A Gold medal-winning Olympian has paid tribute to a young Sunderland slimmer after his remarkable transformation.
Ryan Gibbons, 21, lost 5st 2.5lbs to reach the final of a national slimming competition for those aged 16 to 21.
After making the final 30 of Slimming World’s Young Slimmer of the Year 2017 competition, Ryan met Sam Quek, who won gold with the Great Britain hockey team at the 2016 Olympics. She was at the semi-final, in Alfreton, Derbyshire, to show her support for those taking part.
Ryan said: “My weight meant that I was becoming more and more self-conscious, and it was starting to affect me in lots of different ways – to the point where I’d make excuses not to go out with my friends because I felt uncomfortable all the time.
“I was quite nervous about the thought of joining Slimming World at first because I thought that people might judge me for being overweight at such a young age.
“Everyone at my group is really lovely and they’ve all been so supportive of me. My friends and family are really proud of what I’ve achieved – and I’m feeling quite proud of myself too actually.”
The way that Ryan has turned his life around is nothing short of remarkableSam Quek
Sam said: “The way that Ryan has turned his life around is nothing short of remarkable and although we’ve only just met, I can’t help but feel a little proud of what he has achieved.
“It just goes to show that if you set your mind to it, anything is possible.”
Gill Whitfield, who runs the Ashbrooke Slimming World group which Ryan attends, said: “I’m so proud of Ryan. What he’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight. I’ve watched Ryan transform into a strong and confident person who has the world at his feet.
“Anyone who wants to lose weight – whatever their age – and wants to know more about the difference that Slimming World can make is welcome to pop along to my group at St Johns Methodist Church, or call me on 07939644129.”