Delighted leaders of S4C series FFIT Cymru are celebrating after losing a “life-changing” 13 stone between them in just eight weeks.
Staggering results were revealed about the five leaders’ improved health and fitness levels as they took to the scales for the last time in the S4C series finale, which is now available to watch along with the rest of the series online at s4c.cymru and other platforms.
Over the past two months viewers have tuned in as leaders Nic Davies, from Penygroes, Carmarthenshire; Mathew Thomas from Gaerwen; Catherine Lewis, from Caernarfon; Judith Owen, from Llanwnda; and Leon Welsby from Bridgend, have overhauled their health and fitness routines in a bid to transform their lives.
During that time, the leaders have received expert support from fitness trainer Rae Carpenter, psychologist Dr Ioan Rees, and nutritionist Sioned Quirke; with detailed plans shared online for everyone to follow.
Nic, Penygroes, Carmarthenshire
Nic, who works at Glangwili Hospital, has seen his weight plummet from 18 stone 4lbs to 15 stone 0.5lbs. His cholesterol levels have halved since the beginning of the series, and the fantastic news is he no longer needs to take tablets to combat high blood pressure. After enjoying the 5k parkrun challenge in week 7 of the challenge, he has now started training for this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon.
Meanwhile, Urdd youth worker Leon, from Bridgend, has lost a phenomenal 48% of his fat mass: a result which saw his weight plummet 3 stone 11.5lbs. Now weighing 17 stone 10.5 pounds, he has a much lower risk of having a heart attack, a very real threat due to family history. And he has completed what he set out to achieve, and will now be able to ride on the rollercoaster which he was previously turned away from because of his size.
Judith, Llanwnda, near Caernarfon
After years of health problems, former head teacher Judith was determined not to let Crohn’s disease hold her back any longer; it was time to get in shape. Not only has she shed the pounds – shrinking from 13 stone 1lb to 11 stone 8.5lbs – she also no longer needs to undergo an operation for a hernia. She has joined a weekly running club and her fitness age is now 10 years younger that at the beginning of the series… and is actually younger that her current age!
Young mother, and bride-to-be, Catherine had a crippling lack of self-confidence caused by her weight. She has lost a total of 2 stones and 2.5lbs, and over 12 inches from her hips, which has seen her grow in confidence, becoming more outgoing and active, which has seen massive benefits for her and her young daughter. This is a journey she vows to continue; with a wedding to plan, nothing will hold her back now!
Mathew, Gaerwen, Anglesey
The series saw proud dad-of-three Mathew return to the rugby field and training with boxing legend Joe Calzaghe! That certainly did the trick, and Mathew has caught the fitness bug once again. His fitness age is now 20 years younger than at the beginning of the series, with a total loss of 2 stones and 10 pounds and an impressive 10 inches off his waist. He’s also quit smoking, and the fresh air has reduced the age of his lungs by 10 years too!
FFIT Cymru presenter Lisa Gwilym, who also vowed to get active as part of the series, said:
“I’d like to congratulate our fantastic five on their amazing weight loss results which are very well deserved.
“Their dedication and hard work has been absolutely inspirational to witness during the show’s run, and they’ve really thrown themselves into every aspect of the FFIT Cymru journey.
“We are thrilled to have spurred them on in their life changing weight loss transformation and we wish them every success for the future as they embark on happier, healthier lifestyles.”
The benefits to their health have been assessed during a series of tests at Bangor University’s School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, which were undertaken by the leaders at the start and at the end of the eight weeks.
Tomos Jones, PhD Researcher in Cardiovascular Physiology, who conducted the tests with the five leaders, said:
“It is clear to see that the leaders have worked extremely hard over the last eight weeks. As well as completing a 5k run, the tests that they have undergone here at the School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, show an improved standard of fitness and an improvement in the state of their health.
“The leaders deserve a lot of credit for the success that they have achieved in their transformation and for inspiring others to do it for themselves.”
The entire FFIT Cymru series can be watched again as a box set, on demand, at s4c.cymru and other platforms.
FFIT Cymru will return for a second series in 2019, and if you’re interested in taking part, follow @ffitcymru on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch.
To follow FFIT Cymru’s nutrition and exercise plans, visit s4c.cymru/ffitcymru