International Slimmers of the year 2018
Total weight lost: 107kg
“I wasn’t always overweight as my job as a builder kept me fit and slim.
“Around 15 years ago, I had a relationship breakdown which left me emotionally scarred. I then had a back injury which meant I was unable to carry on working. This lead to severe depression and I struggled to leave the house.
“Miserable and unbearably lonely, I felt nobody would ever want me. When I looked in the mirror all I saw was a freak. I had no social life, no friends outside of work and a pointless existence. My self-worth was zero.
“One of the triggers that made me want to lose weight was an email from ‘Big Dude Clothing’, a specialist clothing site selling oversized men’s clothes. The headline was Massive Jeans Sale. Although I laughed at the time, this was something that stuck in my mind.
“The worst thing for me was the emotional void of loneliness. Not having a companion for well over a decade to offer any emotional support had sapped my soul dry. The belief that I was destined to never find a life partner, led me to make a decision to make a change and what a change that turned out to be.
“I had tried to lose weight before and failed, but this time I wanted to do it right. I wanted a diet that was easy to stick too, was healthy and wouldn’t need too much planning. The 1:1 Diet sounded ideal, so I contacted a nearby Consultant, Lisa Mackissack. I saw her that very same day.
“That morning when I stood on the scales for the first time I weighed in at 29-and-a-half stone. I didn’t even know that scales could go up that far. I weighed the same as a grizzly bear.
“People at work soon started noticing my weight loss and the compliments started flooding in. My area manager saw me for the first time after I had lost 10 stone . . . she was so amazed at my transformation.
“My confidence was growing and so were my energy levels. At this point I started to introduce exercise, which I steadily increased over several months.
“By February 2018, I had achieved my target weight. I had lost 17 stone. I weigh five stone less than the total I’ve lost. I now have more clothes now than I know what to do with.
“I joined a social gathering called ‘meet up’ where members join online and can meet up at real social events. I now host ‘meet up’ events all over the south. I also host Soul nights, where I have gained the nickname of Ralph Travolta, because nobody can keep me off the dance floor.
“Dancing is not the only new love I have; I’m still a regular at the gym. I have become a qualified fitness instructor and I love teaching others, helping them to get fitter and stronger.
“The old me now seems like a lifetime ago. My social life is amazing, I am out so much, I have to keep a diary. I feel reborn and I will never look back. '