A PORTLAND man who lost seven and a half stone is hoping to inspire others.

David Patrick, 23, reached the finals of Slimming World’s Man of the Year competition following his amazing weight loss.

Since joining the group in July 2012 David has gone from 23st 8lbs to 16st 2lbs.

David said it can be hard for men to admit that they have a weight problem and need help to slim down, especially from a slimming club.

He said: “When men want to lose weight they usually start talking about exercising more or watching what they’re eating, rather than joining a group.

“So I was quite worried about telling people I was going to a slimming club but I needn’t have felt that way because when my friends and family saw how much weight I was losing – and how much food I was eating – they were really impressed and they’ve been extremely supportive.”

He added: “It’s been the same at the group.

“When I first walked through the doors I was worried that, as a man, I’d be the ‘odd one out’.

“It was nothing like that though, everyone was very friendly and made a big effort to make me feel welcome.

“Now I realise it doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, younger or older or where you’re from, everyone in that room is there for the same reason – because we want to lose weight, become healthier and feel better about ourselves.

“I look forward to going to my Slimming World group every week.

“Everyone there motivates me so much, whether I’ve had a good week or a not-so-good week I always leave feeling inspired and ready for the next seven days.”

David thanked the group, his friends and family for all their support.

Unfortunately David did not win the overall competition but he did get to meet Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster at the ceremony.

Sue Glenn, who runs the Portland group, said: “David is almost unrecognisable from the man who walked into my group all those months ago but it’s been quite a gradual change.

“He’s shown that making small changes to the way you eat and becoming more active bit by bit can make a huge difference, and I hope he inspires lots of other men in Weymouth and Portland who’d like to lose weight to go for it and join a group. Everyone’s welcome.”