Losing 3½ stones gave Mark Quashie from Hertfordshire his bounce back! Today this slam-dunking dad is hitting the court in better shape than ever…
“I was very slim until a foot injury put my professional basketball career on hold. While resting my broken foot I’d eat the same food as I did when I was active – a fast-food breakfast, pastries, curry, beer, chips. My clothes felt tight and I even grew a beard to hide my double chin!
“My brother had gained weight and developed a thyroid problem, while my dad has diabetes. I didn’t want to end up in the same boat. One of the lads at work mentioned that he goes to a Slimming World group and that his mum’s lost 8st! I asked him about it and it sounded like my kind of thing: no counting calories, just a list of foods you can eat as often as you like. My wife, Laura, had put on 3st and wanted to lose weight, too, so we went together.
“Everyone at our Slimming World group was so friendly and welcoming and I liked the way everybody shares tips and advice. Laura lost 4lb in her first week and I lost 2lb – I was flabbergasted! I had no idea you could lose weight just by changing your eating habits – I always thought you had to do tonnes of exercise, too!
The weight dropped off me while I ate loads. People at group always asked me ‘How are you doing it?’ and all I said was: ‘Stick to the plan – it works!’ In just four months I reached my target and my foot had healed so that I could play basketball again – amazing!
“The best thing about Slimming World is that it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change – and I’m a complete convert. I love big bowls of fruit salad topped with yogurt, baked beans on toast with marmite and huge chicken stir-fries. If I fancy a snack, I’ll eat cold cuts of meat, or have couscous and vegetables with lemon squeezed over.
“One of the main effects of losing weight is how much energy I have. I’m racing up and down the court really quickly and I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for 10 years. I put the young guys to shame! Before, I didn’t go jogging because my knees hurt – now I go for half an hour every day and also go interval training.
“Losing weight has been a learning curve and it’s changed my life. I’m so pleased to be back on the basketball court doing what I love. I’ve also started my own Slimming World group in Hemel Hempstead. I love the fact that as well as getting to meet new people, I’m going to be helping them change their lives, too!”