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First steps to a fitter you

PUBLISHED: 13:58 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 24 January 2019

Steve Little before and after his weight loss. GPs can refer those over a certain weight to a free 12 week Slimming World weight loss programme for free. Picture submitted

Steve Little before and after his weight loss. GPs can refer those over a certain weight to a free 12 week Slimming World weight loss programme for free. Picture submitted

Archant

No time, a sore knee, aching back, it's too cold, you haven't got the right shoes, people will laugh… most of us are full of excuses not to get fitter. But maybe 2019 is the time to try.

Brian Hodson, 5ft 10in,  from Great Yarmouth, has shed almost three stone with Slimming World, dropping from 16st 2lb to 13st10.5lbs - and taken up running. Your GP can refer you to the Slimming world weight loss programme for free if you are over a certain weight. Picture contributed,Brian Hodson, 5ft 10in, from Great Yarmouth, has shed almost three stone with Slimming World, dropping from 16st 2lb to 13st10.5lbs - and taken up running. Your GP can refer you to the Slimming world weight loss programme for free if you are over a certain weight. Picture contributed,

The embarrassment of being too fat to fit in the seats of more than one rollercoaster proved just the push that Steve Little needed to lose weight and get moving.

He lost more than six stone with Slimming World - and can now ride any rollercoaster he likes.

Steve, 33, from Norwich, was 20st10lbs when he joined Slimming World.

He says: “I joined because I went on holiday to Florida and was refused entry to more than one rollercoaster as I couldn’t fit in the seat. I’d struggled with my weight since I was school. But that was the final push I needed to do something about it.

Mattt Symons discovered a love of running as he shed weight and started moving more. Picture contributedMattt Symons discovered a love of running as he shed weight and started moving more. Picture contributed

“I didn’t want to be that person anymore,” says Steve.

“Slimming world was the only plan I hadn’t tried and had seen the wonderful food you could eat and never having to be hungry again, just learning a new healthier way - which then helped me lose 6st 3lbs in 6 months and I’ve maintained that weight ever since,” he adds.

Steve was a little bit hesitant about going to Slimming World initially: “The first time was daunting, I was expecting to be the only man, as I always imagined it was very geared towards ladies. But I was so glad to see that I wasn’t there were quite a few men. I have to say I was made to feel very welcome and at ease straight away.

“I thought everyone was going to judge me because of my size but of course they didn’t. AS I say they were so welcoming.”

Brian Hodson, 5ft 10in,  from Great Yarmouth, has shed almost three stone with Slimming World, dropping from 16st 2lb to 13st10.5lbs. Your GP can refer you to the Slimming world weight loss programme for free if you are over a certain weight. Picture contributed, 



 

Target weight reached week 19

 

Brian has gone from never running to loving!Brian Hodson, 5ft 10in, from Great Yarmouth, has shed almost three stone with Slimming World, dropping from 16st 2lb to 13st10.5lbs. Your GP can refer you to the Slimming world weight loss programme for free if you are over a certain weight. Picture contributed, Target weight reached week 19 Brian has gone from never running to loving!

He’s maintained that target weight of 14st7lbs and has been back to Florida too.

“In December last year I had the chance to go back and this time I had no worries about fitting on anything and no longer did I need a lap extender on the aircraft,” he says, adding that he’s enjoying being fit too.

“I now regularly swim 1km (50 lengths) most days which I absolutely love and it has become part of my new lifestyle,” he says.

What’s more, Steve, a fishmonger, is now a Slimming World Consultant - the first male consultant in Norwich.

Matt Symons not only slimmed from 22st 9lbs to 13st 9lb using Slimming World but is now a regular runner. Picture contributedMatt Symons not only slimmed from 22st 9lbs to 13st 9lb using Slimming World but is now a regular runner. Picture contributed

People who are significantly overweight can be referred by their GP to a free 12-week Slimming World weight loss programme, and the aim is to combine a healthy diet with exercise. The scheme is funded by Norfolk County Council Public Health.

Moving even a little bit more could be enough to improve our health.

All it takes is 10 minutes of brisk walking to start boosting your energy, clearing your head and improving your mood.

Physical inactivity is responsible for one in six deaths in the UK – equal to smoking – and is estimated to cost the UK £7.3 billion annually (including £0.9 billion to the NHS alone).

Surveys show that nearly a quarter of adults say they are physically inactive – doing less than 30 minutes physical activity a week.

The chief medical officer says adults need to notch up a total of at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity over a week. We need to sit less too, and break up sitting time.

Those first steps may be nerve-wracking, but take inspiration from people such as Steve, or Matt Symons from Norwich, who lost nine stone. He slimmed from 22st 9lbs to a current weight of 13st 9lb using the Slimming World programme. Another slimmer who enjoys the benefits of exercise too, he finished the Norwich 5k and has entered the 2019 Great North Run.

Brian Hodson from Great Yarmouth is another fitness success with Slimming World. He shed almost three stone and also discovered a love of running.

Even 10 minutes of activity can help – try the public Health England Active 10 app to get started – www.nhs.uk/oneyou/active10/home

If you’re a non-runner or haven’t run for a long time, the Couch to 5K app is a step-by-step programme that gets you up and running – www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week

There’s plenty of information for those worried that they’re too old to start, or restart, exercise too. For more information on fitness visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-active-your-way/#fitness-for-older-adults-65-years-and-over or for an overall health check why not try the NHS How are You quiz. You just need to answer a few questions and it will give you an overall health score as well as loads of tips on how to make improvements www.nhs.uk/oneyou/how-are-you-quiz/

Get involved with the Norfolk County Council Menkind campaign to get men taking care of their mental and physical health, with support from ex-city footballer Darren Eadie. Find out more about the campaign and see how you can get involved at www.norfolk.gov.uk/menkind
Planning to change your life, or have already? Share your story with Menkind/EPU, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or email jo.malone@archant.co.uk I’d love to hear your story. Have you made changes to your life to improve your health or your fitness? Please do get in touch to tell us how you’ve turned around your health by improving your diet, fitness or mental health. We’ll share your story as part of our Menkind campaign. Write to us at Menkind/Editorial Projects Unit, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE. email jo.malone@archant.co.uk

There’s plenty of information for those worried that they’re too old to start, or restart, exercise too. For more information on fitness visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-active-your-way/#fitness-for-older-adults-65-years-and-over or for an overall health check why not try the NHS How are You quiz. You just need to answer a few questions and it will give you an overall health score as well as loads of tips on how to make improvements www.nhs.uk/oneyou/how-are-you-quiz/

Links to all the apps mentioned here in Darren Eadie’s blog on his blog page at www.norfolk.gov.uk/menkind.

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