Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Slimming World member receives Diamond Member award

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 at 10:14 am.

A super slimmer has been awarded the title of Diamond Member of the Year 2017 for setting a sparkling example of long-term weight loss at the local Westbury Slimming World group.

Philip Bowen-Ashwin joined the group in October 2013 and lost 5 stone in six months. Even more impressively he has kept the weight off ever since.

Now the 52 year-old, who dropped from 18 Stone 11 lbs to 13 Stone 11 lbs has been named the group’s Diamond Member 2017. The title is awarded to the group’s most inspirational member who has lost weight and maintained their new shape – an accomplishment that Slimming World believes is the most under-recognised achievement in weight management – as voted for by the slimmers in the group.

Philip decided to join Slimming World after becoming fed up of feeling uncomfortable in tight fitting clothes and a desire to become healthier in advance of his 50th birthday in 2014. He dropped from a size 42 inch waist to a more comfortable size 34. He says, “I had tried to lose weight before, especially following a holiday, but it had never worked. Gradually over the years my weight had ‘crept on’ until I recognised I needed to change my life style. I decided to join a Slimming World Group as I wanted the discipline and structure attending a weekly meeting would provide.

“I saw it as investing time in myself to completely change my lifestyle and that is what Slimming World has taught me. There is also a perception that slimming groups are only for women. How wrong was I! Weight issues affect both sexes and our group is a mixture of like-minded men and women all with the same objectives of permanently losing weight and becoming comfortable with their own bodies.

“When I first came to the group I found everyone very welcoming and received so much support. I was surprised that by following the simple Slimming World rules not only how much you can still eat, there is no starvation with lettuce leaves here! but how quickly weight fell off. At a recent group meeting I said to everyone “if I can do it, then anyone can.” Yes I have increased my levels of exercise, but there has been no need for me to have spent hours in the local gym. I have managed to fit my changes around my work and lifestyle.

“Sharing tips and ideas has definitely helped me maintain my weight loss. Each week in group I pick up new ideas and recipes – even now after 3 years at target! My life is completely unrecognisable now and I’m happier, healthier and fitter than ever.”

Philip began following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan, which encourages slimmers to fill up on healthy, satisfying foods like fruit and veg, pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat and fish so they lose weight without going hungry or feeling deprived. Philip says, “I still eat the same way today and I’ve passed lots of healthy habits on to my family and friends too. Several colleagues at my work have also joined other Slimming World clubs across the country with all of them achieving fantastic successes. One colleague in particular has lost 8 stone in less than 1 year. ”

As the weight came off he decided to try increasing his activity levels. Philip began by ensuring each evening he walked his two dogs until being active was part of his routine. Now he regularly walks at least 10,000 steps per day and early at weekends can be found jogging around Warminster. He now always considers walking rather than taking the car for any short trips into town. Philip believes maintaining this activity has been important in helping him to maintain his weight loss.

Likewise, since reaching his target weight in April 2014 Philip has continued to attend the Westbury Slimming World group and believes without their constant support he would have struggled to keep the weight off. Philip believes continuing to attend has enabled him to keep a check on his weight and prevented any slippage.

Slimming World members who achieve their target, which they set themselves, can continue to attend their local group every week for free as long as they stay within 3lbs either side of their target weight. Currently around 10% of Slimming World’s members are target members.

Philip says, “I’ve made so many friends that I can’t imagine not going to the group each week, they’re like a family to me now. Everyone inspired and supported me to achieve my target and now it’s my turn to do the same for other people, to show the same kindness, warmth and compassion that I was shown.

“It’s not completely selfless though, coming to group keeps me on track too and we always have a lot of fun.”

Juliet Morgan who runs the Westbury group which Philip attends, says, “I’m so proud of Philip and the inspirational way in which he has maintained his weight loss. It’s always great for new members to meet Philip and see just what’s possible at Slimming World – after we’ve explained why someone so slim is in the group in the first place, that is! I hope he inspires other people in Westbury too and proves to them that with Slimming World you really can get slim for good.”

Philip’s group win puts him in the running for the national title of Slimming World Diamond Member 2017. The overall winner, chosen from one of Slimming World’s 16,000 groups across the UK and Ireland, will take home £2,000 and be announced next month.

Westbury Slimming World groups are held on: • Mondays at Leigh Park Community Centre, 3.30pm, 5.30pm & 7.30pm (tel. Juliet: 01373 830925); • on Thursdays at Westbury Leigh Primary School, 5.30pm & 7.30pm (tel Paula: 07718 596853) • and on Fridays at Westbury Conservative Club, 9.30am & 11.30am (tel Paula: 07718 596853). Visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk for more details.