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Welost lbsbyjoiningclub; Daily Record .UK Saturday, GUT BUSTERS WHY SLIM CLASSES ARE GOOD FOR MEN TOO.

Are weight-loss classes only for women? That's what many GPs seem to think after a study found they're more likely to recommend men go to the gym for a run or play football. But obesity experts reckon that gender bias is preventing blokes from getting lean and healthy. Just one in 10 NHS-funded places at Slimming World and Weight Watchers is taken up by men. But researchers found they benefit more than women from the group sessions. Study leader Professor Paul Aveyard, from Oxford University, said: "We need to move away from these gender stereotypes and recognise that weight-loss support groups work for men just as well as for women." Three men told AMANDA KEENAN how joining a slimming club has transformed their lives and their health ALEX Black's grandkids used to call him "fat man" but since shedding over half his body weight they call him Superman.

At 23st 9lb and after suffering high cholesterol, an irregular heartbeat and sore knees, Alex joined Weight Watchers.

He lost 10st 2lb in nine months and now weighs 13st 7lbs and now has plenty of energy to keep up with his grandkids.

Alex, 63, from Kilsyth, Lanarkshire, said: "People don't recognise me now. I'm much healthier and happier. My grandkids used to call me fat man but now they call me Superman because they can't believe how much weight I've lost."

Alex's weight crept up over the years and eroded his self-esteem.

He said: "I could barely walk around the supermarket and I felt ashamed of myself. I was breathless and probably heading towards a heart attack."

Now he walks up to five miles every day and has cut out greasy foods. He said: "I finally feel good about myself."

ALEX'S STORY From 'fat man' to super granda JAMES Connolly decided to tackle his expanding frame after struggling to find clothes to fit his huge 54in waist.

At 27st, his doctor warned he was putting his health at serious risk.

He lost 10st in one year after ditching takeaways and fizzy drinks.

James, 30, from Dumbarton, said: "I suffered from painful varicose veins in my legs and struggled to walk any distance without being breathless. I had no idea how massive I was until I went to buy a suit. I couldn't find anything in my size and had to get XXXL trousers specially made.

"It was humiliating."

He joined his local Slimming World class and after losing 7lbs in the first week, never looked back.

James said: "It's the best thing I've done and I'll never allow myself to put the weight back on. I have completely changed my lifestyle, my shape and my life."

I was too big to get a suit in my size JAMES' STORY WILLIAM Kerr was horrified by the Ibiza holiday snaps that showed him how fat he had become.

He said: "There was one picture where I could see just how big my stomach and face were - it was horrendous."

William, 44, from Glasgow, was 24st 8lb and advised by his doctor to lose weight before hip surgery last year.

He said: "I've always loved takeaways and would eat massive portions. The weight crept on gradually over the years and I hated buying clothes because they were size XXXL ." After joining Scottish Slimmers, William lost 7st 3lb and now weighs 15st 4lb - with a target of 14st 8lb.

William, who works in security, said: "The class is not just for women - blokes are welcome too.

"Now I love getting my picture taken and I'm heading off on holiday soon. This time I won't feel ashamed of any photos, I'll feel proud of how far I've come."

Horror hol pics got me started WILLIAM'S STORY

CAPTION(S):

BREEKS AWAY New-look Alex tries on his old trousers

CHANGED MAN James, left, is transformed from his former self, above

SLIMLINE William with cook books and before, left
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 24, 2017
Words:649
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