After being faced with two potential operations, a dad from Beeston Regis loses seven-and-a-half-stone

40-year old Lee Battrick of Beeston Regis who lost 7 and a half stone with Slimming World and was vo

40-year old Lee Battrick of Beeston Regis who lost 7 and a half stone with Slimming World and was voted Man of the Year, Greatest Loser and Mr Sleek, pictured with his certificate. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

'Did you know you are heavier than a newborn baby elephant?'

Lee Battrick before his 7 and a half stone weight loss.

Lee Battrick before his 7 and a half stone weight loss. - Credit: Archant

It was a shocking truth for Lee Battrick to hear from a straight-talking doctor. But it was the jolt that he needed to change his life.

For it set him on the road to losing a remarkable seven-and-a-half stone, getting back to work - and side-stepping the threat of back surgery and a gastric band.

The 40-year-old, from Britons Lane, Beeston Regis, was told that he needed to lose five stone. He said: 'As soon as my doctor said those words, my chin dropped to the floor.'

Mr Battrick, who is married to Teresa and has a step-daughter Lauren, 19, and son Louis, 10, suffered a back injury which left him unable to work and in lots of pain.

Lee Battrick with one of his old jumpers that he wore to the first day of Slimming World where he lo

Lee Battrick with one of his old jumpers that he wore to the first day of Slimming World where he lost 7 and a half stone. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Slowly the weight crept up and at his heaviest he weighed 26 stone.

His doctor said that he could face surgery on his back and also the possibility of a gastric band due to how much weight he needed to lose.

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Mr Battrick said: 'I had tried Weightwatchers and the Cambridge Weight Plan and they both didn't work. The doctor said his wife had lost three stone with Slimming World so I decided to try it.'

He joined Slimming World in Cromer two years ago and after just under eight months of joining, he lost his target weight of five stone.

Mr Battrick, formally a manager of a chip shop, said: 'The thought of a gastric band horrified me, and I was going to do anything to prevent having one.

'I'm so glad I did as I was made to feel so welcome by everyone in the Slimming World group and to my shock I wasn't the only man there.'

Since joining he has earned the titles of Man of the Year, Greatest Loser and Mr Sleek twice. He has also managed to set up his own business - a small laser-cutting company.

He said: 'Considering how I felt before, it was the first confidence boost in years. It allowed me the thought to start my own business and has given me a new lease of life.'

Mr Battrick said: 'Not once did the Slimming World eating plan feel like I was on a diet and I was overjoyed at how easy it had been. There hadn't been anything that I couldn't eat, in fact my new favourite meal has to be home made burgers and Slimming World chips.

'I like to say that I am eating myself thin.'

In the New Year he will taking it one step further by running the Cromer group, which meets every Wednesday at St Martin's Church Hall on Mill Road.