Woodbury Salterton grandad Tony named Slimming World man of the year
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:28 25 August 2017
Tony Westaway, 58, of Woodbury Salterton, has spoken of his ‘transformation’ after losing more than 13 stone.
A Woodbury Salterton grandad who said he was ‘knocking on death’s door’ two years ago has been named Slimming World man of the year 2017.
Self-employed gardener Tony Westaway, 58, joined the weight-loss group after an ‘embarrassing’ incident where he was forced to ask for a seat belt extension on a flight to Ireland.
Some 27 months later, Tony went from size five XL to medium and has been told by doctors he has added 20 years to his life.
Tony believes losing weight has ‘saved’ his life saying he only regrets not doing it 20 years ago.
He added: “Losing so much so quickly made me believe I could do it, and I did – it’s eye-opening.
“It’s a real transformation. I never had the confidence to go swimming before because I felt as though everyone would be looking at me, now I feel fine taking my shirt off, and I even wear shorts to work so I’m finally getting tanned legs.
“Best of all, my grandsons have a grandad who can play football and chase them around the garden – and a grandad who’ll be around to see them grow up.”
Prior to joining Slimming World, Tony, who has suffered with heart problems, struggled to walk without being in pain and out of breath.
His health problems started in 2012 when he caught pneumonia and it took him seven months to beat the illness. Tony was left with an irregular heartbeat and was on daily medication.
“I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t walk and I could only work part-time because I’d be exhausted by lunchtime – I was a total mess really,” added Tony.
It was after a holiday to Ireland in April 2015 that Tony’s wife Gail decided enough was enough.
Tony said: “On the plane I had to ask for a seatbelt extender to go around my middle. “We’d paid extra to sit in the emergency exit aisle so that I’d have more leg room, but the cabin crew explained that you couldn’t sit there if you needed an extension belt, so they had to find me another seat.
“Everyone was looking to see what the fuss was about and it was quite embarrassing.”
On their return home Tony and Gail joined Slimming World together.
In his first week he lost 14 and a half pounds.
Tony added: “We thought the scales were broken at first. It was a bit of a shock because I was able to eat so much.”