Finalists Slimmer of the year 2018


Gareth Pargin

Finalist, Slimmer of the Year New Zealand


Starting weight: 102.4kg

Final weight: 80.3kg

Total lost: 22.1kg

Age: 50

Consultant: Dr Lalita Jefferies 



I’m a 50-year-old male who currently works for an organisation as a Senior Health and Safety Advisor.  I’ve lived in Auckland for nearly two years after both my wife and I moved from Perth, Western Australia.


In the last few years I have suffered with weight gain and with the recent role I’ve gained significantly due to the job being very sedentary.  Lots of travelling and meals on the run has compounded the issue.


I used to play sport but due to my poor physical condition I’d stopped for my own wellbeing.


Both my wife and I enjoy socialising, including wining and dining which added to the weight gain.



For how long have you been overweight? And how has it impacted your life?


Since 1991 I have suffered from continual health concerns due to weight gain.


The impact has been significant. Poor sleeping patterns have been attributed to a cycle of weight gain, chronic reflux and lethargy. 


Chronic pain in knee joints and especially in my hip region resulted in having to have cortisone injections into the sacroiliac joint on a regular basis.


An inguinal hernia was also attributed to poor physical structure caused by being overweight.

My own confidence diminished as the weight increased which affected by my personal confidence with my wife as well my working relationships.  (I got to the stage where I didn’t like having my photograph taken and would actively avoid it where possible).



Had you tried any weight loss methods before?


I have tried some weight loss alternates before, e.g. Jenny Craig, 5:2, however they did not suit my working patterns (rotating shift patterns or long hours of travelling).  There was very little support at the time to assist with my weight loss journey.



What led you to choose Cambridge Weight Plan?


A work-related Health and Wellbeing medical indicated that I was classed as obese, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and that I had the heart of a 61-year-old!  


I realized that I needed to change.  My wife came across the program and subsequently I decided to support her on the plan to help both of us make changes to our lives and wellbeing



What was different about Cambridge Weight Plan compared to other weight loss options you have tried?


By far this has been the best plan I’ve been on.  Primarily due to the support and motivation of the consultant Dr Lalita Jefferies.  Dr Jefferies enthusiasm and motivation has helped me maintain my personal commitment to the plan. Consistency with planned reviews every Saturday morning has also helped with setting a weekly goal to achieve by the next weigh-in.


The products are fantastic.  The flavours and variety is excellent; ranging from the shakes, breakfast porridges, soups, tetra packs, bars and meals.    My favourite is the cappuccino shake.



How did being overweight impact your life?


As mentioned earlier I became very self-conscious of my physical appearance. I actively avoided having photos taken of myself.  This obviously also had an emotional impact as well as I became very much aware of how I looked compared to the expectations set by other people and society.


Work was severely impacted.  Waking up after a poor sleep affected my personal performance which meant it took my longer to complete day to day tasks.  Eating high sugar/high fat meals gave me the boost to continue but eventually the cycle of fatigue/lethargy would result in me going to bed earlier than normal.



Did you suffer any of health issues due to your weight, that have been significantly improved since losing the weight?


Due to be recognized as being obese I suffered several debilitating illnesses.


Chronic knee and hip pain resulting in cortisone injections added to the inability to exercise. 


An inguinal hernia was also attributed to a poor physical stomach structure which required surgery.


Just as important was the poor sleeping patterns resulting in daily reflux issues and lethargy.  This developed into a regular pattern of comfort eating and drinking to combat the aches and pains and the belief that it drinking would aid in better sleeping.



Have any of these problems now been overcome?


All the mentioned ailments have been overcome due to the significant weight loss and regular walking exercise.


I have not had any hip or knee issues.  Sleep patterns are regular and fulfilling. I wake up each morning refreshed and energized.


I am now playing veterans rugby.  Not bad for a 50-year-old!



Have any of your friends/family members decided to lose weight with Cambridge Weight Plan since seeing your weight loss success?


My wife and I started at the same time.  We have lost a considerable amount of weight together, (both of us have lost over 20 kg each). 

As a partnership, we have both been able to support each other through our journey and with the constant motivation from Dr Jefferies it has made the achievement easier and more rewarding




I would recommend the Cambridge weight plan as from day 1 I have been supported, encourage and motivated professionally by Dr Jefferies to achieve my goal. The advice and guidance was exceptional.


The products are tasty, and more importantly for me, filling. The range of products for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks is excellent.


I’ve achieved my goal and I’m currently on a maintenance plan, again actively monitored and supported by Dr Jefferies.


Being over 20 kg lighter has had a significant health improvement on both my physical and mental wellbeing. 


Being able to fit into clothes sizes that I’ve long envied makes me smile every day and  I’m back playing sport!