When a much anticipated new portrait of Falklands War veteran Simon Weston was unveiled to the British public for the first time (Mar 20th) there was something missing….FIVE stone to be precise!
For when the painting specially commissioned by the BBC’s The One Show was finally revealed at the National Portrait Gallery the normally ‘well covered’ campaigning hero who was severely burned in the Falklands conflict proved to be a shadow of his former self.
The 52 year old war veteran who has championed countless causes is now set to become the icon for numerous oversized middle aged men fighting a losing battle against increasing waistlines.
For the determined former Welsh Guardsman who has fought numerous battles for good causes has lost no less than five stones in weight since August last year to kick start a healthy new lifestyle which has seen his poundage plunge from his usual 20 stones.
And as our exclusive photographs reveal, despite being captured for posterity in the portrait voted for viewers to the television magazine show as the person who deserved the honour ahead of a stream of other big named contenders, Simon is delighted by the results of his weight loss campaign.
Father of three Simon admits that he was inspired to lose weight by wife Lucy.
“I just felt uncomfortable with myself.” He explains. “But I didn’t even consider going on a diet as such. Lucy went to weightwatchers class and I simply followed her lead. I suppose I really began last August and simply took my time.
“But I didn’t rush into exercise or a mad diet because that simply wouldn’t suit me. It simply became a lifestyle change. I gave up carbohydrates, and stopped drinking for four months. “Takeaways went out of the window , although we might occasionally have one as a treat, and I just began eating healthier things and cut out savouries and chips. I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables and generally cut down on the drinking.
“Nothing I’ve done is revolutionary. The problem is the older you get the harder it is to shift the weight, so I decided that it was now or never. I’d like to live to see my grandson graduate from university one day.”
He adds: “I spend a lot of time speaking at dinners or lunches and that can become really uncomfortable when you’re a bit overweight. Something had to change. Now I have to say that I feel so much fitter and healthier, and I sleep a lot better….so let’s face it, if I can do it, then so many other blokes can do it too! “
” I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe because all my clothes were too big.” He laughs.
Wife Lucy is delighted with her new look hubby.
“He really determined to keep the weight off this time.” She explains. “I’m really proud of him. And he doesn’t snore anymore!” she smiles.
Simon, who was horrifically burned when the troopship The Sir Galahad he was on, was bombed by an Argentinian bomber, during the Falklands war.
EXCLUSIVE hi-res images can be found on our website www.scopefeatures.com