A dad has credited an innovative men’s weight loss project with saving his life as he recovered from a heart attack.
Tom Ennion says the Man v Fat programme, organised by Wigan Athletic Community Trust, was critical in helping him to turn his medical fortunes around.
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Man v Fat targets men in Wigan with a BMI of 27.5 or higher and consists of weekly football sessions and expert weight loss advice from Community Trust coaches at Wigan Soccerdome.
A part of Wigan Council and Inspiring healthy lifestyles’ Lose Weight, Feel Great FOR MEN scheme, the programme aims to provide weight loss motivation, diet tips and weight loss transformations for men across the borough who are fighting against excess weight and obesity.
Tom, a teacher and father-of-one from Hindley, weighed 22-and-a-half stone in September 2018, but thanks to support from the Community Trust he has lost nearly three stone.
After 14 weeks of hard work and dietary restraint, he has now completed the course and feels much the better for it.
He said: “Man v Fat has been a massive help for my development because I started the programme really heavy.
“The weight loss hasn’t just had an impact on my body, it’s also helped my confidence and I’m now much more of an outgoing and sociable person.
“I’ve got a good network of friends now from Man v Fat and you can just tell we’ll be friends for life, so much so that a number of them have been added to my wedding list later this year.”
Tom suffered a heart attack two years ago and explains how playing competitive football on the Man v Fat programme has helped to aid his recovery.
“The heart attack was a massive wake-up call.
“I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to play competitive football again, so this scheme has given me a purpose to get fit and to get healthy, but more importantly be able to help other people who have been in my position.
“There’s no doubting Man v Fat saved my life.
“That’s not me over-exaggerating because it really has made me healthier, fitter and more confident.
“I can now go into any shop and buy clothes without having to worry that nothing would fit.”
And the 32-year-old is grateful for the support of Latics and how the Community Trust have helped him to turn his life around.
“The help myself and many of the other lads have had from Latics has been amazing. The programme’s coordinator Andy Miller arranged for us all to meet up and have a kick about a month before the league started and that was great for us, because one of the biggest hurdles for overweight men is taking that first step into sport, so we were really grateful for that and his advice. We all know that Andy’s there for us 24 hours a day should we ever need to speak to anybody. He’s only a message or a call away and has given us some unbelievable guidance.”
Latics fans wanting to know more about the programme should contact the Community Trust’s men’s health engagement officer Andy Miller on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01942 318090.