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Darren Prideaux

Consultant Marion & Zoe Hughes

Date of Birth: 04-11-1972

Starting Weight: 147.1 Kg

Current Weight: 86kg

Height: 186cm

As a child I was very active and didn’t have weight problems. I became a chef 27 years ago and absolutely love and am dedicated to my job. But to be the best requires long hours, commitment and ironically this leads to an unhealthy lifestyle even though I have worked in Michelin star restaurants.   

The kitchen is a macho, highly stressed and testosterone filled zone. The hours are long and at the end of the evening shift the team invariably needed to destress and eat. We usually had our meals in curry houses or burger joints and when these were closed it would be take-away junk food. Everything was washed down with beer and alcohol and when I became the head chef, I had to lead from the front so was expected to eat and drink the most!!

Inevitably this lifestyle took a toll on my body. My health was suffering, I was constantly tired, suffered from insomnia and, as most of my working day was spent standing up, I had severe pains in my knees and ankles. It got to the stage where I was almost unable to drive my car home at night because it was painful to depress the accelerator pedal. My weight was a major problem although I tried dieting, I was never able to achieve any meaningful weight loss.

My clothes came from expensive specialist oversize clothes shops and although my hobby is travelling, this was difficult as I needed a huge suitcase because my clothes were so big and heavy. Air travel was problematic, I needed to have a seat belt extension and eating was a major problem because the table sat on my stomach and never went completely flat! I was in a rut and could see no way out

I decided that to be able to take control again I had to change my life completely and to leave the UK by moving away from all the temptations and cutting the links with my old life. I got a job as a chef in a top restaurant on the Costa del Sol and packed my bags.

Shortly after arriving in Spain, a message appeared on my Facebook feed advertising Cambridge Weight Plan in Spain. I had nothing to lose so contacted Marion Hughes who explained how the diet worked and told me what she would do to help and support me. Fate had intervened and I started on the plan under the supervision of Marion and her daughter Zoe who are joint Cambridge Consultants.

When I started on my journey, I was 147.1 Kg. I knew that for any diet to work I had to be 100% committed and made a pledge to myself follow the rules! My initial target was to get to 130Kg, then 120Kg and then 110Kg. Marion and Zoe kept me motivated with regular encouraging messages which was extremely helpful and kept me focused.

I found the products were tasty and they filled me up, so I was never tempted to eat between meals even though I worked in a kitchen every day and was surrounded by food. My job requires me to taste food but I no longer ate a huge “tasting” spoonful but rather “tasted” from the side of the spoon only. I also stopped drinking alcohol which was much easier than I expected. I was determined to reach my goal of 86 Kg and stayed focused. The weight came of steadily and I was soon able to start walking and then running. Once I was able, I made sure that I swam regularly, walked almost every day and increased my running distance so that eventually I reached 99Kg. This was an amazing feeling as I could not remember the last time I had weighed less than 100Kg. 

I reached my target weight in July 2019 and have managed to turn my life around completely. Today I weigh 86 Kg and feel amazing. I look so different and am so much happier than I was when I lived in England. Even the way I think about food has changed and I now make sensible food choices preferring to cook for myself rather than rely on unhealthy options. I remain off alcohol and can never see myself returning to that habit. I have far more energy, my aches and pains have all gone and my mobility and well-being have all improved so much.

“I have been given a new start in life and am looking forward to continuing my journey in a new healthier body thanks to my Consultants Marion and Zoe Hughes and Cambridge Weight Plan Spain”

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