A SUPER slimmer from Mold who has lost seven stone found he was singing the same tune as pop music and West End star Natasha Hamilton when he met her at a national weight loss competition.

Hugh Pae was one of just 35 entrants from across the UK and Ireland to win a place in the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2011 competition. He was congratulated on his slimming success by Natasha, who revealed she’s lost weight with Slimming World herself.

Two-thirds of men in the UK are overweight and a survey by Slimming World and You Gov found the same number would like to lose weight, but only one in 10 say they’d consider joining a slimming club. Hugh did and, having dropped from 21st 13lb to 14st 12.5lb in just 12 months, he’s delighted with his decision!

“Most men would do anything to lose weight before they’d go to a slimming club,” Hugh 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 love my food and I haven’t given up my man-sized portions or the occasional beer either. I still enjoy all my old favourites like curry or a juicy steak with lots of potatoes and veg. And the girly thing is all a bit of a myth.

"I’d expected to feel like ‘the odd one out’ but I didn’t. I wasn’t any different to anyone else because we were all there for the same reason and had the same goal to lose weight – or in my case lose the beer belly – and in the long run to be fitter, happier and healthier.

“I’m chuffed to have made the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year but I didn’t lose weight to win a competition. I did it for me – to improve my health and be able to do more with my family and friends. And with Slimming World I’ve done that, which is the best prize I could ask for. Of course reaching the finals and meeting Natasha is a nice bonus and a great way to celebrate,” says Hugh.

Natasha swapped her current role as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers on the West End stage for a day at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire especially to congratulate the 35 finalists.

She says: “I’m so impressed by Hugh’s unbelievable weight loss. I lost weight at my local Slimming World group last year after having my youngest son, so I know what a huge difference getting in shape can make to you and your family life. But it’s not easy, that’s why having the support of a Slimming World Consultant and the rest of your group is so important. I would have loved to have Hugh in my group when I was slimming because I bet he’s a huge inspiration to all the other members.”

Laura Millward, who runs the Buckley Slimming World group which Hugh attends, agrees. “Hugh’s a great person to have in our group every week,” she says.

“It’s motivating for the other members when they see how well he does each week. He’s full of great advice and whenever a new man comes along he makes a real effort to make them feel welcome and relaxed. I hope he inspires lots of other men in Mold who’d like to lose weight to bite the bullet, join Slimming World and start their journey to a fitter future. Everyone’s welcome – men and women – every Thursday at 5.15pm and 7.15pm at Bistre Community Centre.” 

- To find out more about joining the Buckley Slimming World group call Laura on 07818 674016.