A SLIMMING club might be thought of as a woman’s world, but Ian Fotheringham is celebrating after not only losing weight at his local Slimming World group in Kelty, but best of all, he is now diabetes free!

Ian, who attends his local Slimming World group in Kelty and has lost six stone, said: “Like most men I thought slimming clubs were for women and expected to be eating nothing but salad.

"But the minute I walked through the door I realised that nothing could have been further from the truth. I was made very welcome. There’s a real mix of people – men and women of all ages - and we have a great time. "Plus with Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan no foods are banned. Instead I’ve learned how to cook healthier versions of my favourite meals like prawn and vegetable curry and chicken jalfrezi and every week at we share new recipes and handy tips.”

Ian added: “My weight impacted on so many aspects of my life, from struggling to find clothes that I like to fit, to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling tired and out of breath, even when walking on ground level I had to stop regularly to catch my breath.

"Now I walk for miles, stairs and hills are no longer a problem!”

People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from health problems like diabetes, which can be a significant cause of disability and increases the risk of coronary heart disease and other health problems. The most recent Scottish Diabetes Survey (2016) estimates that there were 291,981 people with a diagnosis of diabetes in Scotland and there were 6,214 deaths, where diabetes was mentioned among the causes, 54.1% were of men.

Ian added: “The biggest benefits are to my health, I was on medication for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Now I am no longer diabetic and my blood pressure medication has been halved!

“It was nerve-wracking walking through those doors for the first time with my wife Margaret, but I wasn’t the only man there and everyone was so supportive. Now I look forward to the sessions. There is lots of banter and laughter and I get some really good ideas too, from new recipe suggestions to ideas to boost my activity levels.

“Two years ago I would never have believed that I would feel as healthy and fit as I do now, I am only sorry that I didn’t join Slimming World years ago!

“I didn’t know what my mates would think about me attending Slimming World, but they’ve been right behind it. Once they realised I could still have a beer they started to take an interest and when they see me eating things like steak and homemade chips, chicken curry or a roast dinner they always ask how it’s possible to eat like that and still lose weight. What really had them sitting up and paying attention though was how well I was losing weight.”

Alun Fotheringham, who runs the Kelty Slimming World group says he’s incredibly proud of Ian: “He has done brilliantly and we’re all amazed by his transformation and delighted that he is no longer diabetic. He’s a real inspiration to the group.

"We know that many men assume slimming clubs won’t be right for them, but Ian shows that once they come through the doors they do brilliantly. Like Ian I would advise anyone who would like to lose weight to find the courage to take that first step.”

The Kelty Slimming World group is held every Wednesday at Kelty Community Centre at 5.30pm and 7.30pm, with a new 3.30pm session starting on January 9. Anyone interested in joining the group can pop along or for more information they can call Alun on 07501 917826.