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.
Packed with delicious recipes, inspirational stories and practical advice, these are just what you need to power up your weight loss and stay slim for life!
Click here for more information
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.