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Who The Heck Is Chris Matthews…

Hi I,m Chris Matthews, founder and CEO of Silverlink Clinics.  However, you found our website today I’m very grateful that you did.  For over 5 years now my team and I have been helping patients regain control over their weight and live the life they deserve.

It was 2009 shortly before the birth of our fourth child that I decided something had to change.  I weighed over 20 stone, and being only 5’ 8” I did not have a lot of places to hide it.  I was grumpy, moody constantly tired and my health was beginning to decline.

My experience of life is that for something to change, there needs to be a trigger.  Having spoken to hundreds of patients over the last five years the thing that caused them to make a change, was in many cases a comment about their shape or size.

For me the trigger was one of my children, she was seven at the time.  She was sat with me watching TV, the programme was The Biggest Loser, for those that haven’t seen it it’s a type of reality show where overweight people humiliated by TV presenters and personal trainers who have never had a weight problem in their life.

One of the super attractive genetically gifted personal trainers was yelling at some poor chap who was about the same weight and height as me that if he did not run around the running track one more time he would always be fat and probably dead inside a year.

It was at this point my trigger was pulled, my little girl turned around looked  at me with genuine concern in her eyes and said;

‘Daddy you’re fat like that man, are you going to die?’

That was it. That was the moment. I decided something had to change.

I was 39 and made a commitment to myself that I would not go into my 40th year being morbidly obese and extremely unhealthy.

My search began to find a real solution.  I had tried lots of weight loss programmes over the previous 15 years, many were successful short term, but I soon hit a plateau with my weight and slowly, but surely put back on the weight I had lost and more.

I was so unhappy, I’d even considered weight loss surgery but shortly before I was due to see the consultant fate struck.

Due to a diary mix up I had turned up an hour early to see a property development client about a project I was due  to manage for them, while I sat their reception area killing time waiting for my meeting, a smart looking gentleman walked up to the reception desk introduced himself then came and sat next to me.  We began to chat and I asked him what he did for a living.  He replied I’m a doctor, a GP actually and I’m here because I am buying a building and opening a clinic.

That’s interesting I replied, what sort of clinic is it?  A weight loss clinic he replied!

I need you to picture the scene, I am sat there weighing over 20 stone which I did not hide very well, I was more than filling the small reception chair embarrassed at my size and desperate to do something about my weight! It must be fate I thought.

I began to quiz him. He explained he had been a GP for over 15 years and in that time had seen first hand the health challenges that obesity had caused many of his patients.  He described how he had been introduced to a highly respected GP in Leeds who was treating overweight patients at a private clinic using a combination of nutrition, medical ultrasound treatment and a skin tightening therapy, so not only did his patients lose weight but their skin was tightened as the weight was lost so they were not left with large amounts of saggy skin which he told me was common after significant weight loss.

I sat there mesmerised, this was too good to be true!  Just at that moment as I was taking all this in the person I had come to meet arrived.  I quickly exchanged contact details with the doctor and went for my meeting.

The following day I contacted the doctor and we arranged to meet with the intention of discussing how I might be able to help him with his clinic project if he could help me with my weight.

We met and over the next couple of weeks we agreed on a plan for me to project manage the construction of his clinic in Cheshire in return for me being his first patient when I had finished it.

I was so keen to start the weight loss programme that I finished the project for him 4 weeks ahead of schedule, those of you that have ever employed builders will know that is unheard of!

My treatment began on the 15th June 2009 and by the 15th November that same year in little over 20 weeks I lost 7 stone and 2 pounds and my life was transformed.

I spent the next 6 months following my weight loss deciding what exactly I wanted to do with my life.  I had a new found energy, I wanted to make a difference and have a positive impact on the world.

Then it came to me, I would open a clinic to help people like me, people who had a serious weight problem, who had been trying for years to lose weight and had tried just about everything and were on the verge of giving up hope.

Little did I know what a life-changing decision this would turn out to be!

Silverlink Clinics was 5 years old in July 2016 and we now have a team of over thirty, including patient coordinators, therapists and doctors.  We have helped over a thousand patients lose a combined weight of over 15 tonnes since we opened.  Now I am living my dream of transforming the lives of our patients.  Every day I get to talk to Dads who were once overweight telling me about how they can now run around and play football with the kids, I get to talk to mums who were too once embarrassed to stand in the school yard to pick up their kids tell me how they feel amazing about themselves now.

If you have over 3 stone to lose, you have attempted more than 3 weight loss programmes and you have been trying to lose weight for over 3 years, please get in touch.  I know we have the expertise, confidence and care to help you.

