A REDDITCH man has hit the back of the net after being congratulated by footballer John Barnes for reaching the semi-finals of the ‘Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2018’ competition.
Martin Blyth, aged 26, was one of 43 men to win a place at the semi finals after losing an impressive 8st 11lbs in less than 12 months.
It was there he was met by the former Liverpool, Watford and England player who was happy to pose for photos and speak with the contestants.
Martin managed to slim down from 24st to 15st at the Redditch Slimming World group but believes it can be hard for men to admit they need to lose weight.
He said: “I’m so glad I had the courage to walk through the doors because I haven’t looked back since.
“I had a negative view of weight loss before I joined. I thought I’d be constantly hungry and have to give up all of my favourite foods.”
But Martin admits he couldn’t have been more wrong because he eats just as much as before.
“Steak and chips, cooked breakfasts and curries are still on the menu.
“I’ve made some simple swaps like ditching olive oil or butter in favour of low-calorie cooking sprays.”
A report conducted by Slimming World recently showed that while 95% of men want to lose weight, typically they keep the worries to themselves.
But once they put their mind to it and join one of the groups, men on average lose 5.7% of their body weight in just three months.
John Barnes, who has now hung up his football boots to become a successful pundit, said: “Health and fitness has formed a huge part of my life, so I know how much effort and dedication it can take to stay fit and healthy, both mentally and physically.
“It was a pleasure to meet Martin, I have so much respect for him. I can’t believe his transformation because he doesn’t look like the same bloke.”
Although he made it to the top 10 in the competition, unfortunately Martin was not the overall winner.
Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2018 was won by Dave Lancaster, from Warwickshire, who lost 20st.
For more information about joining Redditch Slimming World – contact Carolanne Leggart on 07913608423.