When 34-year-old Andy Rhodes saw posts on social media sites of people losing weight, he decided to give it a go himself – and has never looked back.
Andy, from Sneyd Green, joined his local Slimming World group in January, 2019, and has since lost more than five stone.
He initially weighed 20st 7lbs and now weighs 15st 1lbs – a total loss of 5st 6lbs.
Now Andy is getting closer to his target all the time and even won his group’s Man of the Year award just a few weeks ago.
Andy, who works in a warehouse control room, said he knew he needed to do something about his weight, but taking the first step was ‘hard’.
He explained: “I had seen a lot of people have good results with the plan, especially a woman that I follow on Instagram.
“She posted a lot of food pictures and I thought they looked like simple, tasty meals.
“It was definitely scary going to group for the first time, but as soon as I walked in everyone was brilliant and so supportive. There’s a lot more women in the group than men, so they definitely made a fuss of me.”
Despite his success, Andy says that the journey can be really difficult, but it’s all about changing your habits.
Andy said: “I always thought that my eating was OK, and that it was my drinking that got me, because I love a night out.
“But I soon realised that I had to look at my eating, too, so it’s taught me a lot. We have a private Facebook group and it’s a great place to get tips and share ideas with other members.”
Andy now loves to make his own meals from scratch. He said: “In the past I just always found it easier to order a takeaway, but now I’ve changed my habits and learned so much about cooking.
“One of my favorite things to make is an omelette – they’re really quick and easy and contain loads of healthy food.”
“If I have more time, I love cheeseburger pasta. It takes a bit longer but can still be ready in 20 to 30 minutes.
“I always use my syns too. I’m lucky that as a man I get slightly more. I’ll use them for crisps, or a drink at the weekend. It means that I can still have what I enjoy, just within reason. I think I would have given up very quickly if I wasn’t allowed any treats at all.”
The plan worked so well for Andy that he didn’t even need to take up much exercise – but as the weight dropped off, it encouraged him to become more active through running and swimming.
Andy would encourage anyone wanting to start their own weight loss journey to ‘just go for it’.
He said: “You’re always going to find a reason not to do it, so just start today. I am so much happier now – it’s impacted my whole life. I’ve never been the most confident person but I am so much better now than I used to be.”
Andy attends Slimming World in Sneyd Green. Groups are running virtually via Zoom. For details call Rachel on 07757 269975.