After losing weight with Slimming World, Andrew Brown plucked up the courage to propose to his partner Claire! Read how he lost over 4 stone…
Andrew Brown, 47, is a civil engineer from Weymouth, Dorset who lost 4st 1½lbs with Slimming World.
Andrew hadn’t thought about his diet before he started Slimming World. “It sounds strange now, but before finding Slimming World, I didn’t even connect my eating habits with my weight,” remembers Andrew. “Although it had crept up since my 20s, taking my 34ins waist up to 40ins, I told myself it was inevitable that people got bigger as they got older. I was just a tall bloke with a big appetite – especially for greasy full English breakfasts, doorstep sandwiches with loads of butter and mayonnaise, pies and chocolate treats!”
It was Andrew’s children who made him rethink his lifestyle. “I knew I was missing out on quality time with my boys, Oscar and Elliot,” says Andrew. “They wanted Dad to play football with them and run along the beach like their friends’ fathers. At over 18st, though, I’d get out of breath after a few minutes, and would end up just sitting and watching. I didn’t like the idea of people looking at me, either, and it was for this same reason I hadn’t asked my girlfriend, Claire, to marry me.”
On a family holiday in 2013, Andrew was finally forced to confront the way he looked. “The campsite pool had a strict dress code for men: no baggy shorts; only trunks,” remembers Andrew. “I felt so self-conscious, and when I saw the pictures Claire and the kids had taken, I barely recognised myself. I was embarrassed and ashamed. It dawned on me that if I really wanted to get to grips with my weight problem, I needed to change my diet.”
Andrew discovered Sliming World and decided to give it a go. “I must have sat in the car for at least 15 minutes, plucking up the courage to walk through the door; I was anxious I’d be the only man and everyone would laugh,” explains Andrew. “My fears were completely unfounded. The first thing my Consultant, Lucy, did was introduce me to another man who’d lost several stones. She assured me that it was possible to eat well and still lose weight. We’ve always cooked from scratch at home, and it was easy to adapt our roast dinners and curries by using low calorie cooking spray and trimming fat off meat. The boys didn’t even realise their favourite meals were getting healthier!”
Andrew soon began to realise where he had gone wrong before. “My unhealthy eating had always been more about the choices I made away from home,” he says. “I had a big snacking habit, and swapping chocolate biscuits for fruit, and shop-bought sandwiches for homemade pasta salads made a huge difference. It was amazing to discover I’d lost 7½lbs in my first week!”
As the weight came off, Andrew felt much more energetic. “I no longer needed to stop for a break after a few minutes of football, and I even started running along the beach,” he smiles. “I got to target in September 2014. I looked and felt so much better, and Claire and the boys were so proud.”
With new-found confidence, Andrew decided to pop the question. “That Christmas, whilst wrapping presents, I asked Claire to marry me,” beams Andrew. “I can’t overplay how much weight loss changed things for me. It’s given me back the body I had in my 20s, the confidence I thought I’d lost, and the energy to be the hands-on dad I always wanted to be. And, best of all, it’s given me my lovely wife!”
Story taken from Slimming World Magazine, on sale on newsstands and in Slimming World groups. To find your nearest group, visit slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.
Read on to find out how to make this Slimming World Zesty lamb with cannellini beans
The aromas of rosemary and lemon really bring out the best in lamb, and this simple dish will be loved by slimmers and non-slimmers alike.
Serves 4, ready in 30 minutes plus marinating
- 8 lean lamb leg steaks, visible fat removed
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs to garnish
- 2 tsp ground paprika
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- Low calorie cooking spray
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 250ml boiling chicken stock
- 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained
- 200g orange and red baby plum tomatoes, halved
- 100g baby spinach leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad or vegetables to serve
1. Put the lamb steaks in a large bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, rosemary, half the paprika and half the garlic. Toss to combine and set aside for at least 15 minutes to marinate (or up to 12 hours if time permits).
2. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium (or to your liking). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and set aside to rest.
3. Meanwhile, spray another non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and the remaining paprika and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the stock and beans and cook for 3-4 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach until just wilted. Season to taste.
5. Divide the bean mixture between plates, top with the lamb and garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve hot with salad or your favourite vegetables.