28-year-old James Dunn once tipped the scales at 448 pounds, a feat that the Liverpool Echo says he achieved through eating out four times a week, drinking gallons of soda and having pastries for lunch. According to James, his unhealthy eating habits came from the stress of having two jobs and a busy schedule, leading him to eat whatever was convenient rather than whatever was healthy.
“I’d always skip breakfast, and then for lunch I’d have pasties, sausage rolls, white bread and I’d drink sugary drinks,” he explains. “Then about four times a week I’d have takeaways, I’d eat whatever was convenient, and it would always be in huge portions that just weren’t normal.”
James’ wake-up call came when his weight reached the point where he was no longer able to safely ride rollercoasters. During a staff outing at an amusement park, James tried to get on a ride but found that the safety bar refused to fasten.
“Two people tried to help fasten it but it wouldn’t and they said I was going to have to get off,” he recalls. “It was mortifying, it was so embarrassing. There was tons of people watching and I just couldn’t ever face going back again.”
After trying (and failing) at a variety of diet plans, James finally found salvation in the form of an advertisement for a television show that promised “to help turn people’s lives around.” Acing the audition process, producers kick-started his weight loss by signing him up for a gastric sleeve surgery and introducing him to personal trainer Mark Grice.
As well as daily workouts, James swapped his usual diet of pasties and takeaways for a protein-rich mealplan with vastly reduced portion sizes and says he “couldn’t have done it” without Mark.
He said: “The show was the first time I’d done a diet in public. I’d always done them in secret. I thought I’m going to just have to go for it in the most public way possible, so I did and now it’s going to be on TV.
“Even though I was having the weight loss surgery and having a diet plan, the first time I met Davina she said I needed to get a personal trainer. She sent an email to the producers and they interviewed some personal trainers in Liverpool and found Mark.”(via)
James has since dropped 238 pounds, putting him at a healthy 201 pounds and allowing him to complete his first triathlon. He now reportedly plans on visiting schools with Mark to teach children on the dangers of obesity and how to put down the candy and pick up healthier options instead. “I’d always been overweight even as a child, and I think the best way to combat it is to tackle it while you’re young. We need to educate them at a young age.”
[Via Liverpool Echo]