SUPER slimmer Charlie Shakesby has been crowned the Biggest Loser after shedding nearly 9st.
The 57-year-old says he feels “amazing” after his weight loss, which has added up to 30 years to his life expectancy.
Charlie, of Hendon, has battled the bulge for years and after trying different diets, he went to see his GP.
He was referred to the NHS weight loss programme where he spent a year under the guidance of a weight psychologist, personal trainer and dietician.
But instead of slimming down, he piled on the pounds – going up to more than 25 stone.
His doctor then referred him to Slimming World and, reluctantly, Charlie attended.
He said: “I had no confidence and was really depressed. I couldn’t find clothes that fitted me and I’d become really antisocial.”
But after the first session, Charlie, who planned on losing enough weight to get a gastric band fitted, was hooked.
Now, nine months after joining Slimming World, Charlie is on track to hit his target of losing 10st.
He has been crowned the Biggest Loser after shedding 8st 9lbs.
He said: “I’ve lost a whole person and it’s an amazing feeling losing that.
“I’m so glad I didn’t go for the gastric band surgery and managed to lose the weight this way.
“Slimming World helps to address the emotional issues and changes the way you think about food and getting healthy. It hasn’t been easy, but has made a massive difference in my life.
“My life expectancy before was eight to 10 years and now it’s 30 to 40 years.”
Gill Whitfield, who runs the Slimming World group, added: “Charlie has been just an inspiration to the group and everyone is so proud of him.”
The group is open to new members and meets at St John’s Methodist Church, Ashbrooke Road, every Tuesday at 3.30pm, 5.15pm and 7pm, and Fridays at 9.30am and 11.30am.