Poringland slimmer group inspires London to Paris cycle

Like many men, Malcolm North admits that pies and beer are two favourite parts of his diet and lifestyle.

He says that he was never been into playing sport, and his job in IT keeps him sat at his desk facing a computer all day.

But since the 53-year-old was persuaded by his wife Lisa to join Slimming World in Poringland he's lost more than five stone and will be cycling from London to Paris in a week's time.

The IT consultant from Denton, near Bungay said at his heaviest, 17st 10lbs, he was having problems with his health, with bad aches and pains in his ankles and legs.

He said: 'There were things that I just wasn't able to do because of my size. My wife did some research online and found the Slimming World class at the Primary School in Poringland.

'At the time I worked at Virgin Money in Norwich and the slimming group was on my way home, so one evening I went along.

'After a few sessions I had already lost weight and I just thought 'I'm going to do this'.'

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Mr North said he was surprised at what you can eat when on a diet, and found the group dynamic to be hugely motivating.

He said: 'I won awards at the group and felt so much better for the weight I shed.'

Mrs North, a photographer, said: 'Exercise was something that Malcolm hated the thought of, but he took to a bike to help the weight loss.

'This soon became a favourite activity, and at the end of 2010 he had become the 'Greatest Loser' of weight at the Poringland Slimming World Group and achieved his target weight loss.'

She added: 'Riding his bike from London to Paris raising funds for Action Medical Research really appealed to him, and he set about training via local long distance rides.

'It has been a hard slog with fitting in the training around his work, but the big day is now on the horizon.

'To participate in the ride he has had to raise a minimum of �1400, and this has already been exceeded, thanks to the generosity of local businesses, the villagers in Denton and many others.'

Mr North added: 'The most important thing is to think about something that really means something to you.'