A Boston man who lost three-a-half stone through a slimming support group is now hoping to help others achieve their weight loss goals – in a move which has made him unique in the area.
Gary Beck-Sykes, 45, has re-launched the Old Leake Slimming World group after enjoying success as a member of the organisation.
In doing so, he has become Slimming World’s only male consultant in the Boston area and one of only a few in Lincolnshire.
Gary, who is cutting down his hours as a lorry driver for his new role, went from 18-and-a-half to 15 stone with Slimming World between August 2014 and March 2017.
He said he was apprehensive about joining a group, thinking he would be met with surprised looks on account of him being a man. This was far from the case, though.
“They all made you feel very welcome,” he said. “It was brilliant.”
Gary went on to become involved in the group’s ‘social team’ (members who help with the running of sessions) and was encouraged by his consultant Sarah Brown to pursue a role such as hers.
After discussion with Sarah, plus his husband Christopher, Gary decided to go for it.
While he says it is more tiring than lorry driving for 50 hours’ a week, it is also ‘so much more rewarding’.
“Obesity is a killer, at the end of the day,” he said. “I could be saving someone’s life. It’s a nice feeling.”
He also welcomes his position as the only male consultant in the area.
“If it encourages more men to come along it can only be a good thing,” he said.
He thanked his consultant Sarah, team developer Sarah Lote, other Slimming World staff, and his husband and friends for their support.
Sarah Lote said: “Slimming World consultants are chosen for their positive outlook and because they genuinely care about the health and happiness of others.
“I just know Gary will be an amazing support to his members, supporting them all the way to target.”
l Gary’s sessions are held at Old Leake Community Centre on Thursdays at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.