Burnley Slimming World slimmer hits milestones by losing 10st 11lbs before the London Marathon

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A slimmer from Burnley is set to achieve his dream of running the 2024 London Marathon after his amazing 10st 11lbs weight loss.

On top of reaching his goal weight, John Durkin (53) is now representing Slimming World in their 17-strong official marathon team this April.

The runners are raising money for Cancer Research UK, the Irish Cancer Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, Slimming World’s official charity partners.

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John is running for Alzheimer’s Research UK and is aiming to raise awareness of how healthy eating and moving more can protect our physical and brain health.

Slimming World champion John Durkin is preparing to run the London MarathonSlimming World champion John Durkin is preparing to run the London Marathon
Slimming World champion John Durkin is preparing to run the London Marathon

After struggling with his weight for most of his adult life, it was during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns that saw John’s weight increase to the heaviest he has been.

John said: “Being overweight made it harder to do the things I enjoyed, such as cycling, walking, spending time with my kids and grandkids and even socialising. I found myself unable to feel comfortable in social situations as I felt judged because of my weight.

“Lockdown saw mine and my partner’s weights drastically increase as we’d been turning to takeaways for comfort. We both knew we couldn’t carry on like this if we wanted to be active grandparents for our two grandkids. My partner suggested we try Slimming World, and we looked up our nearest group.

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“I was extremely nervous walking into group for the first time but felt at ease knowing I was doing it with my partner. Right from the start we were made to feel welcome and included, the complete opposite of what I had expected. Our consultant Sophie has supported us continuously and taught us everything we now know about healthy swaps and food choices.”

John followed Slimming World’s Food Optimising healthy eating plan and loved that the flexible plan gave him the knowledge and skills to make changes to the way he ate and not miss out on his favourite meals.

He said: “Since joining Slimming World, I have lost 10st 11lbs and was crowned Slimming World’s Couple of the Year 2023, alongside my partner, Jo. We are so grateful for the support shown by our wonderful consultant, Sophie, and cannot believe the amazing journey we’ve been on together.”

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As John lost weight and grew in confidence, he decided to explore Slimming World’s Body Magic physical activity support programme.

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John added: “Body Magic has played a massive part in my weight loss journey. I used to walk or cycle to work every day but as the weight piled on, this felt like a chore and not something I ever enjoyed.

“I want to raise as much money as possible by running the London Marathon in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK, a charity close to mine and my partner’s hearts. My partner lost her grandfather to the cruel disease that is Alzheimer’s, and I would like to show my support to such an amazing charity.”

Slimming World Consultant Sophie Cowgill, who runs weekly group sessions in Burnley, said: “John is a real inspiration to us all and we are so proud of him.”

Money raised for Cancer Research UK, the Irish Cancer Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK helps fund life-saving research. Anyone who would like to sponsor the Slimming World Marathon team can do so by visiting: https://justgiving.com/campaign/sw-londonmarathon2024