'Health MOT saved my life' - Hartlepool's first male Slimming World consultant on why he wants to help others
A super-slimmer who believes a trip to the doctors saved his life has now set out to help others – by becoming Hartlepool’s first male Slimming World consultant.
Having turned 50, Gerry Weetman was invited to attend a health ‘MOT’ at his GP and was shocked to learn he had high blood pressure and would need to take tablets for the rest of his life.
Gerry says 20 years of life on the road eating fast food, convenience food, takeaways and drinking meant his weight had climbed to more than 16 stone.
But he was spurred on to joining his wife Maria’s local Slimming World class.
Gerry, 54, went on to lose 4 stone 7lb in just 10 months.
Now he is about to become Hartlepool’s first male consultant for the organisation at a relaunched class in Seaton Carew.
Gerry, a volunteer co-ordinator for a disability charity, put his weight gain down to being made redundant, which he says sent him into a downward spiral of anxiety and depression.
He said of his visit to the doctor: “I was conscious of my family’s history of heart problems and when he said ‘you have got high blood pressure and are going to have to be on these tablets for life’ it was a bit of a shock to the system.”
He initially went to Slimming World to support his wife than lose weight himself.
But by following the Slimming World plan, the weight soon started to fall off.
“I lost 6lbs in my first week which was an amazing feeling,” said Gerry. “I had hoped to lose two stone by the time I went on my holidays in August but reached that target in three months so set myself another target of losing another stone before my holidays which I did!
“On return from my holidays, I decided to set my final target at 4 stone 7lb lighter and a healthy 11 stone 7lbs, and finally achieved my target at the end of October, some 10 months after I first walked through the door.”
Gerry, who lives on Hartlepool’s marina, returned to his doctors and was told he no longer needed the blood pressure pills.
He said: “I think if I hadn’t gone to the doctor and joined Slimming World it would have been the start of a slippery slope.
“Who knows what would have happened.”
Gerry changed his eating habits from skipping breakfast before, to now having a healthy one.
Lunch – which used to be a sandwich, crisps, a can of pop and chocolate bar – is now cooked meats, a salad or jacket potato.
And he swapped takeaway dinners for freshly cooked meals on an evening.
He added: “It has made a massive difference to my life. I have had to buy a completely new wardrobe having lost ten inches off my waist and three inches off my collar size.”
Gerry’s group will run at The Staincliffe Hotel, Seaton Carew, from October 31 at 5pm-7pm.