A scary moment involving his baby son sent father-of-two Neil Maltman looking for a way to lose weight – and fast.
He turned to The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan for help and now, 12 stone lighter, has won our prestigious Man of the Year title in our annual Slimmer Awards.
His only regret is that his beloved mum and brother, who both died recently, won’t be there to witness his success.
“I’d reached my target before my mum passed away but before I found out I was shortlisted,” he said. “My brother also passed away a couple of weeks ago. He got to see me achieve my goal as well. Hopefully they will both be proud of me.”
Glaswegian Neil’s turning point came when his baby son, Harry, was seven months old. Electrician Neil, who is married with an older son Alistair, nine, was lying on his bed watching TV trying to get Harry to sleep.
“Harry wouldn’t go to sleep,” said Neil, 48. “I was half sitting up, he stood up and was walking toward the front of the bed and I was saying ‘Harry, stop!’.
“I’ve got quite a high bed and the way he fell was almost headfirst. I could see it happening, but it was like slow motion and I couldn’t get to him because my belly was so big.”
It was a heart-stopping moment for Neil but, luckily, Harry, who is now 23 months, was fine.
“That was the moment I said I need to lose weight,” said Neil. “After he fell off the end of the bed, I sat back and took stock. That was the lightbulb moment.”
He’d heard about The 1:1 Diet from a friend who’d done it years before.
"I went online and looked through all sorts of options but The 1:1 Diet kept appealing to me the most because I was working away from home and could take products with me,” he said.
“I went on the website to look for a Consultant. Predominantly it was women Consultants in my area and then I saw my amazing Consultant's profile. When I saw his loss, I thought he’d be able to help as he’d be able to relate to being that size.”
Neil had his first weigh-in in mid-July 2020 and tipped the scales at 23 stone and two pounds, with a BMI of 53.9, which classed him as obese.
“My weight had been getting me down and I was a wee bit depressed,” he admitted. “I’d been working away from home for about 10 years and you take the easy route. It’s all work colleagues so you find yourself in a pub, restaurant or grabbing a takeaway.
“You look around and seeing other dads playing with their children and I couldn’t do it. My wife stays at home with the young children and I come home at weekends.
“Being overweight completely limited what I could do with the children. I was embarrassed to go swimming and couldn’t run around playing football with Alistair. All I could do was push Harry on the swings. Small things like cutting the grass I would do but be out of breath.”
Even being diagnosed with gout and high cholesterol hadn’t made Neil change his lifestyle.
“It wasn’t great but I was young and thought I was invincible.”
And when he was furloughed in Lockdown 1.0, Neil enjoyed being at home with his sons.
“The whole of the UK experienced lovely weather for a few months that spring, but I was sitting out in the back garden having barbecues and beers. I was around 20 stone in March and all of a sudden found myself in July and more than 23 stone.”
Neil achieved his incredible 12 stone weight loss with the one-to-one support of his Consultant.
“He really impressed me with his positivity, outlook and he’s been there for me every step of the way.”
Neil returned to work in September and takes his The 1:1 Diet products with him. And colleagues who haven’t seen him for months, haven’t recognised him.
“I met people I hadn’t seen for ages and they said ‘who are you?’ One of my mum’s friends had no idea who I was I said even when I said ‘I’m Neil, Una’s son’. She said ‘I don’t believe you’. That’s happened three or four times!”
Neil’s BMI is now a normal healthy 26. He’s reduced the dosage of his gout pills and his cholesterol has lowered since he’s lost weight.
Above all, he can do so much more now with his family and is loving it.
“My interaction with my sons is night and day. I can do so much more now,” he said. “We go up the park and play football. We went to sunny Blackpool for a week away, which was great. I walked the whole length of the promenade; I’d have never done that before.
“I can now jump on the trampoline with my eldest son. My wife is so happy as well as I can do things around the house that I struggled to do before. I couldn’t do and didn’t want to do the small things before and can do everything now, within reason.”
And Neil has ditched his old nickname of Big Bear.
“My wife used to call me her big bear and sometimes says she misses her big bear, but he’s not coming back!”
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