Aug 3 2011 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday
AS NEW research shows one in four men are insecure about their weight and two thirds of them want to shed the pounds, one local man is bucking the trend.
Alasdair Aitken has lost two and a half stone and is feeling better than ever after deciding to join his wife at their local slimming group.
Slimming World’s annual National Slimming Survey, conducted by YouGov, revealed 26 per cent of men “usually” feel unhappy with their weight. The 2011 poll also found 66 per cent of men want to slim down, with the average man hoping to lose 2st 7lbs.
Alasdair was no exception – but now it’s a different story. He’s dropped from 14st to 11st 7lbs since joining his local Slimming World group in November last year.
Now he has been named Man of the Year 2011 by the group, which meets at the King Robert Hotel in Glasgow Road, St Ninians, on Wednesdays at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
He said: “I hated being overweight and I did try to do something about it. I used to cycle regularly to work and did a bit of running and walking and thought that would do the trick but I never seemed to lose much weight – if any.
“I’d always thought slimming groups were just for women, but it was clear ‘going it alone’ didn’t work for me and I needed some extra motivation. When my wife suggested accompanying her to her slimming group, I decided to give it a go and it was the best decision I could have made.”
Alasdair began following Slimming World’s food optimising eating plan, which is a big hit with men because slimmers can eat hearty meals and still lose weight.
“The great thing is you don’t go hungry,” said Alasdair. “It’s about healthy eating – and man-sized portions of healthy food too – not fads and gimmicks. Now we make our favourite meals in a low fat way, so we can still have curries and Chinese dishes, steak and chips and roast dinners.
“I can honestly say I feel like a different man since losing weight. Now I can go running and cycling again.” Once he started to lose weight Alasdair soon found he had more energy.
“Slimming World encourages you to boost your weight loss, get fitter and keep the weight off in the long run by being more active, starting with something as big or small as you want.
“I’d always been able to eat anything I wanted in the past as I had always been fairly active, I knew I had the Etape Caledonia (bike race) coming up in a few months and needed to lose around two and a half stone and that was never going to happen on its own.
“I convinced myself that my T-shirts were shrinking in the wash, but I knew I had to do something drastic when I had to buy bigger clothes as my trousers waists and shirt collars were all digging into me. When Ruth suggested I go with her to her group I was horrified at first as I thought slimming clubs were just for other people – not me.”
June Dormer, who runs the King Robert Slimming World group, said: “Alasdair is proof that men can benefit from the support to eat more healthily and get more active as much as women. He’s a real inspiration.
“Lots of men have joined the group after hearing about Alasdair’s success and I hope when other men read his story they’ll come along to Slimming World too, especially now they know they won’t be the only man there.
“It’s really important because the obesity crisis doesn’t just affect women – in fact, there are more overweight men than women in Britain.”
For more information or to join Slimming World call June Dormer on (01786) 475511 or visit the website www.slimmingworld.com