An Aston Clinton man who feared he would die young has lost half of his 28 stone body weight with the help of a regular Weight Watchers class he attended.
Steve Perry, 46, who tipped the scales at 28 stone back in January 2016 has managed to lose more than half of his body weight.
Steve, who attends a regular class in Leighton Buzzard, has shed 200lbs since it dawned on him that he was going to die young if he didn’t act soon to improve his lifestyle.
Steve, who works as a freelance HGV driver, says it was a very deep and meaningful conversation with his girlfriend’s sister that made him realise enough was enough.
He decided to join Weight Watchers and in just three years there has been a remarkable transformation thanks to him following Weight Watchers freestyle programme.
Steve realised he was shy having photographs taken and believes that, being 28 stone, people looked and viewed him in a very discriminate way.
He said: “I will never forget someone assuming that because as I was overweight I must be on benefits.
"In reality I run my own business and normally invoice my clients for 60 to 70 hours each week.
“A similar situation happened in a prestige car dealership when I was enquiring about a new model, they were very condescending and had not realised I already had one of their models, it’s very true that people do judge a book by its cover.”
Day-to-day activities for the Astral Park member in Leighton Buzzard were not as easy and carefree before he lost the 200lbs.
Dining in a restaurant would cause him to secretly examine the chairs to see if they were likely to break under his weight and then have to find excuses as not to visit.
He even had waiters offer to double up plastic chairs in restaurants so that he could just sit and have a meal.
Visits to theme parks would not be possible and long-haul airline travel used to be very expensive, as he would need to fly business class, as they have larger seats.
Economy was not a possibility as the seats would be so uncomfortable not only for himself but a neighbouring passenger.
Steve said: “I cannot believe or start to explain what a positive impact the Weight Watchers freestyle programme has made to my life, not only am I a much healthier and happier individual there are so many activities I can now do and participate in that I could not before.
“The one thing that I value most out of it is self-confidence, not being shy to have a photo taken and being able to confidently present myself and be treated in a normal capacity.”
He says the support from Leighton Buzzard Weight Watchers coach Alison Johnson was crucial to him being able to lose the weight and keep going.
He said: “Alison is always so positive and caring no matter what type of week I’ve had, I really look forward to the workshop and get a lot from it and always attend even in the periods of time when things have not gone the right way.
“The thing I love most about Weight Watchers is the flexibility of still being able to eat what you want and when you want but being able to make an informed and educated choice as to what is going to increase weight and what could be a good substitute which is healthy resulting in a steady and positive weight loss.
“The workshop and the app are the two main things which have enabled me to be successful.
"The workshop is a source of valuable information and bouncing information whilst interacting with other like-minded members is very useful.
“The app is totally the most useful tool ever when planning, an extremely important part of anyone’s success if used correctly and to its full capability.
“I use it all the time especially when eating out, which I do quite a lot as I cannot cook – having the restaurant guide on the app is literally a lifesaver as without it I would never be able to make an informed choice.
“I have learnt that someone’s idea of a ‘healthy’ meal is not always the case Smartpoints wise.
"I must admit that before I was very badly educated about any idea of what was healthy and what was full of calories – it’s a real learning curve and continues to be!
"As well as the app the most important key factor for me personally is a supportive coach, which I am pleased to say I found in Alison."