‘My rewarding journey… with Slimming World

Charlie wins Strokestown weight loss title

A hackney owner from Strokestown has recently been named as Strokestown’s Mr. Sleek – after losing 5 stone 6.5 lbs with Slimming World.

  Charles Duignan (Charlie), 49, has gone from weighing 21 stone at his heaviest to 15 stone 8lbs since joining the Strokestown group, which is held in the Percy French Hotel.

  “I was really flattered that the other members chose me as their Mr. Sleek. As a man, joining a slimming club was a big decision and very nerve-wracking, but I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done and this is just the icing on the cake.”

  Charlie’s ‘big decision’ to join Slimming World came on 29th, June 2015 when, after nearly 10 years of being overweight, he says he knew he had to make a change.

  “My health was poor” said Charlie, “and cholesterol and high blood pressure were a worry. I could see that I was heading down the road of diabetes as it was already in the family and it was only a matter of time for me.

  “I’d heard a lot of people talking about Slimming World and I knew it worked, but I was still worried because I thought it would just be me and a roomful of women. But, everyone was so friendly and I felt right at home. I’m so glad I didn’t let my nerves stop me and I’d recommend Slimming World to everyone – men and women.”

  He began following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and made some simple changes. Gone were the high fat, high sugary foods for healthy home-cooked meals that Charlie’s wife, Rita, cooks up for him. Rita isn’t a member but finds it so easy to follow the Food Optimising plan to help Charlie and has encouraged and supported him every step of the way.

  Food Optimising encourages slimmers to fill up on satisfying yet healthy everyday foods like fruit and veg, lean meat and fish, pasta, potatoes, rice and pulses without having to weigh or measure.

  Charlie said “I used to think that losing weight meant eating nothing but salad and having to eat small portions, which definitely didn’t appeal to me. Food Optimising isn’t a diet though, it’s a lifestyle change. I mainly still eat the same meals that I did beforehand but we make them in a more healthy way now like using low calorie cooking spray instead of oil or butter and I eat a lot more fruit and veg. I expected to feel hungry but I couldn’t believe how much I was eating and I still lost 8.5 lbs in my 1st week. I haven’t looked back since.”

  Since then Charlie’s lost a total of 5 stone 6.5lbs in 23 weeks and dropped 12 inches from his waist. He’s become much more active too and walks every day with his sisters who keep him company. He also uses an exercise bike at home regularly.


  “This is the best and most rewarding part of my journey” says Charlie, “as before I had lots of aches and pains especially in my back, and found it difficult to get in and out of the car. In fact, it was actually very hard at times to fit behind the steering wheel in some cars.”

  Charlie no longer has the back pain and his breathing is now perfect as a result and has a fantastic spring in his step that he didn’t have before his amazing weight loss. In fact Charlie no longer needs medication for his blood pressure and his cholesterol is in a healthy range.

  Siobhan Brier, who runs the Strokestown group which Charlie attends, hopes he will inspire other men in Roscommon who want to lose weight.  “Blokes might think that coming to a slimming club is a bit ‘girly’. I hope Charlie will show that lots of different people come along to our groups and each and every one gets a warm and friendly welcome.

  “It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, young or old or anything like that because ultimately we’re all there for the same reason – to lose weight and to feel healthier and more confident and to be able to do more with our families and friends, and that’s what is most important. I’m so incredibly proud of Charlie as are all our Strokestown members and he is a true inspiration to us all.

  “As Charlie proves, whether you’ve got a little or a lot of weight to lose, slimming down can make a big difference to how you feel about yourself and ultimately your health. He’s ready to celebrate the 2015 festive season and will definitely be living up to his new Mr. Sleek name. And if other people in the area would like to lose weight before Christmas too, there’s no better time than now to start. Our eating plan is so generous that you won’t have to miss out on any of your festive favourites and there’s lots going on in all our Slimming World groups so it’ll be lots of fun too.”

  Everyone’s welcome at the Strokestown Slimming World group at the Percy French Hotel every Monday at 7.30 pm.

People can simply come along on Mondays at 7.30 pm or anyone who’d like more information can call Siobhan on 083-3533130 or log on to www.slimmingworld.ie to find your nearest group. (See page 15).