Saturdays are more than all right for Scott Blakemore – they’ve been key to what he says is his final, successful attempt to lose weight.
Sales manager Scott, from Sneyd Green, has twice reached his target – only to pile the pounds back on as circumstances, including his sweet tooth and work-related issues, seemed to conspire against him.
But then he discovered Slimming World, which he first joined in 2012 weighing 17st 5lbs, ran a Saturday morning session, which was perfect for him. The 44-year-old was able to lose weight steadily, now tips the scales at 13st 5lbs and has found his life transformed in more ways than one.
Scott said: “I was inspired to start because I was getting older and putting some weight on. I just wanted to do something about it.
“I’d heard about Slimming World and the group was on a Wednesday evening, which was perfect as that was my day off at the time.
“When I first lost the weight it happened quite quickly within three to four months.
“But then I changed my job and could no longer attend the same group, so I stopped going and put the weight back on.
“In my job I’m also on the road a lot so it can be hard to stay on plan – I’d often grab something quick to eat that might not be the healthiest thing.
“But then I heard about a Saturday morning group. I didn’t know that they did groups on a Saturday, but I decided to go along and I’ve been going ever since.”
Scott had tried other diets before settling on Slimming World – which was the only thing to work for him.
He said: “I tried things like the 5/2 diet. But I like being full and that’s why Slimming World worked for me. The plan worked well. My wife is vegetarian so we eat fairly well anyway, but it was about refining everything to fit the plan.
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“Some of my favourite meals are risottos, pasta dishes and salads. Even the Slimming World microwave meals that you buy can be really good and they’re easy too.”
Scott says Slimming World’s ‘syn’ system – which allows people to still enjoy treats as part of a controlled diet – also worked for him.
“I’ve also found it important to really utilize my syns,” he says. “I love chocolate so I will have my Hifi bars, which are low syn, or I can have them as my healthy B choice. Occasionally, when I am on the road for work, I might want a pasty or a pie, so I will have it and syn it. That’s what they are there for.”
Like many members, Scott would urge people to stay for group after weighing in each week. At the moment, Slimming World groups are still meeting virtually on Zoom.
He said: “I’m fairly quiet in group but it’s so motivating to listen to others and follow their journeys.
“We have been having virtual meetings lately which are great to help you stay on track during lockdown. If I wasn’t held accountable each week I think I’d find it harder to stay on plan.”
Another unexpected benefit for Scott after his weight loss is his new-found love for running.
He said: “I followed the plan without any exercise for a long time, but then decided to try running.
“I was in training for the Manchester Marathon, which has unfortunately been cancelled now. But at home during lockdown I have been running a 10k in the week and a half-marathon at the weekend.
“I couldn’t run before. Being able to do this and enjoy it is all down to my weight loss.”
Scott also shared his top tip for anyone wanting to lose weight with Slimming World. He said: “I would say just don’t worry about it. All the groups are full of nice people and so welcoming. Just stick to it, because for me it’s the best diet out there.
“I would also recommend writing everything down – that way you’re not keeping anything a secret and you can keep on top of what you’re eating.”
Losing 4st has had a lot of benefits for Scott. He feels better and is enjoying a new lease of life.
He added: “I bought new clothes when I originally lost the weight, but after putting it back on they all became too tight. I can now fit back into those clothes and I just feel a lot better.”
- Scott’s Slimming World group meets at The Co-op Academy in Westport Road in Tunstall, but is meeting virtually during lockdown. Details from Laura on 07842 219456.