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Worcester caretaker feels like a new man after losing more than seven stone
7:44am Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
A SCHOOL caretaker who was once the butt of jokes because he was morbidly obese is now helping super slimmers in his group have the last laugh.
Matt Cording, who knows what it its is like to battle the bulge and the bullies, is now helping others fight the flab and his recipe seems to be working – his slimming group of 30 members (two of whom are men) have shed 19 stone in just nine weeks, between them.
Mr Cording, aged 54, leads by example and now weighs just 12 stone and
He was 19 stone and 13.5lbs, losing around seven and a half stone.
But rather than resting on his proverbial laurels Mr Cording who lives in the Nunnery area of Worcester has made it his mission to help others transform their lives as a consultant for Slimming World and, judging by the results, he has enjoyed some considerable success building up to the festive period when people begin to think more earnestly about losing weight.
And they have good reason to be worried – half of all people in Worcestershire are now either obese or overweight according to figures supplied by the NHS.
As well as the burden on health it is estimated that obesity costs the NHS £80 million a year and places a £60 million burden on the wider economy.
There are more than 20,000 obese five-year-olds in the county and 115,900 adults are obese.
Mr Cording, who won consultant of the month for Slimming World in November, said of his group: “They’re such wonderful people – there is a whole cross-section from people, all really good friends.”
One of the successful slimmers is cleaner Fiona Freeman, aged 50, of Keswick Drive, Warndon, Worcester, who has lost 2 stone and 2lbs.
One of the reasons Mr Cording believes his group has been successful is because he has been able to share advice, based on his own experience of weight loss.
He said: “I have been able to pass things on like ‘if you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it’ and ‘when you’re not doing so well you need the group but, when you’re doing brilliantly, the group needs you’. The rewards are so great.”
Mr Cording can do things he never dreamed possible, such as playing golf.
He no longer finds his job as premises manager at Nunnery Wood High School so physically demanding.
He also has more confidence to do things, including going to a friend’s stag do rather than just sending a card.
He said: “I have been able to meet people I had not seen for ages and go out and enjoy myself as opposed to sitting on the sidelines and waiting in the bar.”
One of the advantages of losing weight is that he can now buy clothes that fit, including a suit and some new shoes and go to a festive party.
He said: “I’m no longer that person they point and look at. Before I would walk into one reputable shop and they said ‘oh God we don’t do those sizes’. That was so hurtful. I turned and walked away. I feel like a different person now.”
He has even had the opportunity to meet and thank Margaret Miles-Bramwell who founded in Slimming World in 1969.
He said: “I said to her ‘can I first just say thank you?’ She said ‘what for?’ I said ‘because if you hadn’t started Slimming World I would still have been that person that was suffering. Because of you I’m free and I have another life’.”
Mr Cording, the only male Slimming World consultant in the area, has been candid about how he used to be the butt of bullies jokes and said he had struggled in the past to lose weight, trying various diets and what he called ‘faddy trends’.
But he was inspired by a story in the Worcester News about a man who shed 12 stone using a healthy “food optimising plan”.
He went on to join a Slimming World class at Pitmaston Primary School in Worcester.
But Slimming World is by no means the only way to lose the weight and Ross Dewar, aged 33, strength and conditioning coach for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, said he took a more holistic view of health.
He said he was “saddened” by statistics about the county’s obesity problems and set up Healthier Worcester (healthierworcester.com) to help people tackle the epidemic.
As part of his ‘mission’ he has given away a free 14-day detox plan and advises people on places to eat which he calls ‘fitcamp friendly’.
He has helped 100 women lose weight (and keep the weight off) in the last year and hopes to continue his work in the new year.
He said: “The big thing is more about getting the nutrition right rather than killing yourself with exercise in the new year. That is quite a short term fix.”
He said eating the right food was essential for a positive mood and for boosting energy levels.
Others to declare war on obesity include Anthony Taylor, a 42-year-old former soldier in the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, who has set up a new “performance and fat-loss facility’ at unit nine of the industrial estate in Shrub Hill which opened this month.
Mr Taylor of Taylor Made Fitness advocates the use of short, intensive bursts of fat-burning activities including press-ups, squats, burpees, Olympic lifting and group-based metabolic activities (his number 01905 312851).
He believes these techniques are far more effective than the use of crosstrainers and treadmills.
Mr Cording’s Slimming World Group meets at Nunnery Wood High School every Saturday at 9.30am.
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