Former basketball star sheds 3.5 stone after shame of seeing his face on ID badge

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Mark Quashie lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Laura, 33, and their four children, Kaya, six, Keisha, four, Kobe, two, and Karmel, eight months.

The 36-year-old played professional basketball in the US and Europe before a foot injury put his career on hold.

He joined Slimming World with a starting weight of 19st 3lbs but has since lost a huge 3st 7lbs.

Mark has maintained his target weight for nine years and now runs his own Slimming World group in Hemel Hempstead.

Below, he shares his inspiring weight-loss diary and reveals the moment which sparked him into taking action about his weight…

SEPTEMBER 1992 – 14st
I’m 17 years old, I’ve left school and I have no idea what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. I’ve started playing basketball recreationally and one night a teacher from my old school spots me and asks if I’d like to join a league. Within a few months I’m playing in basketball tournaments all over New York, and this turns into a professional career playing with teams in the US and Europe. Because I’m playing so much sport, my weight is never a problem.

FEBRUARY 2003 – 15st
I marry my wife Laura and our first daughter, Kaya, is born in 2005. I start playing only semi-professionally so I’m not travelling up and down the country every week for matches.

MARCH 2008 – 16st
My right foot has been hurting for a while and I find out it’s broken. I’m devastated I’ll need surgery. It could mean several weeks, or even months, away from the basketball court.

SEPTEMBER 2008 – 16st 7lbs
My foot isn’t healing and I haven’t played basketball for six months. I’m eating the same food though – curry, beer, chips… and my clothes are getting tighter. I don’t think about it too much, as I’m sure it will come off once I start playing basketball again. I have another operation on my foot, but it doesn’t work.

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MAY 2009 – 18st 7lbs
I have my picture taken for an ID card and when I see my face, I realise how much weight I’ve put on. I need to do something, but the idea of counting calories and cutting out food doesn’t appeal to me. I decide I’ll wait until my foot gets better and start exercising again – the weight’s bound to come off.

MARCH 2010 – 19st
A lad at work mentions he goes to a Slimming World group with his mum and that she has lost 8st. It sounds like my kind of thing: no counting calories, just a list of foods you can eat as often as you like.

APRIL 2010 – 19st 3lbs
Laura and I attend our first group and I know I’m going to love it. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and I like that everybody shares tips and advice. I lose 9lbs in my first two weeks. I had no idea you could lose weight just by changing your eating habits.

AUGUST 2010 – 15st 12½lbs
I’ve already passed my initial target of 16st 7lbs and have set myself a new target of 15st 6lbs. The weight is dropping off and I’m eating loads. People at the group ask, ‘How are you doing it?’, all I can say is, ‘Stick to the plan – it works!’

SEPTEMBER 2010 – 15st 4½lbs
I’ve reached my target weight. Then the basketball season starts again and my foot has healed at last. I’m back on court and I soon achieve my 4st award. One of the main effects of losing weight is how much more energy I have. I’m racing up and down the court and I’m in the best shape I’ve been for 10 years!

OCTOBER 2011 – 15st 13lbs
I’ve started my own Slimming World group in Hemel Hempstead. When the opportunity arose to train as a Slimming World Consultant, I grabbed it with both hands and I’m working hard to make it a success. The training is second to none and I love the fact that I’m going to be helping other people to change their lives like I have.

JANUARY 2012 – 15st 10lbs
I wish I’d known about Slimming World 10 years ago. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. People are amazed by how much I eat now. The difference is that it’s all healthy. I’m so pleased to be back on the basketball court doing what I love.

JUNE 2020 – 15st 10lbs
Losing weight has been a learning curve and it’s changed my life. I’ve maintained my target weight for nine years and I couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement I receive at Slimming World.





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