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Weight Watchers coach Rik Godfrey sheds 10 stone

Rik Godfrey admits his life has been blighted by one vice – food.

It led to his weight ballooning to almost 25 stone, shattering his confidence and causing him to suffer from depression.

But after shedding 10 stone, he is now using his battle with the bulge to inspire other men who over-eat to trim their waistlines.

Rik Godfrey after completing his 1,000-mile walk
Rik Godfrey after completing his 1,000-mile walk

The 52-year-old from Chilham, who is the only male Weight Watchers coach in Kent, said: “I think most men think the classes are just for women.

“I guess they feel like they might be out of place. But when I first started going as a client myself, I found them very welcoming.

“There is the sense of camaraderie and working together. I would love to help more men lose weight because I know what it feels like.

“The classes are for everyone and no one is judged. For me, helping people like this is the best job I have ever had.”

Former primary school teacher Rik’s weight struggles began at secondary school in Chartham.

“It’s when I first piled on the pounds,” he said.

“I then worked as a store manager for Our Price, but really got to my heaviest in around 2005 when I started a degree in garden design at Hadlow College.

"I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but just ate too often – including lots of bread and cheese.

“I ate when I was stressed while later studying for my teaching degree, and when I became a primary school teacher and was under a lot of pressure. I’d even eat because I was tired or just bored.

Rik Godfrey at his heaviest, when he tipped the scales at more than 20 stone
Rik Godfrey at his heaviest, when he tipped the scales at more than 20 stone

“I didn’t smoke or drink – I just ate all the time.

“I’m only 5ft 4in so it had an exaggerated effect on my appearance and I guess has probably held me back in finding a partner.”

Rik was still over 17 stone in 2015, and the following year suffered a minor mental breakdown, which led to him quitting teaching.

But salvation was to come from his love of the countryside and photography.

And it took him on a 1,000-mile walk around Kent over 11 months this year, which not only shed the pounds but lifted his spirits.

The mammoth hike raised money for mental health charity Mind.

“It was just so therapeutic, mentally and physically, and gave me a deeper appreciation of nature and the outdoors,” he said.

His weight has fallen to 14 stone, but Rik says he is not quite where he wants to be and hopes to shed another three stone.

“I used to hate the graduation photograph of me when I was so heavy but now I don’t because it reminds me how far I have come,” he said.

  • To find out more about Rik’s classes, visit his Facebook page at WWRik Godfrey
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