A man has captured his incredible weight loss transformation with a set of before-and-after photos taken at Leeds Festival.
Aaron Walker, now 27, said it was his trip to the festival two years ago – where he was ‘gasping for breath’ just walking to the main stage – that made him realise he needed to make some changes.
And after a lot of hard work and a major lifestyle change, he’s now dropped 14 stone, and showed it off back on the grounds of Bramham Park last weekend.
Aaron has been named Slimming World’s Man of the Year 2023 after losing all that weight, bringing him down from almost 27 stone, The Hoot reports.
The Doncaster man said that he had ended up missing his favourite bands and feeling self-conscious all weekend when he should have been ‘making some memories’.
So that was it – Aaron joined Slimming World and over the course of the next two years managed to lose more than half his body weight, returning to Leeds Festival to celebrate.
He initially started to lose weight by swapping takeaways for homemade versions of his favourite meals, like Chinese chicken, and found learning to cook like ‘therapy’.
Once he’d had a few months of healthy eating, it was time to get active – and he says he used the Slimming World physical activity support programme to get moving.
Aaron said: “My family had always been into walking, and it was getting to the point where they wouldn’t invite me to go with them because I struggled with my fitness so much. I was totally inactive before, even walking to the top of the stairs would leave me out of breath. I started off taking small walks around the block – it was hard at first, but it gradually became easier and more of a hobby.
“In time my walking progressed to running and I’ve since completed the Leeds Half Marathon, which was an amazing achievement. I also started hiking and love getting out into the countryside – in the past year I’ve climbed Snowdon, completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge and climbed Ben Nevis. My big dream now is to complete the London Marathon one day.
“It feels like my life is just beginning – and I can’t wait to see what’s next for me. Heading back to Leeds Fest is a big tick off the list though!”
Aaron also explained that he’s struggled with his weight for his whole life, with his parents even having to install a padlock on the snack cupboard at home, with his weight problems worsening when he went to university in Hull.
Looking back on his Leeds Festival 2023 experience, he said: “I was really looking forward to being with my mates, listening to some good music and making some memories. Turns out I did make a core memory that day – it just wasn’t the one I was expecting.”
Aaron continued: “When I arrived, it soon dawned on me that being on my feet would be hard going for me at almost 27st. Just the walk from the entrance to the main stage had me gasping for breath – I was exhausted.
“I felt self-conscious all day and even missed one of my favourite bands, Two Door Cinema Club, because I was too tired to walk across the field to the stage they were playing on.
“I thought to myself – I’m 25 years old, I should be having the time of my life at a music festival with my mates and I’m not. That was my turning point. I joined a Slimming World group not long after. Now here I am – two years later, 14st lighter and loving Leeds Festival this time!”
Chanel has finally teased details of its Manchester fashion show – including when you can watch it
In case you’d somehow not noticed, Chanel is heading to Manchester this week – and the fashion house has finally teased a few details.
The world’s most iconic designer brand has remained tight-lipped on the plans for its Metiers d’Art show, despite beginning construction on a massive structure in the heart of the Northern Quarter.
Chanel is set to bring high-fashion models and famous faces to Thomas Street, with reports suggesting all the five-star hotels in Manchester have been booked out.
Over the weekend, the brand finally publicly acknowledged the location for its fashion show for the first time.
They posted a teaser on their Instagram stories, including details of where people will be able to watch the show after the event.
Chanel shared a collage poster on Instagram that includes a Suffragette march, Hacienda stripes and ravers, and Kevin Cummins’ iconic photograph of Joy Division. So far, so Manc.
The poster reads: “Chanel 2023/24. Métiers D’Art show. Manchester MCR.”
Chanel then appeared to confirm that the show will be recorded and published live to the public the following day.
They added: “The film of the show will be revealed on Friday, December 8th at 9am Manchester time, 10am Paris time.”
Excitement is seriously starting to build now, with the huge overhead canopy along Thomas Street taking shape.
The road through the Northern Quarter will be closed for an entire month for the event and the construction around it, with the show itself taking place on Thursday 7 December.
It’s thought the show will have a ‘significant’ positive impact on the city’s night time economy too, with Sacha Lord writing: “Not only will Manchester be globally showcased this week, but the knock on effect on the night time economy will be significant.
“Most hotels booked out and many restaurants at max capacity already, creating many extra hours for staff.”
Previous settings for the Chanel Métiers D’Art fashion show have included a pontoon moored in Shanghai’s Huangpu river and a lavish banquet setting in a Parisian palace.
Chanel always chooses cities that are linked to its history, then themes the show around that, so Manchester’s cotton trade history is likely to feature heavily.
Pep Guardiola takes dig at Mikel Arteta after Man City players rage over refereeing mistake
Pep Guardiola aimed a surprise jibe at his former assistant coach turned Arsenal manager following Manchester City’s frustrating draw against Spurs, joking that he wouldn’t make a “Mikel Arteta comment” after a huge refereeing blunder over the weekend.
The Man City head coach was one of many left visibly incensed by referee Simon Hooper’s on-field decision this past Sunday after the Premier League official blew a very late whistle whilst Jack Grealish was through on goal to pull the game back for a foul despite having already waved play on.
With the foul being committed against Erling Haaland, who got up almost immediately and earned the home side the advantage, the Norwegian number nine was left utterly furious when he turned to hear Hooper’s whistle blow after he had gotten back up and the pass to Grealish had already been made.
With Mateo Kovačić, Rúben Dias and Haaland all surrounding the ref, the lattermost being pictured swearing and physically pulling his hair out as his manager looked equally fuming and confused on the touchline, the Catalan coach decided to dig at a famous Arteta clip in his post-match interview.
The 52-year-old was referencing a well-known video of Arteta in which he labelled VAR awarding a penalty to Newcastle against the Gunners last season “embarrassing” and “a disgrace”, which has gone on to become a widely-used meme online.
Ushering the reporter to move to the “next question” and resisting the urge to express his own anger, he simply explained that he couldn’t understand how the ref came to his decision.
Speaking to BBC Sport Manchester, he went on to admit, “Sometimes I lose my mind about the referees” but added that they are simply “always making mistakes” and that he’s sure “everyone enjoyed the game”. The neutrals, for sure — less so amongst Blues.
One of those who clearly couldn’t let it go after the fact was City’s star striker, who took to social media and reposted a clip of the sequence of play in real-time along with a simple one-word caption: “Wtf”.
Although the footage itself has now been pulled down from the site, both this along with the reaction from Haaland and his teammates on the pitch could result in charges from the FA for failure to control the players.
Answering once again after being asked about the social media post from the media, Guardiola said it was perfectly understandable for him to be disappointed with the circumstances and might have been sent off if he continued to remonstrate after full-time, adding, “Even the referee, if he played for Man City today, he would be disappointed for sure”.
You can watch Pep’s post-match press conference in full down below: