Tired taxi driver becomes a slimming super hero and inspires others
A father-of-three from Walton-le-Dale who lost a whopping six stone has now dedicated his life to helping others do the same. In the hope of motivating more people to live a fulfilled life, he has decided to share his story.
Four years ago Gavin Preston was working six nights a week as a taxi driver and weighed 21 stone. He'd been unhappy with his career and weight for a while but the real turning point was when he was turned down for a charity sky dive in aid of Lostock Hall charity St Catherine’s Hospice. The charity had been very dear to his heart as they had cared for his mother Irene Pounder, prior to her death at the age of 67 from cancer.
Gavin decided to join Slimming World and with his consultant's guidance and his own sheer determination, reached his target weight of 15 stone in just 10 months. Speaking about his weight loss journey, which included following a meal plan and hula-hooping with his children’s Wii Fit for 20 minutes every morning, Gavin said: “It has absolutely changed my life.”
After reaching his own Goal, Gavin wanted to know how to go about inspiring others to do the same. In February 2016, he attended an information event on how to become a Slimming World consultant. In addition to helping others, Gavin saw that he could replace one of his taxi night shifts for running a weekly session at slimming world. Little did he know that he would one day become a full time consultant, far removed from those long taxi driving nights.
Within three weeks of becoming a consultant, Gavin's first group at Brookfield Primary School grew to a staggering 100 members. “On that first night I remember thinking ‘Oh my God, this is what I could earn in a week?! Up until then I thought I would be driving taxis forever.”
Gavin’s groups continued to grow and now as a full-time Consultant he runs 4 a week with over 400 members. Job satisfaction is something that Gavin had yearned for but took him completely by surprise. “I really enjoy the social side of it and it still doesn’t feel like work now,” he said.
“It is a great job for the right person because it is just so rewarding to know you can make a difference.”
And it seems inspiring slimming success runs in the family. Last January, Gavin’s wife Caroline became a part-time consultant after losing 5 stone as member. Together Gavin and Caroline support around 500 members a week, a huge number for just 2 consultants.
On top of job satisfaction Gavin praises Slimming World for enabling him to; have more time with his family, increased financial security and a better quality of life.
“I have gone from working six nights a week and every weekend to two evenings and two mornings. I have halved my hours really and I have every Sunday off. My quality of family life has massively improved. It has been amazing.”
We asked Gavin what the best thing about being a consultant was and he maintained it is being able to help people achieve their goals. Being able to see people change physically and mentally around him brings him a sense of accomplishment that taxi driving never did.
“There is nothing that feels better than seeing my members get their final target,” he said.
“Because I have been there and done it before, I know how they feel. You feel a big sense of pride are overjoyed.”
Gavin said it is particularly rewarding when people are told they have to lose weight for medical procedures like hip replacements and they are able to get healthy enough to have surgery.
“I have got a mum who was borderline diabetic at Christmas and she has lost two stone. She’s been back for a check up and is no longer at risk.
“For me it really is about changing lives, that’s the biggest thing.”
Those changes aren’t all about health either – it can also be about confidence.
One of Gavin’s biggest success stories is a couple with two young children who have lost more than 15 stone between them.
“She is like a different person,” he said. “She used to very much be someone who would hide behind her clothes. She comes in now with her head up and full of confidence.”
Slimming world transforms people inside and out but they currently only reach 2% of the population when in fact 70% of the population is over weight. If we can spur more people on to see the benefits of helping others lose weight, we could potentially reach a greater portion.
“Anybody who would like more information on changing careers or becoming a slimming world member is free to come along.”
For more information on Slimming World and becoming a consultant call Libby Brindle on 07808 740786 or visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk/nearest-group-search