Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Losing weight has changed my life

- IAN BUNTING

A super slimmer is “tabletfree” from diabetes and high blood pressure after shedding a sensationa­l four-stone-plus in a year.

Billy Watt, from Coatbridge, says his life has been “transforme­d for the better” since his dramatic weight loss.

The 56-year-old was struggling to walk before joining his local Slimming World group, but is now aiming to run 50 miles this month to raise funds for charity.

Billy told the Advertiser: “Since I joined my Slimming World family my whole life has changed for the better. Before then I was struggling to walk or interact with people as I was always selfconsci­ous about how I looked.

“Now I am a lot more confident and my health has improved dramatical­ly.

“I had Type 2 diabetes with high blood pressure, but since losing more than four-stone I am tablet-free from both illnesses and feel like a new man.

“I am much more in control of my weight loss journey and the choices I make about food and learning from new friends in a powerfully supportive, safe environmen­t.

“I can walk so much more easily and have even started running, something I never imagined I could do before joining Slimming World.

“My confidence has grown so much, not only in my personal life after meeting my new partner, who I would never have had the confidence to approach before, but also with my fitness.

“I have now challenged myself to run 50 miles in January for charity.”

Jennifer Stevens, Billy’s Slimming World consultant, added: “Billy has achieved so much since joining our group; not only health and fitness improvemen­ts together with a fantastic weight loss, but a growth in confidence.

“The courage he has shown to set up his own business and set and achieve life goals is inspiratio­nal.

“I am so proud of Billy. He has done amazingly well with his weight loss journey so far and helps others every week in group as his commitment and support shines through.”

Billy has also backed new research that reveals the link between weight loss groups and increased mental toughness.

A study by the University of Lincoln examined this relationsh­ip over a period of six months and showed that Slimming World members’ measures of mental toughness, on average, rose 10 per cent, from a low to average score.

The findings, led by Dr Elizabeth Stamp, a lecturer at Loughborou­gh University, come at a time when the UK population faces a spiralling obesity crisis and increased mental health challenges.

Billy said: “The connection between weight loss and improved mental health is undeniable.

“I was empowered to leave a job of 30 years and set up my own business. I felt my previous job was my safe environmen­t due to my lack of confidence and taking the decision to move on is something I could never have pictured myself doing prior to joining Slimming World.

“Staying with the group during the great and not so great weeks has been a life-changing experience.

“The support from Jennifer and the new friends I’ve met through the group has helped me become the person I have craved to be for many years.”

Dr Stamp added: “Mental toughness is about how someone copes with challenges and stressors they face. More than that, though, it’s about seeking out and taking on new challenges.

“People who have a high mental toughness have skills like being able to break bigger goals into smaller achievable goals, being in control of their life and the decisions that they make and having the confidence to seek help when needed.

“These are abilities people who have a lower mental toughness can develop, and mental toughness has been reported to benefit individual­s in other aspects of their life, such as achieving social and educationa­l goals.”

Jennifer’s Slimming World groups meet at St James Chapel hall in Coatbridge on Thursday and Saturday mornings; for more informatio­n, call 07761 476364, or visit http://www. slimmingwo­rld.co.uk

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 ?? ?? Tough time Billy was struggling to walk until joining his local Slimming World group
Tough time Billy was struggling to walk until joining his local Slimming World group
 ?? ?? Very proud Billy’s Slimming World consultant Jennifer Stevens
Very proud Billy’s Slimming World consultant Jennifer Stevens

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