Fill in the form on this page and one of my team will be in touch…

Once again, I grateful you found us, I look forward to helping you.

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Rise of the MAMILS…

Last week on my drive to the clinic I was overtaken by a Mamil.  The species are an increasingly common sight on the roads of Cumbria.  Many were brought out of hibernation during the Tour of Britain cycle race.

The MAMILS’ to which I refer are of course Middle Aged Men In Lycra.  I would love to say I coined this acronym but unfortunately, the credit goes to a partner at retail analyst Mintel, the people responsible for knowing what we like so companies can sell us stuff more effectively.

The surprising fact is that I was overtaken by this particular Mamil while driving a high powered BMW, admittedly I was sat in traffic doing about 20 mph at the time he rode past me at about 35 mph.  I know it was the male of the species, as those of you who have had an encounter will understand, the Lycra hides very little from an anatomical standpoint.

Every weekend, across Cumbia’s rolling countryside, you can observe the species sat atop their steed which will have cost several thousand pounds. Ladies, if you have a man at home taking an unusual interest in how you shave your legs, you may have a Mamil in the making too.

Research conducted by Mintel suggests there has been a surge in the number of middle-aged men choosing to get on two wheels. Has the silence of skinny tyres and carbon fibre framesets replaced the thunderous noise of motorbikes?

Back in the day, when some men with a bit of disposable income reached a certain age, they did some strange things. The grind of the office and home life convinced some that the answer to an expanding midriff lay in a pair of designer jeans a baseball cap and a flashy but cheap Japanese sports car. Teenage daughters ran away screaming with embarrassment. Sons were deprived of the role models seen in adverts for shaving products.

The past three years have seen the rise of the uber-techno, super-flashy, full-carbon fibre, second mortgage inducing road bike. The market for these bikes has expanded faster than a 45-year-old’s waistline, partly thanks to the success of the British cycling stars in the Olympics and Tour de France.

Marketing departments have produced smart advertising messages that encourage a bit of freedom, elite performance and memories of teenage years spent on two wheels.  The result can be seen on Saturday and Sunday mornings as middle-aged blokes polish the carbon fibre, lower the mirrored shades and pedal Lycra clad into the hills.

While the serious, younger riders are busy getting into the zone of elite competition, the Mamil is comparing the latest GPS route-finding cycle computer and pretending that they know how to stretch.

Flash road bikes look like a midlife crisis, but so what?  A man becomes fitter and happier. Where’s the midlife crisis in that? Well, there is the cost to consider.

The must-have bike of the summer is apparently Pinarello Dogma, the bike used by the British Team Sky in the Tour de France. Yours for about £7,000. Grown men stop, stare and lick the window of high-end cycle shops to catch a glimpse of this bike.

Wives, look away now. Men who seriously cycle typically spend about £3,000 to live that dream. For a time, at least. That sum will cover the set-up and the first year, then about £1,000 a year, at least, on top of that.  All this is paid for using a secret credit card he has.

This has resulted in the rapid growth of a middle-class money-laundering operation.  It goes something like this. Husband drools while looking at a pair of £140 shorts on cycling website – they’re the kind that have a padded seat that makes you look like you’re wearing an adult incontinence pad.  Wife says no, “think about the new kitchen we need”. Man continues to drool at shorts and decides they will help conceal his 38-inch waist.

He calculates that three weeks of hard pedalling will help on the belly front – which is coincidentally the same time it takes to receive a secret new credit card to pay for the shorts. Job done. “Gold Ambassador” status achieved with the online cycling retailer. Discounts on more kit, all of which is sent directly to the office rather than home.

When you run the numbers on all this, flash carbon fibre road bikes, and tight Lycra looks like a midlife crisis.  Namely, there’s a look to strive for, expensive kit and excuses for weekends away.

I’m all in favour of Mamils if it’s about becoming a happier and healthier person rather than sliding towards mediocre oblivion at the bottom of a pint glass.

I offer this advice;

If your portly husband buys another ridiculously tight pair of cycling shorts and keeps blunting your lady shaver doing his legs in a vain attempt to make himself more aerodynamic; simply pop out to Carlisle’s new Primark and buy yourself a couple of new outfits and some shoes, then hide them in your wardrobe.

When he asks “are those clothes new”, explode with rage saying “I’ve had them ages”, he will not dare challenge you!

Also this way, at least one of you will not look ridiculous in your new outfit.