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Thirsk Slimmer’s new figure impresses model Nell McAndrew

A Thirsk slimmer who’s lost 8st 2lb swapped fitness tips with former model and ‘I’m a Celebrity’ star Nell McAndrew when they met at a national slimming competition. Derick Sargent was one of just 34 entrants from across the UK and Ireland to win a place in the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2012 contest. He was congratulated on his slimming success by Nell, who is one of Britain’s fastest marathon runners so far this year.  More than two-thirds of men in the UK are overweight and a survey by Slimming World and YouGov found that the same number would like to lose weight, yet only one in 10 say they’d think about joining a slimming club. But Derick did and, having dropped from 22st 3.5lb to 14st 1.5lb, he’s delighted with the results and very glad indeed that he decided to go along to Slimming World!  “Most men would do anything to lose weight before going to a slimming club,” Derick says. “They think it’s all a bit girly! But my mates soon changed their minds when they saw how much weight I was losing – and how much food I was eating! I haven’t given up my man-sized portions and I still enjoy all my old favourites like curry and rice or a juicy steak with lots of potatoes and veg, they’re just cooked differently. I even enjoy a beer when I fancy it as well! “When I first went along to my Slimming World group I expected to feel like ‘the odd one out’, one man nervously gate-crashing a group of women, but it wasn’t like that. No-one judged me, everyone was incredibly welcoming and very supportive and ultimately we were all there for the same reason – because we wanted to lose weight and be fitter, happier and healthier. To be honest, it’s the group support that makes all the difference. I suppose anyone can follow a diet for a week or two – especially one as easy as Slimming World’s – but it’s the extra motivation you get from the group that keeps your commitment strong, especially when you have a fair bit of weight to lose like I did. “I was pleased when I found out I’d made the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year competition, but I didn’t lose weight to win a competition. I did it to improve my health and to be able to do more with my family, and I’ve done that, which is the best prize I could ask for,” says Derick.Model and marathon runner Nell McAndrew was delighted to meet the finalists at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire. Nell is passionate about health and fitness, after completing this year’s London Marathon in a personal best time of 2hrs 54mins, she was eager to encourage our finalists to maybe consider taking part as their next challenge!The 38-year-old says: “I’m so impressed by Derick and the hard work and dedication that saw him reach his weight loss goal. I love running as it is a great way to improve confidence as well as looking after your overall health. I could never begin to imagine how Derick must have felt walking in to that first Slimming World group and to have the will power and determination to reach his target weight. He looks great and what he’s achieved is incredible – he’s not just an inspiration to the other slimmers in his group but to everyone. It just goes to show what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Derick is a fantastic role model to other people to show the importance of eating a well-balanced diet and being active. Simple lifestyle changes can be life-saving and it’s never too late to start.”Sharon Bartram, who runs the Thirsk group which Derick attends, agrees: “Derick is almost unrecognisable from the man who walked into my group all those months ago but it’s been a quite gradual change. He’s proof that making small changes to the way you eat and becoming more active bit by bit can make a huge difference and I hope he inspires lots of other men in Thirsk who’d like to lose weight to bite the bullet and join Slimming World”. 


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