Welwyn Chelsea fan meets Wayne Bridge after losing 11 stone
A Welwyn man is encouraging other men who want to lose weight to get up and do it after he lost an impressive 11 stone.
Gordon Reid, 47, was one of just 38 men to win a place at the semi-finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2017 competition after losing an impressive 11 stone.
It was there that he was congratulated by the former Chelsea, Manchester City and England hero Wayne Bridge.
Gordon, who slimmed from 26st 9.5lbs to 15st 9.5lbs at the Welwyn Garden City Slimming World group, believes it can be hard for men to admit that they need help to lose weight, and that it is especially difficult for them to walk through the doors of a slimming club for the first time.
Gordon said: “It took quite a lot for me to admit that I had a weight problem to begin with, so actually deciding to do something about it and join my local Slimming World group was another big step.
“Thankfully I came to the conclusion that my health and happiness was the most important thing and plucked up the courage to go along that first time.
“My only regret now is that I didn’t join Slimming World sooner.”
Last year’s ‘Machobesity Report’, by Slimming World, revealed that while 95% of men want to lose weight, mainly for health reasons, men typically keep weight worries to themselves for more than six years on average.
Once they set their mind to it though, men do seem to be good at slimming down.
While women lose an average of 4.3% of their body weight in three months at Slimming World, men lose an impressive 5.7%.
Gordon added: “I did worry that I’d be the only bloke in the room, I wasn’t though. And, even if I ever was, it wouldn’t matter because everyone is there for the same reason and it’s such a supportive and friendly environment.
“All the hints, tips and recipes you pick up in group are really helpful too.
“I was a bit hesitant to tell people I was going to a slimming group at first, but once they noticed I was losing weight, the results spoke for themselves and I didn’t get any of the comments I expected.
“It’s even encouraged me to think about how active I am too.
“I now enjoy walking and take part in long distance charity walks, I also love to play football with my children and have found that I am a more active dad in general.
“Getting to meet Wayne was great too, especially as I’m a huge Chelsea fan, I never knew losing weight would have this many perks.”
Wayne, who has now hung up his football boots and appeared on I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here!, said: “As a footballer, health and fitness has formed a huge part of my life, so I know how much effort and dedication it can take to stay fit and healthy – both mentally and physically.
“It was a pleasure to meet Gordon and I can’t believe his transformation, he doesn’t look like the same bloke.
“I really have to take my hat off to him for recognising that he had a problem and then having the courage to do something about it.
“I think many people would be guilty of thinking that going to a slimming club isn’t very manly so that makes it even harder for men to take that first step.
“He’s definitely a top bloke in my book.”
Rachel Lennon, who runs the Welwyn Garden City group that Gordon attends, said: “A lot of men think that slimming clubs are female-only zones, and Gordon is living proof that this isn’t the case.
“In fact, there are now 60,000 men attending Slimming World groups, which goes to show that men need just as much support as women to slim down and improve their health.
“Slimming World works for everyone, so I hope Gordon inspires lots of other men in Welwyn who’d like to lose weight to take that step and join our group at Panshanger Football Club.”
If you’re a man or woman interested in joining Rachel’s Slimming World group contact her on 07955709578.
Gordon made the top 10 of the competition, although unfortunately he was not the overall winner.