Two men from Reading who've made commitments to getting fit and healthy have been awarded the titles of 'Men of the Year'. 

Dene Wooton and Iain Buck, both from Reading, have been crowned 'Men of the Year' by the Slimming World group in Emmer Green. 

Both men have had remarkable weight loss adventures. 

Mr Wooton said: "After Christmas 2023, I was finding that I was struggling to do the things that I would normally do, such as building Lego on the floor with my 6-year-old daughter. It was causing me cramps and stiff aches, so I would often have to stop. 

"My mum said I was just 'getting old'. Then, I weighed myself and I was a stone over the heaviest weight I had ever been. I have tried Weight Watchers but it just did not work for me; 10 years ago I had done Slimming World before and absolutely loved the plan! 

"So, in February 2024, I decided to re-join the local Emmer Green Slimming World Group and see what change I could make. Since joining, I have lost 1st 4.5lb and have now gone on to be crowned the Man of the Year Award 2024. I am now a lot more agile and have so much more energy too." 

The group provides support recipe sharing, bike rides and encouragement. 

Mr Wooton was made 'Man of the Year' at a Slimming World session earlier this month, with Mr Buck also winning the title at a separate session.  

Mr Buck said: "I have been doing Slimming World for around 2years. I had great success in the first 3 months following the plan and lost just over 1stone 7.5lb. Life happened things got in the way of my weight loss journey; I put back on nearly another stone. 

"January 2024, I was told my the doctors I had some health complications which was really a big moment for me."

Since then, he has lost three stone, attending the group each week. 

Reading Chronicle: Ian Buck, right, with Tony Page, the Mayor of Reading, and Amy Howard, coordinator of Slimming World in Emmer Green.Ian Buck, right, with Tony Page, the Mayor of Reading, and Amy Howard, coordinator of Slimming World in Emmer Green. (Image: Slimming World Emmer Green)

Mr Buck said: "I like Slimming World because the approach to the plan is to fill up on low calorie foods known as 'Free foods and Speed Free Foods' which in turn helps you remain in a calorie deficit, without ever needing to tiresomely count calories. 

"Since losing the weight, I am now more able to build up my fitness and reap all the health benefits from exercise too." 

In one of his last mayoral engagements, councillor Tony Page (Labour, Abbey) visited the group at The Hill Primary School in Emmer Green, to learn about their activities. 

Sessions are held from 5.30pm to 7pm each Tuesday. 

The group is coordinated by health consultant Amy Howard.  

Mr Wooton said: "Amy, really does make such a difference and is the reason I stay to group each and every week.

"She takes the good and puts it into true real world words and is also not afraid to add her own personal touches."

You can find out about Slimming World near you online.