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Corrie star says Frome slimmer is streets ahead!

A FROME slimmer who’s lost 8st 7.5lb was congratulated on his impressive weight loss by Coronation Street beauty Samia Ghadie at a national slimming competition. 

Michael Cooper, 47, was one of just 36 entrants from across the UK and Ireland to win a place in the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2013 contest where he met Samia, who is famous for playing Maria Connor in the ITV1 soap.

Many men think that slimming clubs like Slimming World are female-only environments. Yet there are more men than women in the UK who need support to slim down and improve their health, with six in 10 men classed as overweight or obese compared to five in 10 women.

Recent research by Slimming World, presented at the European Congress on Obesity 2013, found men are actually more successful when it comes to shedding the pounds too. In a 12 week period men lost 6.1% of their body weight compared to women who lost 4.6%. Michael is real-life proof of this, having dropped from 22st 5.5lb to 13st 12lb since joining his local Slimming World group in Frome.

Michael says it can be hard for men to admit they have a weight problem and need help to slim down. He said, “I was nervous about telling people when I joined Slimming World but when they saw how much weight I was losing – and how much food I was eating – they were impressed! I haven’t given up my man-sized portions and I still enjoy all my old favourites like curry and rice or a juicy steak with lots of potatoes and veg, they’re just cooked differently now.

“I expected to feel like ‘the odd one out’ in the group, but it wasn’t like that. Everyone was friendly and made me feel welcome, and ultimately we were all there for the same reason – because we wanted to lose weight and be fitter, happier and healthier.

“To be honest, it’s the group support that makes all the difference. Anyone can follow a diet for a week or two – especially one as easy as Slimming World’s – but it’s the extra motivation you get from the group that keeps you going and helps you get where you want to be. Staying on with the group after weighing in each week to share ideas and listen to how others have tackled any problems has been so important to my success. My family and friends are really proud of me for doing something about my weight, because they know that it made me unhappy and they were worried about me.

“I’m now 100% fitter and running my first 5km run all due to my weight loss and the support of Slimming World. I was pleased when I found out I’d made the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year competition, but I didn’t lose weight to win a competition, I did it to improve my health and to be able to do more with my family, and I’ve done that, which is the best prize I could ask for.”

Samia, who got her skates on for the latest series of ‘Dancing on Ice’, swapped the famous Coronation Street cobbles for a day at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire to congratulate the finalists on their weight loss. She said, “Learning to skate on ‘Dancing on Ice’ proved to me that it’s never too late to try something new. It was scary – especially the lifts – but I was so proud of what I achieved.

“Michael has done just that too. He doesn’t only look fantastic since losing weight he’s also improved his health and is feeling more confident; he must be such an inspiration to all of the other slimmers in his group.”

Debbie Hills, who runs the Frome group which Michael attends, agrees. She said, “Michael is almost unrecognisable from the man who walked into my group all those months ago but it’s been a quite gradual change. He’s shown that making small changes to the way you eat and becoming more active bit by bit can make a huge difference, and I hope he inspires lots of other men in Frome who’d like to lose weight to go for it and join Slimming World. Everyone’s welcome – men and women – every Tuesday at 5.15pm or 7.15pm at Frome Cricket Club, and you never know you might even get to meet a gorgeous girl like Samia one day too.”

Unfortunately Michael wasn’t the overall winner of the competition. The Slimming World Man of the Year 2013 will be announced later this month. In the meantime, to find out more about joining the Frome group call Debbie on 07849 536189 or 01373 472327 or simply pop along.