Princes Risborough's Mark loses a whopping 5 stone with Slimming World

A super slimmer from Princes Risborough has been awarded the title of Diamond Member of the Year 2020 in Slimming World’s latest virtual competition, after setting a dazzling example of long-term weight loss.
What an incredible transformationWhat an incredible transformation
What an incredible transformation

Mark joined the Wednesday evening Slimming World group in February 2018 and lost five stone in fifteen months. Even more impressively, he has kept the weight off ever since

proving that he has made lifelong changes to her eating and activity habits.

Now the 63year-old, who dropped from 19 stone 7lb to 14 stone 5lb has been named the group’s Diamond Member of the Year 2020. The title is awarded to a group member who

has lost weight and maintained it for at least a year or longer and is voted for by the members of the group.

Members would usually vote for their group’s winner at a special evening at their in-person Slimming World group. However, after announcing the temporary suspension of its local

groups in March, Slimming World introduced a new temporarily virtual service, so this time around the nominations and celebrations were held online. Each member voted via a Facebook poll.

Mark decided to join Slimming World when he was struggling to walk, as he was in need of a hip replacement. He was told by his doctor that he would need to lose weight before he

would be considered for surgery. After painfully walking into group with sticks on his first day, within six months, Mark had lost enough weight for the hip operation to go ahead.

As a bonus, the healthy eating plan had also helped to get his Type 2 Diabetes under control.

Mark went on to lose more weight after his operation and now enjoys a full life, including running around after his grandchildren whenever he can.

He says: “Like most people, I’d tried to lose weight countless times, yet nothing ever really seemed to stick. Slimming World was completely different because it was just so simple. I

could still enjoy hearty, home-cooked meals with my family while losing weight, which seemed like a miracle at the time! Previous weight-loss attempts left me feeling hungry –

nowadays I eat more than ever! Slimming World isn’t a diet, it’s a way of life.

“With Slimming World, the support that I needed was there right from day one, both from my Consultant, Jo Vowles, and the other members in the group. I picked up new ideas and

recipes every week – I still do now, in fact – and I started to really believe that I could do it.

"And I did, because two years later I’m still at my target weight. I’ve even managed to hold on the changes I’ve made during lockdown, which has definitely been easier thanks to the ongoing support of Jo and Slimming World via our virtual group – it’s been so nice to continue to see friendly faces and get help and advice even though we couldn’t be together in person.”

Back in February 2018, Mark began following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan, which encourages slimmers to fill up on healthy, satisfying foods like fruit and veg, pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat and fish so they lose weight without going hungry or feeling deprived.

Mark says: “I’m really adventurous in the kitchen now and I’ve passed lots of healthy habits on to my family and friends too. And I’ve continued to pick up delicious recipes each week

through my virtual group – it’s been especially helpful for food swaps when I couldn’t get certain ingredients at the start of lockdown, and I’ve loved swapping recipe ideas and trying

out new dishes I wouldn’t typically make.”

As the weight came off and he recovered from his hip operation, Mark was able to try to increase his activity levels, and embrace Body Magic. Body Magic is simply adding activity

into your daily life - taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking the car further away in the car park, gardening, walking to the shops, etc – whatever gets you moving a little more – that’s Body Magic!

Mark began slowly by walking more and building up his steps, until being active was part of his routine. He believes this has been important in helping him to maintain his weight loss.

Slimming World members who achieve their target weight, which they set themselves, can continue to attend their local group every week for free as long as they stay within 3lbs either

side of their target weight.

Mark says: “I’ve made so many friends that I can’t imagine not going to the group each week. When we are in group, I am a member of the Social Team – helping Jo each week. I

really look forward to my Wednesday nights in group and seeing how everyone is getting on.

"Everyone inspired and supported me to achieve my target and now it’s my turn to do the same for other people, to show the same kindness, warmth and compassion that I was shown.

"Even when my group went virtual, the support from my Consultant Jo never wavered, so neither did I – and seeing those same friendly faces each week has really helped keep me focused on my goal, especially if I had a tough week.”

Jo, who runs the Princes Risborough group which Mark attends, says: “At Slimming World we believe that losing weight and maintaining for the long term is the most under-recognised

achievement in weight management – I’m so proud of Mark.

"He has proven just what incredible things you can achieve when you make that commitment to improve your health and truly believe in yourself.

"Even in the most recent months, when at times many of us have struggled to stay motivated, Mark has been amazing at keeping everyone’s spirits up.

"He is a real inspiration, not only to me but all the other members in the group, and it’s always great for new members to meet him and see just what’s possible at Slimming World.”

Until groups are once again to open normally, to find out more about the Princes Risborough Virtual Slimming World group, which is held every Wednesday, please contact Jo on 07511 008403 or visit

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