Corby man's theme park humiliation led to incredible six stone weight loss
He had piled on the pounds due to a love of takeaways and processed foods
A humiliating theme park ride was the final straw that motivated a Corby man to shed six stone and get fit, so he could enjoy days out with his partner by his side.
Slimming group member Nick Goodjohn had reverted to his junk food habits, undoing years of weight loss that left him having to swap seats with a total stranger on a thrill ride so he could use a specially adapted wide seat.
Instead of being next to his partner Vikki Nick was seated with a family, the father of which had to swap seats after Nick couldn't squeeze into the seat safely.
He said: "It was embarrassing and humiliating. I had to endure the glares of the family as we disembarked as I waited for Vikki after the ride.
"We had booked a holiday to Disneyland Paris and were really looking forward to it. As the months passed our weight increased and we had to use adapted seats on the rides. But on one ride, they hadn't got one and as the safety bar wouldn't click over me safely. I was forced to switch seats with the father of a young family, at the front of the ride, whilst the father had to sit with Vikki at the back."
Live-event lover Nick had already shed weight after he had piled on the pounds after snacking on high fat-content foods such as burgers, chips and kebabs at gigs and football matches.
The food-on-the-go lifestyle left Nick, who worked for a supermarket, feeling increasingly out of shape and tired.
He said: "Working on my feet all day left me feeling drained. My unflattering uniform left me feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed whenever I wore it."
Spurred on by partner Vikki to lose weight before the trip of a lifetime to Florida in 2017, the pair joined a Slimming World group losing five stones between them.
After the holiday, their motivation slipped and by 2019 they dropped out leading to the Disneyland embarrassment.
At the start of January 2020, Nick and Vikki decided to return to Slimming World.
He said: "We knew it worked before and although it felt scary walking through the doors of group again, our consultant and the other members made us both feel welcome from the first night and it was like we had never been away."
During the lockdown, they still attended their groups virtually - keeping on top of their weight goals.
In April, their usual consultant wasn’t able to continue switching to be supported by Sonia Mathieson's Tuesday night group at the Raven Hall Hotel.
Now the pair have reached their weight loss goals - Nick hitting his six stone award and Vikki got her 4.5 stone award on the same night.
Nick used to wear double extra large shirts and his jeans, once a 40" waist, are now a trim 34".
Corby Windows Group employee Nick said: "We still enjoy going to gigs and football matches but the group has help us to learn how to food optimise - to enjoy our event as well as losing weight instead of relying on burgers and chips. We now actively seek out the local Subway or Nando's where we can make healthier choices.
"The group is like family, they really do want you to succeed and are always willing to jump in with ideas to help me get on track - I find it brilliant when someone is inspired to make changes I have suggested too.
"It's great to be able to discuss issues with like-minded people who have experience of what you're going through and really help you out."
The couple are now keen cyclists and have stopped driving to the local shops and use the stairs instead of the lift.
Group consultant Sonia said: "I am so pleased Nick and Vikki chose to join our group. They not only attend each week but actively support and motivate other members. When they first joined, it was clear they felt nervous, and a little unsure of what to expect in group, but they've really made it theirs and the results are a testament to that."
Sonia Mathieson has been a consultant for 17 years in Corby and runs groups on Tuesdays at 4.30pm and 6pm at the Raven Hall Hotel in Rockingham Road, Corby, and on Thursdays at 5.30pm and 7pm and Fridays at 9.30am and 11am at West Glebe Pavilion in Cottingham Road
Northamptonshire residents could be eligible for 12 weeks free slimming on referral. For further information click here.