Stoke Ash slimmer in final of national awards

A successful slimmer, who has become a diet coach, is celebrating after being named as a finalist for a national award after keeping off the seven stone he lost in five months.

John Howard, of Stoke Ash, near Diss, was selected from thousands of dieters with the Cambridge Weight Plan to attend an awards ceremony as a finalist in the 'maintainer of the year' category.

The 40-year-old decided to do something about his weight after being taunted by beach goers who made whaling noises and cried 'Don't harpoon him, he's human' during a holiday in Greece four years ago.

His weight had ballooned to almost 21 stone, he was wearing size 50 inch shorts, and was suffering from early stage arthritis and chest pains.

Mr Howard said: 'I never imagined I would lose seven stone in just five months, keep it off, and drop from a size 50 pair of trousers with an elastic waist, to a size 36. I am now off all my medications, my knees do not hurt, and I don't get chest pains anymore.'

'The feeling of being in control, feeling fit, like I have a little motor running inside me, is far more precious than a bag of crisps which I used to cheer myself up with before,' he said.

Mr Howard now runs a diet practice just outside Diss, and a large Stowmarket health centre, helping others on a one-to-one basis lose the weight they want to and keep it off. He was named a runner up for the 'maintainer of the year' award at the recent ceremony in Warwick.

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Mr Howard added: 'No-one makes whaling noises when I go swimming anymore and I was so honoured to be recognised at a national awards ceremony. I feel so great now and so enjoy helping others.'

'Losing a stone a month, and up to two stone in month one on this plan which has been developed by doctors and has been established for more than 25 years, is exhilarating.'