At his heaviest, Dan Woodgate, 38, struggled to do any activity when he tipped the scales at 23st.
The accountant, from North Yorkshire, steadily gained weight since the age of 18 and was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes as an adult.
It wasn’t until the death of his dad in October 2016 which encouraged him to begin his weight loss journey.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, the dad-of-two has revealed how he lost 8st – with the help of Slimming World.
“I felt so welcome, my nerves instantly disappeared”
He said: “My dad only died six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer of oesophagus and left our family devastated.
“At the time I had a one-year-old son and a 12-week-old daughter and I thought about my own mortality. I didn’t want my children to ever be as hurt as I was and so I began making changes to my own life, for the benefit of everyone.
“My wife and sister were attending a Slimming World group, but I was nervous about joining. In April 2017, I ventured into the group and thankfully Angie Taylor was the consultant there.
“I felt so welcome, my nerves instantly disappeared. And the rest, as they say, is history.”
Before Slimming World, Dan tried other diets – but nothing ever worked.
Although he credits the majority of his weight loss success to the group, Dan found another way to shed the pounds.
He explained: “I was 23st when I joined Slimming World and within 3 months I was down to 20st.
“It was then when I braved my first ParkRun at the Tees Barrage. I ‘ran’ around the course in 41 minutes and 41 seconds, I was hooked.
“I felt both Slimming World and ParkRun compliment each other very well, losing weight through Slimming World has enabled me to become a better runner, and running more has encouraged me to stick to plan and continue to lose weight.”
Dan – who lost over 8st with Slimming World – now weighs a healthy 14st 4.5lbs.
Since he found a love for running, Dan has been walking over 10,000 steps per day.
“Running is an integral part of my life now, it has changed us as a family too,” he revealed.
“Saturday has now been named as ParkRun day and I am thrilled to see my wife trying her hand at running too.”
He continued: “ParkRun is a great venture and I have ran 72 to date as well as volunteered several times.”
“I was chosen to become an ambassador for the Great Tees 10k near my hometown, and I was selected to run the Swiss City Marathon in Lucerne in October.
“This was my first full marathon and was very lucky to be given this opportunity by the Swiss Tourist Board.
“I have also ran three half marathons, and as part of the Great North Run, I was able to raise over £3,000 for the Butterwick Hospice, a local charity.
Slimming World and running hasn’t just helped with his weight loss, but with his health too.
Dan told Daily Star Online: “I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes around 5 years ago and I was taking Metformin tablets to control the effects. Since my transformation I have reversed the effects and I’m pleased to say, I am free from medication.
“As well as this, shopping for clothes has become a lot easier as my waist size has dropped from 54in to a 36in and my shirts from a 5XL to a large. I am pleased to be able to get on a plane without the worry of my seatbelt fitting.”
Since following the Slimming World Food Optimising eating plan, Dan is still able to enjoy his favourite foods.
“Crisps were always a go to food for me, but now I choose them carefully,” he concluded.
“I can still enjoy them just in moderation – and ensure they fit in with my food plan for the week.”