I lost 13½st* after being asked to move seats on a plane
Tony Westaway, 58 from Woodbury Salterton in Exeter, joined Slimming World with his wife Gail, after a humiliating experience on a flight. Now 13½st* down, Tony no longer suffers from ill-health and has added 20 years onto his life.
“My health problems began when I caught pneumonia in 2012. It was a really hard time for me and my family, taking over seven months to beat. I was left with an irregular heartbeat and was on daily medication as well as being type 2 diabetic. As a self-employed gardener, it was crucial to be able to be active, but once my health got worse, I couldn’t exercise and could hardly walk — I had to switch to part-time as I was exhausted by lunchtime.
“I struggled with my weight for most of my life, but over the years, my weight had become out of control – as I got bigger I couldn’t see how it would be possible to lose it.
“The final straw was our flight to Ireland when I realised that the seatbelt wasn’t going to go around my middle. We’d paid extra to sit in the emergency exit aisle to have more legroom, but the cabin crew explained that you couldn’t sit there if you needed an extension belt. I had to find another seat — everyone was looking to see what the fuss was about and it was very embarrassing.
“On our return home, Gail suggested we join Slimming World together. I was hesitant about going, especially as a man, but I shouldn’t have been worried. I received a huge warm welcome and my Consultant, Ali, greeted us with open arms.
I was embarrassed that other group members may know my weight, but it’s completely private – it’s just between you and your Consultant.
“I went home and read the books back to front and back again. I followed the Food Optimising plan and was surprised at how much I was eating – pasta salads, roast dinners, eggs, crisps – all of my favourites. I weighed in on my first week with a 14½lbs loss! It was a huge shock considering how much I was eating.
“Losing so much in my first week made me believe that I could do it. My group were like a second family — they were so supportive and inspiring. We swapped recipes and talked about how our week had been — everyone just wanted to help one another.
“I lost 12st in 13 months and now I’ve hit my target weight of 13st 7lbs and have recently been crowned Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2017. I’ve swapped my 5XL shirts to a medium and I couldn’t be happier. As I’ve lost weight, my fitness has improved too – I joined a gym and have taken up swimming. I never had the confidence to take my shirt off before. I also love riding my bike, and I’ve gone back to working full time again. Best of all, my grandsons have an active grandad who’ll be around to see them grow up.
“Since hitting my target weight, I’ve seen a heart specialist – they were so pleased with me – I’ve extended my life by 20 years – now I just have to convince my wife having me around for another two decades is a good thing!”
Breakfast: a big bowl of cereal and milk, 2-3 slices of toast with butter and marmalade of jam
Lunch: a pasty or ½ a packet of biscuits
Dinner: pie, roast potatoes cooked in butter or oil, and peas
Snacks: crisps, more biscuits, cheese and crackers, pints of beer or lager
Breakfast: bran cereal with milk, 2 boiled eggs and bowl of fresh fruit like melon and strawberries
Lunch: pasta salad, followed by a few pieces of fruit
Dinner: chicken, roast potatoes cooked in low calorie cooking spray and vegetables
Snacks: fresh fruit, fat-free yogurts, high-fibre cereal bars, sugar-free jelly and Snack-a-Jacks
*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.