About Jody Bunting 


I am a gay father-of-one, who was born on 27th January 1978 in Burton-upon-Trent, East Staffordshire, and grew up in the village of Hatton, South Derbyshire. I have a naturally happy and positive attitude which gravitated me to work in the leisure industry. 

I am a award winning registered exercise & lifestyle professional and was inspired to study holistic health and nutrition with the CHEK Institute (USA) in 2008, after a life changing visit to the poor North African villages of Upper Egypt, where I found the people there to be happy and healthy.

My Story:

I've always loved food from as long as I can remember. I used to call into my grannies house on the way to school and tell her I hadn't had anything to eat so she gave me a second breakfast. At school I was always waiting for second helpings of the dinners and all the dinner ladies loved my little chubby cheeks, so they used to give me third helpings too. I used to rush home from school as my parents both used to work at the local chocolate factory Nestle, so there was always lots of chocolate and sweets stuffed in the kitchen cupboards at home, and I would gorge on it whenever no one was looking. I remember having so many sugar coated Smarties chocolates in my mouth that the colouring would seep out the sides of my mouth. My weight started to grow with my age, when I was 5 years-year-old, I weighed 5-stone, when I was 10, I weighed 10-stone.

My mum was always worried about my weight, she asked the school to grill my food instead of frying it, but it didn't help as I was still eating too much behind her back. In 1991 my mum took me along to the Sure-Weigh slimming club with Vanessa in Etwall, Derbyshire, when I was 13-years-old, weighing 19-stone. I wasn't interested in changing for a few years, then in my last year of school - 1993 - I was sick of being teased for being fat and I decided I had to take action before entering the big wide world.

I lost 8-stone in a year in (thanks to being motivated by TV's Gladiators). One thing that really helped me was the slimming club recommending exercise sessions. I attended my first fitness class (Step Aerobics) and I loved the music and fitness fun so much, I knew from that moment I wanted to teach fitness classes myself. 

The following photo is of my family when I was 16-years old, taken for Take-a-Break magazine when my weight loss featured in it.

I started teaching fitness classes unqualified in 1994, I was aged 16-years-old. I led sessions for my large family in the local school hall. I began official training as an instructor on my 18th Birthday and soon qualified to become the UK's youngest class leader. We had a fun group and regularly held charity specials open to the local community.

Also at this time I started studying at the High Peak Catering College in Buxton to learn how to be a chef (the careers advisor at school suggested this for all the fat kids I think). 

I was no longer teased for being fat, now for being a bit gay. It didn't really bother me as I was so happy just being slim.

Becoming a chef was a recipe for disaster for a food lover like me. I was still teaching one fitness class a week, but as I learned how to make the most delicious cakes and pastries, plus went on to get a sedentary job in a National Rail Enquires call centre, I piled on the pounds and weighed 31-stone in 1999 when I was 21-years-old.

A typical day of eating...

I was officially "morbidly obese" but my larger-than-life personality kept me positive and I continued to teach my fitness classes. The fact I was so big and taught fitness, gained me much notoriety and I starred on ITV's daytime talk show "Trisha" - with my then girlfriend Raelene, who I had met at college - in an episode called "Is fat sexy?."

One of my favourite press pieces of all time was revealing my body (tastefully I believe!) for the gay magazine Attitude. They were running a campaign on body image and I was "the fat bi-sexual one" and the piece really inspired many readers to be more confident (as the fan letters I received said anyway).

My girlfriend accidentally became pregnant in 1999 and I  was totally freaked out as I didn't think I was ready to be a father. My family brought me round to the idea, however we then sadly lost the baby boy. We were both so upset and we started trying again as soon as possible as we so wanted to be parents.  

In summer 2000 my daughter Phoebe was born and it was the greatest moment of my life.

Almost a year after the birth the pressures of a new baby became too much, we were working opposite shifts at the same call centre and sadly my then fiancé and I separated. 

My new daughter did gave me inspiration to want to live a long, happy and more active life, plus the split had given me the motivation I needed to take action.

At this time I was also under financial pressure after over spending when I was a student, plus constantly wasting most of my full time wage on food. I went bankrupt and started a fresh with a much more simple life.

I moved in with a friend, ate 1,200 calories of food per day and attended several exercise classes per day, plus swam, cycled and walked as much as possible.

A typical day of eating... (NB. I no longer advise this diet for weight loss as it's lacking nutrients!)

I also started teaching some new fitness classes in 2001 for the local council in Derby, they were exclusively for overweight people. They became hugely popular and this gave me another reason to start being a role model for others. 

The vast press coverage of these classes landed me a job on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast, teaching my very own weekly diet and fitness slot "Lose it with Jody."

Getting up at 4am to go into hair and makeup wasn't much fun, but once with my dance team (who were all tiny to make me look bigger I think!) we were bringing so much energy to the show. The weekly slots soon increased and I ended up being on the show almost every day doing everything from dancing for pop group Atomic Kitten whilst dressed as cat, to taste testing 100 Chocolate Eggs at Easter, dressed as a bunny.

