WHILE most people would be offended to be called a ‘loser’, one man from the clay country is over the moon to have been named the town’s ‘Greatest Loser’ of 2017.
That’s because Brian Edyvean has lost a life-changing 6st to take the title, which is awarded to the member of the St Dennis Slimming World group who has lost the most weight, and feels fabulous as a result.
Brian, who’s gone from 27stone 1 lb to 21 stone 1 lb, says: “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a loser when it feels this good! I feel like a new man since losing weight - in fact, I look so different that people who I haven’t seen for a while often can’t believe I’m the same person. For me though it’s the change on the inside that’s been the greatest - I’m happier, healthier and much more confident now.”
The 49-year-old from Roche joined the St Dennis group, which is run by Alison Johns, in August 2016. He says: “Before I lost the weight I hated having my photo taken and whenever I saw pictures of myself I knew that my smile wasn’t real. My weight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes to fit to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath.”
Brian’s weight was also putting a huge strain on his health and he got breathless easily. People who are severely overweight, with a BMI above 30, are more likely to suffer from health problems like coronary heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer, and obesity is linked to a reduction in life expectancy of between seven and nine years.
After hearing about it from a friend, Brian decided to join one of his local Slimming World groups at St Dennis. He says, “Walking through those doors was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I was embarrassed about my size and scared that I might be the biggest person there. I needn’t have worried though, everyone there was so friendly, especially my consultant Alison and I was so relieved when I found out that my weight was confidential between me and her - I’d had visions of having to tell everyone how much I weighed!
“Since then I’ve made so many friends at the group and I honestly don’t think I could have done it without their support each week. They helped me with recipes and tips and if I was ever struggling they were always there to remind me why I’d wanted to lose weight in the first place and how far I’d come since first stepping through the doors.”
Brian followed the club’s Food Optimising eating plan and swapped junk meals for healthy eating options using recipes from books purchased from the slimming world range and the bi monthly magazine. He says: “People think slimming means going hungry, eating nothing but salad or obsessively counting every calorie you eat, but it’s not like that at all at Slimming World. I love food and it’s never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’ - in fact, people are always surprised at how much food I have on my plate and can’t believe I’m losing weight eating so much delicious food and without ever feeling hungry.
“I still enjoy all my favourite meals like burgers and chips and roast dinners but I’ve learned how to make small changes such as using lean meat or cooking with low calorie spray instead of oil or butter. It fits in really well with the rest of my family and we can all eat the same meals. I know that I haven’t ‘gone on a diet’, this is a change that I’ve made for life and I have the tools I need to keep it up forever. My smile is definitely real now!”
Today Brian lost a total of 6st 1lb and gone from a 52” waist measurement to a 42”. He is also more active nowadays and regularly participates in bellringing and walks 20 miles per week.
Alison Johns, who runs the St Dennis Slimming World group, says: “The changes we’ve seen in Brian are incredible. I hope his success will inspire other people in St Dennis who’d like to lose weight by forming new lifestyle habits and become happier and healthier to take action. There’s a warm welcome waiting at Slimming World and, just think, if you start today you could feel like a completely new person just like Brian.”
The St Dennis group meets every Wednesday at 7.30pm at St Dennis Learning Academy, Carne Hill, St. Dennis. To join call Alison on 07875 674073 or pop along.