Most men would run a mile at the mere suggestion of slimming clubs or diets, but not Barry Palmer.
The 63-year-old was so determined to lose weight that nothing was going to stand in his way. And it has paid off.
Barry has not only lost almost eight stone in as many months but has also become the first man in Oakham to win the Slimming World accolade of Mr Sleek.
The grandfather, who weighed 23 stone 11.5lbs when he joined the club on March, 27 this year, is now 15 stone 2lbs.
He said: “As a man, joining a slimming club was a big decision and very nerve-wracking, but I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and winning the title is just the icing on the cake.”
Barry’s decision to join Slimming World came after years of being overweight, struggling to get up the stairs, bathe or even get dressed without getting out of breath.
Barry said: “I honestly felt like giving up completely and that death was just around the corner, I was terrified I wouldn’t see my grandchildren grow up.
“I’d heard about Slimming World before from my daughter Sheridan, who is a member in a group in Bridlington and had lost almost six stone.
“But I was worried because I thought it would just be me and a roomful of women.
“That wasn’t far from the truth. But it didn’t matter because everyone was so friendly and it only took a few weeks before I felt at home.”
Losing weight and losing 16 inches from his waist had also had health benefits - Barry is no longer classed diabetic.
He now swims regularly, goes to the gym and can play with his grandchildren.
Sheryl Kearney, who runs the Oakham group said: “Blokes might think that coming to a slimming club is a bit girly. I hope Barry’s experience proves that it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, young or old because ultimately we’re all there for the same reason – to lose weight, be healthier and feel more confident.”