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NZ Slimmer of the Year Finalist: Richard Giles


My name is Richard Giles, 60 year old Transport project manager.  Married to Carrie for 35 years and have one son, aged 20.

I have struggled with my weight all my life, but for the last 10 years, it became a bigger issue. My weight slowly crept up to 152kg and following a GP appointment, I was diagnosed with diabetes and placed on 'the maximum' oral medication. I struggled to do things that thinner people take for granted, like tying my shoelaces, climbing the stairs in the house and walking without becoming short of breath. Life for me was pretty grim. I have tried many diets in the past and have had little or no success with them.

What led you to choose Cambridge Weight Plan?

I was already aware of the Cambridge Weight Plan from living in the UK, as it is very popular and originated there and knew people that had successfully lost weight using it. I felt it suited me, as I am the type of person that requires to know exactly what I can eat on a diet without too much hassle, so Cambridge and their products were perfect for me. My main reason for wanting to lose weight was for health reasons mainly, given my type 2 diabetes.

How did being overweight impact your life?

I was very unhappy being overweight, as I believe most obese are if they are honest with themselves! I never wanted to go anywhere, given that any clothes looked awful on me and I was unhappy with how I looked and I was always conscious that I could not walk very far, so socialising could be quite difficult and it was easier not to bother. My moods impacted on my family life also, as (my wife tells me) that I was always quite grumpy and there was always issues surrounding food in one way or another. My work life was also affected, again due to not being able to walk too far without having to sit down, breathless. At home, I would dread going to bed as that involved walking upstairs and me being unable to catch my breath when I got to the top. Even tying my shoe laces was difficult and a major operation for me!


Starting weight: 152kg

Final weight: 76.0kg, BMI: 23.7

Weight loss: 76.0kg 

Since the weight loss, my diabetes has now disappeared and I am no longer taking any drugs for this, which is the best feeling. My psychological health and family life have improved significantly and, as my wife tells me, she and my son no longer have to walk around on eggshells, with regards to food, clothes, and of course my weight and its restriction on our lives. I generally feel absolutely fantastic and have so much energy now.

I found that other diets were more difficult and time consuming to follow. With the Cambridge Weight Plan, it was very easy as the products were all very nutritious and calorie counted, so it was just a case of choosing the products that I liked and eating them and nothing else - simple! With all the other diets I tried, there was calories or carbs to count and food that you can or can’t have and measuring quantities etc. The Cambridge products compared to other diets where you buy food products, is very different, as Cambridge has a large choice of options to suit everyone. I found my consultant to be fantastic and her support has been second to none. She has provided much support without too much contact or any pressure, so it has been very good.

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