How Jarrow social club steward became 'completely different person' by losing third of his body weight
A Jarrow man says he feels like ‘a completely different person’ following a diet and exercise programme that has seen him undergo a dramatic weight loss leading up to and during the pandemic.
Paul Hogg, 56, has lost a third of his body weight in a walking-fueled health kick that he says has given his a new lease of life and helped him discover new routes in the borough previously unknown to him.
A steward at Jarrow’s Alberta Social Club, Mr Hogg said he was over 18 stone when he began his mission to shed the pounds – in part to help facilitate kidney transplant surgery.
Aided by his 6st 10lb weight loss, he finally underwent the transplant procedure five months ago.
“I’d been trying to lose the weight - on and off - for around 20 years before I got proper, achievable targets sorted out,” he told The Gazette.
Mr Hogg’s road, however, has not been straightforward, as - despite his overall weight loss during the period - he says the initial boredom of lockdown threw new obstacles in his way.
He said: "I put about nine pounds on during the first few weeks of the original lockdown. I was just sitting around the house doing nothing.
"I said to myself, ‘If I keep doing this, I’ll just put all the weight I’ve lost back on again – which I’d done before’. So that was when I decided to start going out for walks, walking all over the place, which helped me lose another three stone.
"As much as anything else, I do the walking now just for enjoyment rather than to lose more weight. I’ve seen parts of Jarrow during the lockdown that I didn’t even know existed.
"I just feel like a completely different person now.”
Karen Marsh, who has worked with Mr Hogg at the South Tyneside Slimming World group, said: “As Paul's consultant I am so proud of what he has achieved.
"He's so supportive in group and has certainly inspired friends to join with him and has committed to his weight loss journey and maintained his target however his Slimming World group has provided the service during these very difficult times.
"Whatever the Tier we have been in Paul has taken part in group no matter what.”