Mansfield man says weight loss 'saved my life' after doctor's warning
A Mansfield man has decided to share his impressive weight loss story after his doctor told him it was ‘pot luck’ whether he would succumb to a stroke or diabetes first.
Social worker Phil Ellis had just turned 50 and at the heaviest weight of his life when he began to feel unwell and struggling to sleep.
And after plucking up the courage to visit his GP, test results showed he was ‘at serious risk’ of a multitude of obesity-related illnesses and was immediately referred to King’s Mill Hospital for consultant-led care.
Despite being a non-smoker and rarely drinking alcohol, Phil’s weight meant his cholesterol levels were dangerously high – and he knew he had to do something about it.
“It was a shock to the system, but I knew I needed to make some changes before it was too late,” said Phil, who tipped the scales at more than 16 stone.
"It was starting to affect my mental health and depression was creeping in – I’d gone from being confident and not caring what people thought, to feeling self-conscious and lethargic.
"I started focusing on the basics, and managed to shed a stone on my own, but I knew I needed to lose more and needed help to get there.
"I found a Slimming World group and joined in 2018 and, despite the nerves of walking through that door to my first meeting, I haven’t looked back since.”
Phil began attending a regular class where members shared stories and encouragement and his consultant Jemma was there to help him when he veered off track.
He managed to reach his goal weight in March 2020 and has maintained his four-stone weight loss for the past year – something he says he is extremely proud of.
"It’s not just about losing the weight, it’s about keeping it off,” he said.
"I was in an awful place when I started this, and I don’t want to go back there – it saved my life.”
Now, 53, Phil has been able to return to the passions of his youth and is preparing to take part in his first competitive 10km run since his 20s in November.
He has also been discharged from King’s Mill as he is no longer at risk of serious illness.