When Asif Ibrahim was shopping around for suits for his daughter's wedding, he was shamed into losing weight.
The 47-year-old made it his mission to shed half his body weight and after joining Slimming World, he lost 10.5st to weight 8.5st.
The father-of-four from Deepdale says: “I started my own slimming journey when I went on the scales one day and I saw 122kg, approximately 19st. I couldn’t believe the weight I had got to.
“Through a lot of hard work and using different approaches I managed to lose approximately two and half stones.
“I came to a point when I couldn’t go past the 104kg mark, which was approximately 16.5st.
“I would be doing so well, then I would go on a holiday and come back home, go on the scales and the reading would be 110kg. I was very disappointed and I knew something had to be done.
“During the time when I was planning and preparing for my daughter Sumayya’s wedding, I was shopping around for suits, I was finding it very difficult to find matching outfits to wear which would be the same as my sons, Rayyan and Mohammed.
“It was when I was at work and offered a biscuit to a work colleague, they mentioned Slimming World.”
Asif joined St Gregory’s Slimming World Group, in Deepdale, in April 2017 and lost 2st in time for the wedding in August.
He continued his journey and reached his target weight of 8.5st by October last year. At 5ft 2, his BMI is 22, which is in the healthy range.
He says: “I can still enjoy good food with Slimming World. It opened my eyes to what I can achieve and still enjoy life, as I wasn’t missing out on family events or going out with friends, all I had to do was choose the correct options and stay on the plan.
“A food diary has become part of my life now. It helps me stay on track. Even without thinking about it, because of good habits, I know during the day, where I am with my food intake for the day.
”Through my journey with Slimming World I have developed a very strong positive mental attitude. This has really helped me on my journey, if I do have an off plan day, I don’t let it carry on to the next day, or even the next meal.
“Every corner I turned I would get positive comments from friends, family, work colleagues and the local community. It felt like something out of the Rocky movie.
“The more compliments that came in, it gave me more motivation and confidence.
“I take time out and reflect on my journey and think and tell myself if I can achieve this, what else can I achieve?
“I am very happy being in my 8.5st target zone. The most important and amazing thing is I chose this weight and it wasn’t something out of my control.”
St Gregory’s Slimming Group meets at St Gregory’s RC Primary School, Deepdale, Wednesdays 5.30pm and 7.30pm sessions.
Some comments from Asif's friends:
Asif says: "Sometimes at the gym when I ask for tips from gym friends, they say to me 'Asif you’re the real champion.'
"People I haven’t met for a long time would say 'Asif I’ve heard about you, but now I’ve met you, I believe it’s possible.'
"Another comment, is 'this is unbelievable this is Asif yeh? you are an inspiration to others.'
"These comments always make me really happy no matter how many times I hear them)
"Because of my initials people would even joke with me."