Newport man loses 14 stone after making health pledge with son


A MAN from Newport lost who at one point weighed more than 33 stone has changed his life around after his son suffered a brain tumour.

Les Thomas, 57, has gone from 33st 2lb to now weighing 19st 2lbs – losing 14 stone.

Mr Thomas committed to his weight loss after his son – Phil Thomas – survived a brain tumour in 2010. He and his son made a pledge to each other – he would lose weight, and his son would graduate from university.

Mr Thomas joined the Bettws Slimming World group that year.

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“Deep down I’d been unhappy with my weight for some time, but it took me a long time to face up to it,” he said. “It was nerve-wracking walking through those doors for the first time everyone was so supportive.”

How Mr Thomas looked before losing weight

Slimming World first had to suspend its local groups in March and introduce a temporary virtual service, due to the coronavirus outbreak. Mr Thomas said despite the suspension of face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings were still keeping him motivated.

“When we were told in March about the virtual groups I was initially worried about missing my routine of attending my weekly Slimming World group and nervous about holding on to the changes I’d made without it,” he said.

“Now I really enjoy attending my virtual group, it’s full of that same group spirit and laughter, and all the usual advice, like new recipe suggestions and ideas to boost our activity levels, that we’ve always received – only now from the comfort of my sofa.

“It’s been a real lifeline in helping me to hang on to those healthy habits I’ve built and now I feel certain that – with the support of my group – I can manage my weight whatever life throws at me.

“I always come away feeling just as inspired and motivated to keep going each week, and love sharing new recipes and ideas with my friends in the group.

How Mr Thomas looks now

“One thing I’ve always loved about the Food Optimising plan is just how flexible it is. I love the variety of foods I can still enjoy such as steak and homemade chips, chicken curry or a roast dinner.

“Nothing is off limits – I can still enjoy a pint of beer. I’ve picked up loads more new recipes while attending my group.

Lisa Parnell, who runs the Bettws Slimming World group, said: “He has done brilliantly and we’re all in awe of his transformation.

“And while so much has changed in the last few months his determination and motivation has remained the same – he’s a real inspiration to the group.

“I couldn’t be prouder of everything Les has achieved.”

The Bettws Slimming World groups are held every Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

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