I got to work with many celebrities during this time and it was so much fun. The main presenters of the show were Richard Bacon and Amanda Byram, plus we had many guest presenters, including Vanessa Feltz, Chris Moyles and many more.

The highlight for me had to be starring as the "fitness fairy" in 3 TV Christmas Pantomimes along side pop groups Westlife, Steps and 5ive.

After this wonderful year on TV - filmed live in London - I went on to join Derby's breakfast crew at RAM FM radio station for several years from 2002. I also became the face of Fitness First Health Club's new national weight loss clubs and went on a full UK tour in 2003.

I ran the London Marathon in 2004 in aid of the Starlight Children's Foundation and regularly "warmed up" charity events, such as Cancer Research UK's Race for Life around the area.

My biggest ever fitness sessions were warming up 5,000 students at a junior Olympics event in Burton, and relaxing 50,000 at a Donnington Park music festival before Gareth Gates from Pop Idol came on stage.

3-years after restarting my diet and exercise mission, I got to my goal weight of 12-stone in 2004.

Business wise at this stage I had lost my USP (unique selling point), the fact I was a big fitness instructor, but I didn't mind as I was enjoying just being "normal." I went on to teach fitness full time in health clubs (everything from BodyPump to pole dancing!) and I won the IFS UK Group Exercise Manager of the year 2005 thanks to my work with the local community.

After my 19-stone weight loss I was left with a considerable amount of loose skin. In 2004 I was extremely lucky to have on the NHS a tummy and butt tuck. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, however having the 9 lbs of skin removed - in the 8 hour operation - was well worth it, I had a "flat tummy" for the first time in my life.

Reflecting now on the surgery, it's not realistic to have my body "perfect" so I wouldn't have any cosmetic surgery again, as where do I stop? There is always things I would not be happy with. The real stage of happiness for me is when I accepted myself as I am (plus all procedures have side effects, mine is now having a builders bottom half way up my back!).

I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the UK's biggest names in wellness; Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs, Weight Watchers, Nuffield Health, Sport England, the National Obesity Forum and NHS England.

In 2006 I wanted a new challenge and I found a job teaching fitness in Egypt. I instantly fell in love with the country and stayed there on and off for 10 years. My roles moved on to Entertainments Manager, then Customer Services and Marketing Management, and I got to work in some of the most luxurious resorts on the Red Sea. 

The people of Egypt were so friendly and taught me so many lessons in life (plus taught me some Arabic language). 

The biggest lesson I think I learnt was to do with generosity and being less materialistic. I was humbled when I witnessed so many Egyptians give their time, anything they had and literally their last penny if they had a friend or family member in need. The belief in the greater good was remarkable. 

Also "tipping" for service made sense to me for the first time, the high level of genuine service received made you want to thank them personally with a gratuity. I returned to the UK much more appreciative of the privileged life we have here and not to take it for granted.

I still found it hard to maintain my weight, and this is why I started to study holistic health and look for long term lifestyle solutions, rather than just diets. I had witnessed in Egypt communities with no obesity, no cancer or any other ill health, and it seemed to be all down to their natural eating patterns (mainly home grown/reared and some locally produced foods), regular movement and a content mindset.

The relationship with my daughter at home became difficult and I took my ex to court in 2008 to try and get regular contact. Although I "won" the case, the process was very unpleasant for my daughter and it ended up driving Phoebe further away. From this experience I learned another vital life lesson, that nothing can be forced and everything has to naturally fall into place. I discovered the "Law of Attraction" and I knew in the future we would be close again. 

In 2008 me and a friend combined our love for reality TV shows like "The X Factor" with losing weight and launched free community weight loss courses, sponsored by various health clubs. 

"The Fat Factor" helped several hundred people across the country and featured on BBC 1's The One Show. We then decided to get rid of the word "fat" and called it "Health Idol."

I then relaunched it locally in 2009 "Derby's Biggest Loser" and the series featured on BBC Radio Derby. This then evolved into my business from 2010 "Slim Brother" which has gone on to support hundreds of slimmers in Derby, Burton and online.

In 2009 I abseiled down the Derby Cathedral with 3 of my brave slimmers, in aid of the Derby Mountain Rescue Team. It was terrifying, and that was just climbing the 189 steps to the top!

In my search for an authentic holistic life, I explored different religions and in 2009 I attend the Church's Alpha Course and went on to be "confirmed" as a Church-of-England Christian and baptised in 2010 as a Coptic Christian in Egypt. I am far from being a "perfect Christian" (and am not sure I want to be one) but I do now live a more meaningful and sincere lifestyle. For a number of years I changed my name to a more Christian name, Spendlove, which is my mothers family name, however my family didn't use it so I no longer use it publicly.

My relationship with my dad Ron has never been smooth. He did so much for me as I grew up and taught me so many practical things I am now thankful for. We just didn't have much in common when I became an adult and he's the first one to admit this. I had counselling to try and help me overcome this issue, however the conclusion was to occasionally keep in touch with him and move on with my own life.

The relationship with my only sibling Tara also became distant after my sister married my friend from Egypt. We were always so connected before, so I know some time in the future this will continue.

I've always been very close to my mum Aline and still to this day she is a big part of my life. She is the most supportive, accepting and generous person I know.

