Super slimmer Mark is back on song after dropping 10 stone
Mark Marsden dropped from 23st 9.5lbs to 13st 11lbs – a feat which won him a place in the semi-finals of Slimming World’s 2023 Man of the Year competition.
The 30-year-old's Brinsworth group voted for him to reach the next stage of the national contest and, while he may not have lifted the trophy, he is singing his own song of success after ditching the desk job for his dual loves of car painting and music.
“I was working in an office and getting no exercise, doing long hours and eating from a cafe everyday,” said Mark, dad to two children while his partner also has two children.
“I was only in that job because of problems with my back due to my weight.
“I painted cars originally but the stress of being overweight caused my muscles to spasm and I had such bad back problems it took me months to get back to being mobile again so I took the office job.
“I have spent a lot of years DJing and singing and wanted to be a professional singer but didn’t have the confidence because of how I looked.
“After losing the weight my confidence has come up and I love being up on stage singing at various venues – I’ll be singing at Slimming World’s Christmas party this year, too.
“I am also self-employed and back painting cars again so Slimming World gave me a lifeline of work.
“I’d been unhappy with my weight for a while, yet I just didn’t face up to it.
“To be completely honest, I thought weight-loss groups like Slimming World were for women and expected them to be a bit cliquey – I couldn’t have been more wrong though, and now I recommend it to all my mates who want to lose weight, too.
“Going to group now just feels like a catch-up with my friends – we motivate each other, share tips and recipe ideas and just support each other every step of the way.
“I thought losing weight would be very restrictive and I’d always feel hungry, but I’m able to still enjoy my favourite meals like pizzas, chicken tikka masala, Sunday roasts and full English breakfast – I’ve just learnt how to prepare and cook them differently now.”
Mark has also discovered a new-found passion for exercise.
“I was really inspired by Slimming World’s physical activity support programme, which encourages you to make small and sustainable steps towards getting more active.
“I now go to the gym daily and I enjoy activities with my children so much more, especially swimming, Ninja Warrior courses and going to the coast for beach walks.”
Caroline Hawson, who runs the Brinsworth Slimming World group, said: “Mark’s determination and motivation has never faded – he’s a real inspiration to the whole group and I hope he inspires other people in South Yorkshire to join our group and take the first step towards losing weight for good.”