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Norwich slimmer with MS loses 6 stone in a year

Neil Ferris before he lost six stone by joining his local Slimming World group. Photo: Courtesy of Slimming World

Neil Ferris before he lost six stone by joining his local Slimming World group. Photo: Courtesy of Slimming World

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A man from Norwich who struggled with his weight after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis says he now has a new "sense of confidence" after losing six stone.

Neil Ferris, from Norwich, has lost six stone since joining his local Slimming World group. Photo: Courtesy of Slimming WorldNeil Ferris, from Norwich, has lost six stone since joining his local Slimming World group. Photo: Courtesy of Slimming World

Neil Ferris, 60, from Norwich overcame the obstacles of his long-term health condition in order to drop from nearly 19 stone to 13 stone.

Mr Ferris was diagnosed with MS in 2000 and, like many people with the condition, he became less active as he has to use a wheelchair most of the time.

After this change to his life, Mr Ferris said he started to comfort eat which saw him gain nearly six stone over the coming years.

He said: “I’d had been through some major changes in my life, which is why I’d turned to food but deep down I’d been unhappy with my weight for some time, it took me a long time to face up to it.

“When I did admit to myself that I wanted to lose weight I still didn’t want to ask for help.

Neil Ferris (right) with Thorpe St Andrews Slimming World group leader Steve Little. Photo: Courtesy of Slimming WorldNeil Ferris (right) with Thorpe St Andrews Slimming World group leader Steve Little. Photo: Courtesy of Slimming World

“I’ve realised now though that far from being weak, asking for help takes strength of character and getting support to make changes has given me a sense of confidence that is benefitting every aspect of my life.”

MS, which affects more than 100,000 people in the UK, is caused by genetic factors that cause the immune system to attack the nervous system.

While weight doesn’t directly impact the condition, extra weight can intensify symptoms like fatigue and speed up the body’s deterioration.

Mr Ferris, who lost the weight with the help of the Thorpe St Andrew Slimming World group, said: “Losing weight has given me more energy and helped reduce some of the symptoms of MS which has made such a huge difference to my life.”

Steve Little, who runs the group in Thorpe St Andrew, said: “Neil has done brilliantly and we’re all amazed by his transformation. His determination and zest for life is a real inspiration to the group.”

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