Slimmer who beat diabetes and high cholesterol urges others to change their lives
- Credit: Archant
A slimmer who turned his life around following a quadruple heart bypass has encouraged other men to follow his lead.
Paul Hierons, from Oulton, joined slimming world in March 2016 and has since lost more than three stone, dropping from a size 40 to 34 inch waist in the process.
His change of eating and exercise habits came after being diagnosed with type two diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, all of which were picked up as a result of his bypass.
Mr Hierons' GP suggested giving Slimming World a try and, with the seriousness of his diagnosis having hit home, he decided there was nothing to lose and joined the Oulton group.
'I was pretty nervous on my first day but, from the moment I walked into the group, everyone made me feel really welcome,' said Mr Hierons. 'There were other guys there, too, which helped put me at ease. Before, I thought slimming groups were just for women.
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'Now those strangers have become a whole set of new mates, willing me on to do well each week.'
Having made the necessary lifestyle changes, Mr Hierons' diabetes has completely reversed, while his blood pressure and cholesterol are at normal levels.
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He has become a keen runner and, when it comes to his diet, he emphasised the little things have made all the difference.
'Running was something I never even dreamed I'd be able to do, but after losing some weight I decided to join Waveney Valley Athletics Club last year, aged 62,' added Mr Hierons.
'When I first went along I couldn't even run for 60 seconds but I now love to put my trainers on and have gone on to run many 5K and 10K races.
'I used to eat mostly pastries, crisps and takeaways but, by making a few small changes to the way my favourite meals are cooked, I can ensure they're still filling, full of flavour and good for my waistline.'
Having transformed his life for the better, the next step for Mr Hierons is inspiring others to do the same.
He said: 'If anything, I'd say to other men to just give it a go. It might just change your life like it has mine and you have nothing to lose other than the weight you've always wanted to shed!'