In 2010 I moved back to Egypt, this time to the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, I was teaching fitness again but was soon promoted to work in a hotel management team, an office based position. 

By 2014 most of my bad eating habits had crept back in and as I was content in a relationship, I would always be eating or drinking out at restaurants or bars.

A typical day of eating in the all-inclusive hotel I was living in...

Whilst working in Sharm I presented the stage and online show "Sharm's Got Talent" by the Savoy Hotels Group for 9 series. It was one of the most enjoyable projects I've ever worked on.

Also in Sharm I created an alter-ego character "Pink Gaga" for a charity fitness event and "she" became hugely popular, going on to host events for International brand nightclubs Pacha and Hard Rock Cafe, plus making the papers back here in the UK.

2015 saw the downturn in tourism to the Middle East, so I focused on my work in the UK and also improving my health as I was diagnosed with Diabetes type 2 after suffering with some skin issues. Diabetes does run in my family, however I don't blame my genes, I think it's more to do with the fact I adore cakes just like my mum and grannie. I was determined to reverse the disease by improving my health.

During 2015 I took a trip to Agadir in Morocco and discovered - similarly to Egypt - the original "Amazig" people were healthy due to their simple diets, here Couscous and Tagine.

In 2016 I was invited to the Prince's Trust anniversary garden party at Buckingham Palace thanks to a friends achievements. Prince Charles said to me on seeing my white suit "what an extraordinary suit." 

In 2017 I restarted teaching fitness full time and this really benefited my health, I started to lose weight quickly by calorie counting. I then went on to work for Weight Watchers running their slimming clubs.

My sexuality has always puzzled me. As a teenager I thought I was gay, then I must have been "bi" as went on to fall in love with a girl. I have had some really amazing boyfriends, each time I fall in love it seems to be deeper and stronger than the last, so I am really looking forward to the next!

In 2018 I publicly supported Derby Pride after the on and off relationship with my daughter thankfully stabilised (you see prayers do get answered!).

In 2019 I suffered from the short term mental health illness DDD (Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder) which was brought on by drinking artificially flavoured wine (Cherry Lambrini). Another great reminder for me how sensitive our bodies are to non-natural food and drink ingredients. I left Weight Watchers and made a vow to myself to again focus on health and more natural weight loss methods. 

During the lockdowns of 2020 I tried for the first time the Keto high-fat diet and Michael Mosley The 800 Fast, I found they gave great results for me and my clients, again more proof a low-carb "clean" diet is the future of optimal health for most.

2021 saw me land my dream job as an Aldi Supermarket Food Taster. I got to try the Chocolate Easter Egg range and review them in online videos for the store's UK social media channels.

Until the end of 2023 I taught freelance diet & fitness classes in local gyms and at community venues around my local area. I loved dressing up and leading the fitness fun with various themes and celebrations. Now I just teach online.

To give myself more freedom to travel, I started my own network marketing business with Arbonne in May 2023. I got promoted to Area Manager after just a few months. I then went on to win the Newcomer of the Year award, plus earned their luxury incentive trip to Morocco. 

2024: I currently live in my home county of Derbyshire and do my favourite jobs of all; > coaching weight loss clients online, teach fitness classes on > YouTube and run my > Arbonne business

The reason I love working online, especially with Arbonne, is I am free to travel, which I love doing and try to get away somewhere every month.

(if you would also like more tree time and a better work/life balance, you can join my Arbonne team, > click here to learn more)

I still struggle with my own weight, and its only the regular activity that keep me motivated to making healthy food choices. My personally preferred eating plan - since summer 2018 - includes reducing gluten, grains, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, soy and processed foods. The benefits for me have included reducing tummy bloating, feeling more active and of course reducing body fat.

An example of my current day:

> Add me on MyFitnessPal to view my daily food diary and weight loss progress: "JodyBunting"

> Add me on FitBit to view my daily step count: "JodyBunting"

The goal weight I am heading for is 13 st and 2 lbs, and I will get there again soon!

One fun thing I love to create to achieve my goals is a vision "dream" board. From cars to relationships, so many things on my board have come true (ask Alexa "who is Jody Bunting"). You can view my current Vision Board on > Pinterest

I love social media and my > YouTube Channels have over 4 million views, including a 1-million views video of me having a colonic irrigation live on Channel 4's "The Salon" TV show.

I also enjoy presenting videos on > Facebook Live sharing weight loss tips and new workouts. 

From 2022 I launched my own weekly Podcast...

> Follow my Podcasts on Spotify

> Subscribe to my Podcasts on YouTube

> View more podcasts and info here.

I am also currently writing my autobiography "Slim Brother: How I lost 10-stones in a year." You can > view a preview here.

My goals for the future are, to marry the love of my life (position still vacant!) and open my own holistic hotel for slimmers. 

My top tips for fat loss...

If you are struggling to lose weight then I would love to help you with my online Holistic Lifestyle Coaching, > click here to sign up for my free course Lose 14 lbs in 30 Days

Feel free to follow/contact me on social media, click on the links at the bottom of this page for all my socials, review sites and media coverage.

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> Buy an autographed photo in aid of Starlight

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