AN Amlwch man is enjoying better physical and mental health after losing nearly five stone after joining his local weight loss group.

Phil Thornham joined the Cemaes-branch of Slimming World in September 2019, due to mental and physical health issues and his wife's "gentle persuasion".

The 54 year-old, whose wife Georgina had previously lost weight by attending the group, has embraced the Slimming World's food optimising, which means you don’t have to change your eating habits drastically, just make healthier swaps, including his favourite dish Sunday lunch, which he explained was "surprisingly easy to make in a healthy way".

He said: "I was always of the opinion that Slimming World was not for men. I thought I would lose weight in my own time. I would often start to cut back and get a few pounds off, but then would feel deprived and readily slip back into old habits.”

"I find staying to group every week exceedingly beneficial as the support helps you feel motivated and it’s great talking to others on the same journey. I learned from other members what has worked for them and I enjoy sharing what has worked for me. Also some of the meal ideas that are mentioned in group are things that I would never have thought of, and I have quite an imagination which lead to Scotch Sprouts being born."

Phil explained that he found walking and exercise easier now, was not left as easily out of breath and was sleeping much better. He said: "As the weight has come off I now realise the massive impact being overweight was having on my mental and physical health and I also realise the long term detrimental impact remaining overweight would have had not only on my life but also the impact on my family.

"I am currently undergoing tests so that I’m able to reduce my blood pressure medication.

"From a mental health perspective, I’ve noticed a significant reduction my periods of depression, both in frequency and how long they last. I’m finding I can deal with what life throws at me much better, especially noticeable this year with the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

"I’d love to thank all of the Thursday evening Cemaes group our super consultant Sarah Flannigan for all their support over the last year or so..and especially my amazing wife, without whom I’d have never realised that Slimming World isn’t just for ladies and I’d have never achieved this success!"

Sarah said: "Phil joined us in Cemaes with his wife who’d already reached her target weight with us. He’s achieved awesome success over the lockdown months of 2020 losing over a stone which gave me the great honour of presenting (virtually of course) his 3 stone, 3.5stone and 4 stone awards. Just before Christmas he achieved his 4.5 stone award and even with the festive period and the start of another lockdown, Phil is still committed to smashing his 5 stone and chosen target weight! I couldn’t be prouder.

“Generally, men with a waist circumference of 94cm (37in) or more are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.

"Carrying excess fat around the waist is associated with a number of health problems including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Culturally, men who are overweight may see it as masculine to make unhealthy lifestyle choices such as eating big portions of high calorie and processed foods and drinking alcohol to excess, while also avoiding seeking support to help them manage their weight.

"Men who are overweight report taking around two-and-a-half years to realise they are overweight and another three years to talk to someone about their weight worries. It’s then around another year before they do anything about it, meaning that overall it takes more than six years for men to act to tackle their weight. Carrying excess weight can reduce life expectancy by around eight years for men compared to six years for women, and could deprive adults of as much as 19 years of healthy life.@

"Slimming World has a powerful combination of group support, a generous flexible eating plan (for man-sized portions that satisfy appetite!) and an incremental physical activity programme, is just as effective for men as for women," added Sarah

"Joining our groups men are surprised by the food they can enjoy and are overwhelmed by the warm and friendly support from their fellow members – whatever their gender!

"Especially through these uncertain times, we want to reassure people that we are open, no matter what."

Anyone wanting to find out more, or to get support with their own weight loss like Phil, can contact Sarah on 07901 710794 or visit to find your local consultant.