Keen photographer and birdwatcher Keith Clowes decided to shed the pounds for good when he was experiencing different health issues – including varicose ulcers.
Keith – who is retired, but previously worked for JCB – had lost weight before with slimming world, but unfortunately piled the pounds back on.
He had also been a yo-yo dieter for many years, trying different weight loss plans in an effort to find something that worked for him.
So when Keith, from Kingsley, stepped back through the Slimming World doors 16 months ago – it was for the final time.
Keith steadily lost 3st 7lbs – going from 21st 2lbs to 17st 9lbs.
He reached his target weight during lockdown in a fantastic week which saw him also gain his three and a half stone award and slimmer of the week.
Speaking about his journey, Keith said: “I was experiencing some health issues and decided that it was about time I got some weight off.
“I knew the ins and outs of the plan from following it before so it was easy to get back into it.
“Since I’ve lost the weight I haven’t had anywhere near as much trouble with my health and I’ve got a lot more go in me.”
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Keith has been enjoying getting out more and loves walking for miles – as well as enjoying his hobbies of photography and birdwatching.
He said: “The journey can be difficult. It took me 16 months to get the weight off this time, but when I’ve done it before it only took me 22 weeks. But when you lose it slowly, you keep it off.
“I like to go all over the place bird ringing – I’ve been doing it for over 20 years. My wife and I also love getting out in the carvan and I’m a keen walker too. I started off walking up to one mile before my weight loss and now I’ve built up to around eight to nine miles.”
Keith has been married for 37 years to his wife Janet who is also a Slimming World member. The couple support each other as much as they can.
Keith said: “It makes it a lot easier that we both follow the plan. We can support each other and eat the same healthy meals.
“Our consultant Ange is also brilliant – she keeps us motivated. We’ve been doing classes on Zoom due to coronavirus and they have been great.
“Everyone can see eachother and you can stay motivated even when you can’t physically go to group. Without Zoom, I think a lot of people would be tempted to go off plan.”
Keith also praises going to group every single week to motivate yourself – and others – to stay on track.
He said: “We’ve got a good group. It’s strange at first when you join but everyone is so supportive.
“If you don’t go to group, it’s easy for the weight to start creeping back on. It’s important to weigh in regularly and be honest with yourself. I’m a target member now but I will continue to go to group to keep myself on track.
“Going to group is great because it works both ways – you can have help and support from other people, but then you can give them advice too, especially new members.”
Keith has been through the Slimming World journey twice and advises that you should ‘be true to yourself’ if you want to see success.
Keith added: “I think my top tip for anyone wanting to start their journey would be to just keep plodding on. Don’t let a gain dishearten you. It happens to everyone and I’ve had them in my journey.
“You just need to be true to yourself, count your syns and don’t go over them. If you do, you won’t lose.
“You can have anything as long as you are counting your syns and staying within them. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.”
Keith attends Angela’s Slimming World group at New Springs Church in Bucknall. The group has meetings at the church on Eaves Lane on Monday at 9.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm but all classes are now online due to the lockdown.
Classes are currently on Zoom on Mondays at 10am, 6pm and 8pm and membership is half price but free for NHS frontline workers with a blue card. For more information you can contact Angela on 07760878254.