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Pensioner changes life

PUBLISHED: 19:30 21 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

IT just goes to show that you're never too old to change your life.

Ipswich pensioner Alan Horsup has done just that by sacrificing his beloved full English breakfasts and evening pints to lose more than five stone in six months after a life in retirement saw his weight soar to over 17 stone.

IT just goes to show that you're never too old to change your life.

Ipswich pensioner Alan Horsup has done just that by sacrificing his beloved full English breakfasts and evening pints to lose more than five stone in six months after a life in retirement saw his weight soar to over 17 stone.

Now tipping the scales at a trim 11 stone 13 pounds, the lively 69-year-old said that losing the weight has given him a new lease of life.

"Before I couldn't even manage to climb the stairs let alone walk to the shops, but now I walk the dog and even help out with teas at a local cricket club," he said.

Motivation to shed the pounds came after doctors told Mr Horsup, of Regina Close, he would never lose weight because of the steroids he had taken for the last 20 years to control a lung condition – Sarcoidosis – which leaves him breathless.

"Diets recommended by the hospital hadn't worked and when the doctors told me I would never lose weight, it was like a red rag to a bull," he said.

Now his weight loss achievement tastes even sweeter as he has not needed to use the steroids since hitting the 12 stone mark last Christmas.

But giving up on a daily diet of fried food, chips and beer has not been easy for Mr Horsup who puts his remarkable weight loss down to choosing the healthier option of grilling his food.

"A pint of beer is equal to ten 'sins' and as I'm only allowed 15 'sins' a day I do miss my favourite tipple," he said.

"But I never feel hungry and I've even invested in a small grilling machine to help me prepare my meals."

Relishing his new thirst for life, this inspirational dieter admits that he found his first slimming class "dreadful" as he faced a sea of younger, female faces.

"I had to walk past the rest of the class to find a seat and all the time I was thinking what on earth was I doing there.

"But loosing the weight has definitely been the best thing I have ever done and I'm so glad I plucked up the courage to go to that first class."

And fellow slimmers at Mr Horsup's Slimming World class were so impressed with his 13in waistline reduction that they voted him Man of the Year.

Next step is the national semi-finals on July 6 and then, who knows, as he approaches 70, this pound-shedding pensioner could be crowned Britain's slimming king.

DAILY DIET THEN

Breakfast: fried egg, bacon, bread and tomatoes

Mid morning snack: 2 sausage rolls

Lunch: egg and chips

Dinner: roast beef with trimmings

Supper: crackers with cheese and beer followed by a full-fat milk coffee

AND NOW

Breakfast: grapefruit followed by grilled bacon and poached egg

Lunch: grilled mackerel with salad

Dinner: chicken with vegetables, no gravy

FAT FACTS

1. Robert Earl from the USA is the heaviest recorded man weighing in at a whopping 76 stone

2. Birmingham man Peter Dowdeswell holds the world record for hamburger eating, demolishing 21 burgers and buns in nine minutes, 42 seconds in June 1984.

3. The world's largest waist belonged to Walter Hudson of the USA, measuring a massive 9 feet, 11 inches in 1987. A typical snack for Walter included 12 doughnuts, 10 bags of crisps, 2 giant pizzas and half a cake.

4. Butter and margarine contain similar amounts of fat but it is the type of fat that is different.

5. 15 minutes of dusting uses 49 kcals, 20 minutes of ironing 30 kcals, 30 minutes of walking 105 kcals whilst 45 minutes of squash burns off 458 kcals.

6. The world's smallest waist on a living person belongs to American Cathie Jung and is just 15 inches.

7. Half of the UK's cats and dogs are overweight and that's more than seven million fat cats and podgy pooches.

8. The Government's Food Standard Agency warns that being overweight when elderly can affect your mobility, health and quality of life and increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Sources: www.guinessworldrecords.com, www.foodstandards.gov.uk, www.guinessattractions.com, www.bbc.co.uk/news

Links: www.slimming-world.co.uk

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