Dad loses over half his body weight following relative's dying wish for him to get fit

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·5-min read
Dave Winchester after his weight loss. (SWNS)
Dave Winchester after his weight loss. (SWNS)

A dad has lost more than half his body weight after hearing his father-in-law's dying wish was for him to get fitter, which has now drastically improved his family life.

Dave Winchester, 36, previously had trouble finding everyday furniture comfortable and unfortunately suffered abuse about his size from strangers in the street.

Spurred on by his new-found and meaningful motivation, the 5ft 11 data analyst from Kent and dad-of-two decided to make a change and joined a weight loss programme, losing more than 14.5 stone (roughly 92kg).

Read more: 10 expert-approved weight loss tips good for your body and mind

Dave Winchester before his weight loss. (SWNS)
Dave Winchester before his weight loss. (SWNS)

Thanks to eating more healthily, he saw his 27st 1lb (roughly 171 kg) frame change, now topping the scales at 12st 6.5lbs (roughly 79kg), with his waistline going from 48" to 32".

His dedication even resulted in him being crowned as Slimming World's Man of the Year.

Winchester, who lives with his wife Susie, 35, daughter Heidi, seven, and Freddie, four, said: "I knew I had a problem, but it wasn't until the wake when my mother-in-law told me her husband's dying wish was for me to join Slimming World that I decided to do something about it."

"I knew he wanted the best for his daughter and grandchildren, so I decided to try and tackle my weight once and for all," he added.

Dave Winchester before his weight loss. (Getty Images)
Dave Winchester on his wedding day to Susie. (Getty Images)

Winchester said he used to rarely leave the house and struggled to find the right method of motivation until he learned of his father-in-law's wish in 2018.

But it wasn't all plain sailing, as he was understandably nervous about joining a group with other people, thinking he might the only man, so he started with just online sessions in June 2018.

He said he was doing well until the pandemic hit, which stalled his progress.

But, with things then opening up once again, he joined his local group in October 2021 in Ashford.

Read more: How to start working out: A beginner's guide to getting fit for the first time

Dave Winchester after his weightloss with wife Susie and children Heidi and Freddie. (SWNS)
Dave Winchester and his happy family of four, with wife Susie and children Heidi and Freddie. (SWNS)

“I felt nervous because I had this perception that the group would be really cliquey and full of women and I worried I’d be made to feel even more ashamed for being so overweight than I already was," he said.

“It was nothing like that at all so, so much better than I imagined. I wasn’t the only guy there and everyone I met was so warm and supportive, plus we all had one thing in common – we all wanted to lose weight.”

Winchester said what he "loved" about the programme was that he "could still eat big, hearty portions so I never felt hungry".

Dave Winchester before his weight loss. (SWNS)
Dave Winchester was crowned Slimming Word's Man of the Year. (SWNS)

"I've tried every diet you can think of," he added. "Soups, juices, calorie counting...they all worked for a while but I'd inevitably end up hungry and reaching for the nearest quick fix, usually crisps, chocolate, or the takeaway menu."

He found it "amazing" that he "could lose weight and still have a full English and steak and chips".

However, he said that by far the biggest benefit of losing weight has been the impact on his family life, for both him and them.

"I finally feel like the dad I always wanted to be," he said.

"Heidi and I went to Park Run together recently and she absolutely loved it. There's no way I could have done something like that with her before I lost weight. I barely had any energy to play with her at all."

And, speaking about his very special motivation, he added, "I hope that her grandfather is proud of how far we have come as a family.

"We're all active, happy and healthy and I think that's the life he wanted for us."

Read more: The Range pulls 'bikini body' and wedding weight loss items that left shopper shocked

Dave Winchester after his weight loss. (SWNS)
The data analyst from Kent used to rarely leave the house and struggled to find clothes online or drive. (SWNS)

An example of what Winchester would eat before:

  • Breakfast: Double sausage and egg muffin, hash brown, latte

  • Lunch: Two 12” sausage baguettes, grab bag of crisps, chocolate

  • Snack: Chocolate, sweets, crisps

  • Dinner: Pizza, chips, nuggets

  • Snacks: Fizzy pop, cans of cider, Cornish pasty, microwave burger

An example of what he eats now:

  • Breakfast: A full English with grilled bacon, Slimming World sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes and eggs fried in a pan sprayed with low-calorie cooking spray

  • Lunch: A lunch bowl made of flavoured couscous, onion, pepper, sweetcorn and beetroot – served with tuna or beef

  • Dinner: A homemade meal such as slow-cooked chilli con carne served with brown rice

  • Snack: Slimming World Hi-Fi bar, packet of low-fat crisps

Healthy ways to lose weight, as listed by the NHS, include not skipping breakfast, eating regular meals, eating plenty of fruit and veg, getting more active, drinking plenty of water, eating high fibre foods, reading food labels, using a smaller plate, not banning foods, not stocking junk food, cutting down on alcohol and planning your meals.

Additional reporting SWNS.

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