Mark gives his weight gain the sack

Mark Furniss with his partner Lesley Ayres

Mark Furniss with his partner Lesley Ayres

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A former company director who has lost almost six stone – the equivalent of a sack and a half of potatoes – has become a Slimming World group leader in a bid to help others beat the bulge.

Mark Furniss, 48, of Irthlingborough Road, Wellingborough, will host his first Slimming World class in Rushden on Wednesday, July 31.

He will be teaching other slimmers that they can still enjoy all their favourite foods in moderation – even fry-ups.

Mark, who is used to looking after a multi-million-pound motor dealer business, joined Slimming World in October in a bid to lose some pounds after his weight crept up to 18 stones.

A company medical revealed he had high blood pressure and that he might need to take medication for diabetes.

Determined to make some changes, Mark started to attend classes and his weight has subsequently plummeted over the past nine months.

He said: “The amount of weight I’ve lost is the equivalent of a sack and a half of potatoes. It makes a huge difference. I am very excited about the group.

“I have spent my whole life running businesses but now it’s important for me to help people.”

His huge weight loss has led to him having to invest in a whole new wardrobe after dropping down from a trouser size 42 to 34.

Mark, who is a former teenage county cross-country champion, has also been able to rediscover his passion for running.

His partner Lesley Ayres has also joined in with the weight loss plan by shedding about four stone.

Mark hopes that him being a male group leader might inspire other men to give Slimming World a go.

He said: “There are very few male consultants. My message to men is that they can still have fry-ups.

“You don’t have to deprive yourself and live on salads. You can still have the things you enjoy, but in moderation.”

Go along and shed some pounds

Mark Furniss will host his first Slimming World class at Rushden and Higham Football Club, in Hayden Road, Rushden, on Wednesday, July 31, at 7.30pm. Meetings will then take place at the football club every Wednesday at 7.30pm.

Mark will help other slimmers by offering help and support. For further details about attending the classes call Mark on 07774 932708.