Westbury Leigh is proud to announce its new Mr Sleek.
Philip Bowen-Ashwin was awarded the title after losing 5st at the Westbury Leigh Slimming World 5.30pm group, which is held at Leigh Park Community Centre.
Philip, who has gone from weighing 18st 10lb at his heaviest to a fantastic 13st 10lb, says he was delighted to receive the award. He said, “I was really flattered that the other members chose me as their Mr Sleek. As a man, joining a slimming club was a big decision and very nerve-wracking, but I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and this is just the icing on the cake.”
The newly-introduced Mr Sleek competition recognises male slimmers who have undergone a huge transformation since joining Slimming World and rediscovered their lust for life, as well as looking great in a sharp suit.
For women, the Miss Slinky competition takes part at the same time and in the same group Tracy Akgul, who has lost 3st was the winner. The national winners of both contests will be announced in January and each will win a £2,000 cash price.
Philip’s ‘big decision’ to join Slimming World came in October last year and, after watching his weight slowly creep up/years of being overweight, he knew he had to make a change.
He said, “I’d heard about Slimming World before so I knew it worked, but I was worried because I thought it would just be me and a roomful of women. Actually that wasn’t the case at all and everyone was so friendly and it only took a few weeks before I felt right at home. I’m so glad I didn’t let my nerves stop me from losing weight and I’d recommend Slimming World to everyone – men and women.”
He began following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and swapped his diet of unhealthy foods for healthy home-cooked meals. Philip said, “I used to think that losing weight meant eating nothing but salad, which definitely didn’t appeal to me.
“Food Optimising isn’t a diet though, it’s a lifestyle change. I mainly still eat the same meals that I did beforehand, like curries, roast dinners and pasta dishes, but I make them in a more healthy way now, like using low calorie cooking spray instead of oil or butter and I eat a lot more fruit and veg. I expected to feel hungry but in my first week I couldn’t believe how much I was eating and I still lost 6lbs. I haven’t looked back since.”
Since then Philips lost a total of 5st and is so much more active with walking and cycling.
Juliet, who runs the Westbury Leigh group which Philip attends, hopes he will inspire other men in the Westbury who want to lose weight. She said, “Men might think that coming to a slimming club is a bit ‘girly’. I hope Philip will show that lots of different people come along to our groups and each and every one gets a warm and friendly welcome.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, young or old or anything like that because ultimately we’re all there for the same reason – to lose weight and to feel healthier and more confident and to be able to do more with our families and friends, and that’s what is most important.
“As Philip proves, whether you’ve got a little or a lot of weight to lose, slimming down can make a big difference to how you feel about yourself and really boost your confidence.
“He’s ready to celebrate this party season and will definitely be living up to his new name and looking ‘sleek’. And if other people in the area would like to lose weight before Christmas too, there’s no better time than now to start.”
Everyone’s welcome at the Westbury Slimming World groups at Leigh Park Community Centre every Monday at 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm and Tuesday at 10.00am OR Friday at the Conservative Club at 9.30am and 11.30am. People can simply come along on the day or anyone who’d like more information can call Juliet on 01373 830925 or Hannah on 07909 441466.