TOM King lost 10 and a half stone in year and now his doctor doesn’t even recognise him!
The 44 year-old, who lives in Castletroy, weighed 23 stones and a half just over a year ago. Now he is 13 stone.
“I was struggling with my health. My blood pressure was very high, I was having one problem after another. I was getting a lot of colds and flus. I said ‘I’m going to try and lose the weight and see how I go’. So far I’ve stuck to it,” said Tom.
He has done more than stick to it and is a new man. So much so that his doctor did a double take when Tom walked in to his surgery recently.
“My doctor said it was unbelievable. He weighed me at 22 stone and he didn’t recognise me when I lost the weight. My blood pressure is down and I haven’t had a cold in about a year. The health problems have disappeared,” said Tom.
His journey began when he walked in to a Weightwatchers class in the Kilmurry Lodge on June 1, 2011.
Asked what the secret of his success is, Tom smiles and says there is no secret.
“It is all about eating three healthy meals a day, reducing portion sizes and not eating silly things that would put the weight up.
I take a lot of exercise and go to the gym too,” said Tom, who is five foot eight inches tall.
Weight wasn’t a problem in his younger days until he fell in to bad habits.
“I left myself get out of control by eating junk food. You name it - breakfast rolls, chips, burgers, biscuits - I ate it,” he said.
At his heaviest he weighed 24 stone.
“I found it very hard to find clothes to fit me I was so big - size xxxl wouldn’t go on me. Even medium would fit me now,” said Tom, who works in UL.
His Weightwatchers instructor is Marie Ryan from Killuragh, Cappamore.
Marie has been helping people lose weight for 15 years. She says Tom has lost the most weight and gained the most from it.
“He has changed so much from the shy quiet man he was to getting so much confidence. The hardest step is walking in the door the first time.
“At the start I’ll never forget it - he was so quiet. He’d walk with his head down, never raise his eyes or make eye contact. As he started losing weight he began to lift his head and talk. He never stops smiling,” said Marie.
Now Tom is encouraging others and advising on how to lose the pounds.
Marie describes Tom as the “model student”.
“Everything I ever said to Tom he did it and never missed a class.
“It’s all about breaking it up in to small targets and just working half stone by half stone.
“You eat three meals a day - fruit and vegetables are zero on the plan. Make smaller portions and do moderate exercise and the weight just comes off,” said Marie, who currently runs three classes on Wednesday afternoons.
However, beginning in September she is starting a morning class for young mums.
“It’s for mums who can’t get out in the evening time. You see so many overweight people around. If the mothers are eating healthy then the children will be eating healthy,” she said.
The best advice comes from Tom: “Anybody can lose weight, you just have to gear yourself to doing it.”