This is really heartwarming and inspiring story, about a dad of four from Barry, who lost 130 lbs. and has won theatre roles and been mistaken for actor and singer John Barrowman. This is how the story goes – at his heaviest, Martin Woodsford weighed more than 340 lbs. and suffered a string of health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, sciatica and severe back pain, which left him fearing he wouldn’t be around to see his children grow up. Since dropping to 210 lbs. and losing 12 inches from his waist, the 43-year-old has fallen back in love with musical theatre and regularly gets compared to the Torchwood star. Martin says his weight problems began after an abusive childhood and he fluctuated in size throughout his teens, 20s and early 30s. However, it was after his triplets – Harvey, Maisie and Maxwell – were born in 2008 that he saw his weight increase dramatically.
Martin Woodsford said:
“They were born three months premature and suffered varying degrees of health problems. It was a very difficult time and I practically lived at the hospital, so my eating habits suffered badly. And, because of all of my health issues I was a regular visitor to hospital, I was in a bad way and I started to genuinely worry that I was going to die. I was so ashamed of myself that I didn’t want to leave the house, and I had no energy to do anything so I’d just sit on the sofa and eat junk food every night. It was a vicious cycle.”
But, the good thing is that in January 2012 that all changed. He said that he woke up one morning and something just clicked. He thought about the way the triplets had fought for their lives and I knew it was time for me to start fighting for me. He said that he didn’t want to leave any of his children without a father. His GP had previously recommended Slimming World and a few friends had been members, so he decided to give it a try.
Martin joined his local Slimming World group in Newport, before relocating to Barry. He began following Slimming World’s Food Optimizing healthy eating plan, which Martin discovered was a world away from the restrictive diets and quick-fixes – including diet pills – he’d tried before. As well as changing his eating habits, Martin increased his fitness levels. Encouraged by his Slimming World consultant Joanne Evans and the rest of the Barry group, he started by walking for around 15 minutes each day and slowly increased how much he was doing. He also joined a gym with his partner of two years Neil Hopkin-Thomas.