A visit to a doctor was a turning point in Brian Sloan’s life.
This week Brian tells his story as Weightwatchers launches two new classes - just for men.
The 45-year-old taxi driver was shocked when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His doctor explained that it was possible to reverse this condition with a change of lifestyle.
Brian had been overweight for most of his life and just accepted the fact that was the way things were.
However, between this diagnosis and the fact that his daughter is getting married in the near future he said: “I don’t want to be remembered as the big fat Daddy that walked his beautiful daughter down the aisle.”
He decided he was going to have to do something about the extra weight that he was carrying
“My sister in law and her daughter were attending WeightWatchers and I could see the difference it was making to them so along with my brother-in-law (I thought safety in numbers as I always presumed weightwatchers was a women’s thing) I must admit I was apprehensive on my first visit to class as I was surrounded by women! But before long these same women became my support team.
“As my weight has dropped the compliments and comments have increased... it really does do a man good to be told he is looking good... its not only women that like to hear that.
“On my first night the programme was explained to me and it made good sense. I did not have to deprive myself of my weekly Chinese, I did not have to starve myself as a matter of fact, if truth be told, I have never eaten so much in years.
“As a taxi driver I work shifts and my eating habits were not the best. I could have gone for hours without eating, left the house without a breakfast, then had a kebab later and snacked on crisps in between.
“I now would not leave the house without breakfast, I snack on fruit while out in the taxi and have found a love for chicken that I did not know existed. I can have two chicken breasts, oven chips and veg for dinner or a favourite is a big juicy steak.
“My wife and four children have been a great help. They have encouraged me all the way. My wife also read my WeightWatchers books and learned about the point system. She leads a very healthy lifestyle herself and has enjoyed trying out new recipes. I think it is important to have loads of variety as I would get bored otherwise.
“I have lost 6st and have gone from a 5XL 48” waist to a XL and 34” waist and I feel great.
“One tip I would give to anyone trying to lose weight is to get rid of your big clothes as you go along. I have lost a little weight before in the past but always held on to my bigger sizes, ust in case, a bit like a safety net I guess but this time round as soon as something was too big out it went!
“I have just a little more to lose to reach my goal weight but I know I will continue to attend class as I know that will keep me motivated and keep me on track. I have no intentions of ever being a size 5XL again.”
Bernie Walsh, local WeightWatcher leader said: “Brian has been an inspiration to others. Although Brian did not mind going to a mixed class lots of men do tend to think as Brian would have that WeightWatchers was a ‘woman’s thing’.
“With this in mind I have decided to open two men only classes, one in Lurgan which will commence on Wednesday, April 26, in The Emmanuel Church at 7.15pm and the other in Lisburn which will commence on Thursday, April 27, in Brownlee Primary School. These will be solely for men - not a woman in sight, except me of course.”
For further details call Bernie on 07789 813 337.