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Look like Ollie? Fat chance!

Byline: Michelle Ruane

Shedding more than three stones in weight got dieter Joe Walker into another fine mess...

The 55-year-old has lost more than three stone from his 5ft 2ins frame since January - going from 15st 10lbs to 12st 9lbs.

But it now means the keen fund-raiser from Teesville no longer looks the part when he dresses up as Oliver Hardy to take part in charity nights.

Joe said: "I'd dress up as Ollie Hardy, with either Paul Quantrill or Keith Hart taking on the role of Stan Laurel, and we'd raise money at charity nights.

"But now I've lost so much weight, all three of us could be Stan Laurel."

Joe still does an Elvis impersonation and a recent fundraising night in aid of Zoe's Place at St Peter's Social Club raised pounds 1,526.

In the past he has helped to raise funds for James Cook University Hospital's children's wards and IVF unit.

Joe, a contract electrician for EI-WHS at ICI Billingham Cassell works, lost the weight by adopting a healthy eating plan and attending Slimming World classes in South Bank.

He said: "I've done other diets and felt starving, but this is all about everything in moderation.

"When I first went to the classes, my initial thought was one of terror, thinking it would be all women - and it was!

"I wasn't sure if it was for me and I was the only man there. But they made me feel really welcome and after a few weeks I felt more at ease and I'd lost a few pounds."

He added: "My wife Veronica had been going to the classes, but it was my doctor mainly who urged me to do something.

"I am a diabetic and my doctor warned me if I didn't lose weight it was a recipe for a heart attack or stroke."

Joe added: "I've cut out the junk food and fried foods. I used to be Chinese-daft and loved sausage, egg and chips.

"Now, I love stir fry and eat much more healthily."
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 30, 2003
Words:340
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