal replacement shakes to lose weight but I was always so hungry I couldn’t keep it up.
‘On a typical day I’d have a couple of chocolate bars and crisps for breakfast, a pre-packed sandwich with crisps or a takeaway for lunch and chips/onion rings with pizza and fizzy drinks in the evening. After work I’d sink into the sofa and not move for the rest of the evening, I just had no energy.
‘It was the birth of my son, Freddie, that really made me want to change the quality of my life. I wanted to keep up with him, chase him round and take him to the park.
Joining a group
‘I’d heard about Slimming World and liked the idea of big portions. Charlie said that she wanted to lose weight too, so we decided to join together. Jane, my Consultant, was very welcoming - she explained Food Optimising and it sounded right up my street! Back home I set about filling up on Free Food, enjoying lean bacon, baked beans and egg on wholemeal toast for breakfast, a baked potato or last night’s leftovers for lunch, and in the evening I’d tuck into homemade spaghetti bolognese, chilli con carne or rump steak with chips and salad.
‘Charlie (who is now a target member!) has supported me tremendously - it’s made it a lot easier that we’re eating the same meals and helping each other along. We still eat out as a family, switching to healthy alternatives like butterfly chicken, rice or jacket potato and corn on the cob.
I realise that a lot of men are put off going to group and see it as a ‘women's thing’ - I’d say to any man considering joining to just do it - you’ll receive a warm welcome and the results speak for themselves
‘Since losing weight I’ve now got the confidence to go to the gym and to spinning and circuit training, which has really helped tone up my body. My ambition now is to run in a competitive race, which two years ago would never have been achievable.
‘At work I get customers that I only see once in awhile - I really look forward to seeing the shock on their face when they answer the door. There’s even been times where some customers haven’t recognised me!Be
‘I now have normal blood pressure and cholesterol and have been taken off my medication. My consultant was speechless when he saw me at my yearly check-up - he couldn't believe how much weight I’d lost. It really made me realise how much I’d achieved and how losing weight has improved my health and quality of life. I now have the energy to be the dad I wanted to be’.
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose
You'll find more delicious recipe and menu ideas at your local group, along with all the help you need to get started and reach your target weight.