16-year-old becomes one of country's top slimmers by losing four stones
A teenager who turned health conscious has lost four stones and been recognised as one of the country’s top young slimmers.
Joshua Simmons, aged 16, weighed more than 16 stones with a diet of ready meals and fast food.
But when he started to attend Slimming World in Elton, he picked up tips on how to cook nutritious and healthy meals — and began shedding the pounds.
He now weighs in at under 12 stones, and was spurred on by the support of his twin brother Callum, who lost 2st 7lb, and mother Louise, who shed 3st 8lb at the group.
Joshua, of Watling Street, says the transformation was down to taking small steps rather than extreme measures and made easier with the help of his family.
He said: “I came to Slimming World with my mum and brother. I was really nervous but everyone was friendly and helpful.
“It was much easier than I expected to start making healthy choices and I soon realised that I didn’t need to make drastic changes, just small things like swapping white bread for wholemeal and starting to cook instead of having junk or convenience foods made a big difference.”
Since his first visit to the group in April, 2012, Joshua has dropped from 16st 5lb to 11st 11.5lb, and was voted by his fellow members to represent them at the Young Slimmer of the Year competition held at Slimming World’s head office in Derbyshire. He was one of 33 finalists in the competition, and narrowly missed out on a place in the top six.
During the finals, he met Olympic boxer Luke Campbell who won gold at the London Olympics, who praised Joshua for his dedication and fighting spirit in his weightloss.
The teenager, who attended Elton High, is also celebrating after achieving an impressive set of GCSE results, gaining 12As and two As.
He will start his studies at Holy Cross in September and has ambitions to go to university and study finance or accounting.
Louise Sykes, who runs the Elton Slimming World group, said: “Everyone is so proud of Joshua. What he’s achieved is so much more than just losing weight.
“The changes Joshua has made now have given him the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and new active habits that will stand him in good stead for the rest of his life.”
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