Embarrassment on a plane trip prompted hotelier Mick Thompson to shed the pounds, and now he is flying high about to start his own Slimming World group meetings.
The 56-year-old, who has lost nearly three stone in six months, is so pleased with his weight loss – and that of his wife Nix, he wanted to help others.
The Blackpool dad-of-one can now run up and down the stairs of his Lord Street hotel, The Dragonfly, without “huffing and puffing” and next week will hold his first meeting.
Mick tipped the scales at 16st 5lbs, and was prompted to take action after he was asked to get off a plane at Jersey Airport and wait to be seated because he was told he was too heavy to sit at the rear.
The humiliation weighed on his mind, so when his wife decided to join Slimming World, Mick went with her.
“I was a big lad. I had just got bigger and bigger. I thought I might be the only man there, but I was pleasantly surprised to find other guys attending.”
Group leader Christine, at Layton Slimming World group, and the other members made Mick feel welcome.
He said: “Things we thought would be no-no’s were allowed. We could have curry, chilli and chips – from the Slimming World recipe books. You don’t feel like your depriving yourself. We are never hungry.”
Dropping the 2st 13lbs has made Mick feel happier and healthier.
“I feel brilliant with much more energy. Now I can run up and down the stairs. Before, I would be huffing and puffing.
“I’ve been on my first holiday for 10 years. I felt I could wear my holiday clothes without people looking at me. And Nix could wear her bathing costume. I’ve gone from a 46ins waist to 34ins. I haven’t been able to wear that size since I was about 27.”
Mick was so impressed by Slimming World, he decided he wanted to pass on his new-found knowledge.
“I’m outgoing and like talking to people so I decided to become a consultant. I hope to encourage more men to come in. I think men are sometimes scared of slimming groups or think they are just for women – but that’s not the case at all.”
Mick’s group meetings take place on Mondays, starting March 14, at 9.30am and 7.30pm at Christ the King Social Centre, Grange Park.