It was April 16 last year when Mike Denning, from Kettering, decided to join a local slimming group.

He had already managed to lose a stone in weight by himself, but to really see the results that he needed, he could not do it alone.

Mike, 58, said: “I was 16 stone 7lb when I joined the group and had lost a stone already.

“I had a heart bypass in 1998 and my weight was making me struggle.

“The doctor told me I desperately needed to lose weight so out of concern for my own health, I decided to do something about it.”

Mike was soon switching from his favourite curries and red wine to lots of fruit and vegetables as well as drastically increasing the amount of exercise he did.

He said: “I joined Balance Health Club in Kettering and was swimming, but that seemed to stop working after a while so I started to walk a lot too.

“Now I go to the gym most mornings before work, then walk for an hour during my lunch break and then take my dog Mojo, who I bought especially to get me out of the house more, for walks on an evening when I get back.

“You have no excuse when you have a dog as you have to look after them as well as yourself.”

The combination of the diet and exercise meant that Mike lost a further five stone and went from a 42in waist trouser size down to a 29in waist.

He reached his target weight of 12st in December and now Mike is focused on maintaining his achievement with the help of his WeightWatchers group.

He said: “I had looked at lots of other diets in the past but none of them were ever right for me, but WeightWatchers has helped me change my life, and so there is no way I’m going back to the way I was.

“I’ve spent so much money on new designer clothes that I would never have bought before I lost the weight and every time I dropped a size I gave them away to charity shops as an incentive not to go back.

“I do have the odd takeaway or glass of wine but now I just balance that out with more walking or time at the gym. It’s all about getting the balance right.

“I’m really happy with myself now, and whereas before I would never look in the mirror, now I don’t mind what I see.

“People I know have walked past me in the street as I look like a different person.

“Losing weight has been great for my health but also for my confidence.”

Mike DenningSource: Evening Telegraph

I have been a member of Balance Health Club since its inception April 2000. In fact I am now their longest serving member. (Quite a feat for someone who had a fear of gyms and weight machines!) During the past eight years I have been pleasantly surprised to see the club’s facilities constantly improve and maintain its high standard in the face of stiff local competition.

Why have I stayed with Balance so long? (I have seen members come and go and then return again!) Well, from the moment you walk through the club’s entrance you are made to feel welcome and at ease. The reception staff are always there to greet you by name in a friendly but courteous way. They will always help you with any enquiries you may have in a thoughtful and polite manner (how do they do that at 6 o’clock in the morning? It never ceases to amaze me!) The club’s managers have constantly kept up to date with new trends in the fitness industry, offering its members a truly comprehensive range of gym equipment, cardio and resistance machines to free weights. You also have your own personal trainer who gives you an induction when you start and puts together a training programme to suit your needs. They have introduced exciting new exercise classes in the studio with truly dedicated professional instructors who always strive to achieve the maximum potential for each member. I personally enjoy these classes. There is a real cross section of people young to old (I fall into the latter category!) and various sizes too, nobody need feel uncomfortable taking part as all the instructors make everyone feel at ease and welcome.  The classes are always fun and lively, with the safety of the participant always a priority. Each month there is always a new class to try, a master class. ‘Body Jam’ was probably not for me, (bus pass in my back pocket!) but hey it was so much fun. I can’t wait for this month’s master class Belly Dancing! Is Kettering ready for this?

But what makes Balance so special is the people who go there! Over these past eight years I have met so many like minded people, ordinary people who, like me, strive to improve our fitness, lose those last few pounds and tone our flabby bits! At the end of the day we all strive for the same thing – to feel good about ourselves.

I have made so many friends at Balance, people who are now part of my life. I never in a million years thought I would be doing what I can do now, but I now know that age is only a number. We are as old as we feel and all my young friends at Balance make me feel GREAT!

My way of achieving a happy healthy lifestyle is to balance my way of life!

Oonagh Bryant

Since April 2007, I have been losing weight, and in the summer of 2007 I felt I needed to do more exercise and join a gym. I was very conscious about being seriously over weight and I was concerned about joining a gym where people would see me exercising.  My sister was already a member of Balance Health Club and she encouraged me to go along and see for myself what it was like. Before I went, my sister called Simon, the Club Manager to ask his opinion, and he was very confident I would feel comfortable at Balance.

From the moment I walked into the health club, I was made to feel very welcome. The staff there are so friendly and professional, I was put at ease straight away. I was given a full tour of their extensive facilities and immediately joined. My personal trainer gave me a thorough induction, he chatted to me about what I wanted to achieve, and he then tailor made a training programme to suit my needs. The thing that struck me the most about Balance was that there was such a diverse ranch of people using the gym, old and young, slim and bigger, plus it’s never too crowded.

I have been going to Balance two to three times a week since, and I love it. I have never been made to feel conscious about my weight, in fact, quite the opposite, I am always greeted and welcomed in the club, and I never feel anybody is looking at me while I am exercising. The facilities Balance offers me are first-class, the equipment is easy to use and well maintained, and the pool is lovely!

Since I joined Balance, I have continued to successfully lose weight, in fact I have now lost ten stone in weight, and I have no doubt that Balance Health Club has been a huge help to me losing so much weight.

Many thanks Simon, and your fantastic team.

Glenn, Kettering