An obese dad who struggled to tie his own shoelaces because he was so fat is now celebrating a new lease of life – after cutting his waist size by 24 inches.
Derek Evans, 35, was so heavy that he struggled to walk a few hundred yards without sweating.
He had been struggling to lose weight for years and admits he was eating himself “to death”.
At his heaviest, Derek tipped the scales at 24st and didn’t think he would ever be able to start a family.
But the dad-of-one, from Moodiesburn, North Lanarkshire, has turned his life around and is now able to play with his son and finally ride a pushbike.
Derek said his dramatic weight loss has changed his life after he cut his waist size from a size 60 to a size 36.
He said: “Before I started losing weight, I could barely walk from my car into the office.
“It was only a few hundred yards but I would sweat so much and it was just really embarrassing.
“I wanted to have a child but there was no way I could have coped. I struggled to tie my own laces and I was basically eating myself to death.”
Derek thought he had a relatively healthy diet before his weight loss but now admits fatty ingredients made him balloon to a whopping 24st.
He said: “I have an under-active thyroid and I feel that was what always stopped me in the past.
“I had tried every diet going and none of them would stick with me.
“I used to think my diet was pretty healthy but it wasn’t.”
Derek said he managed to turn his life around after his family suggested he join a slimming class.
He said: “My mum and my sister had started a slimming class and dragged me along. I didn’t think men did it and that it was more of a women’s class.
“I agreed to go so that I could least tell them that I had tried it. I didn’t believe their eating plan was possible so I tried to break the system in my first month out of spite.
“I ate everything I possibly could to show it didn’t work but when my consultant weighed me, he showed me that I’d actually lost about 5lbs.
“He inspired me to keep going and here I am two and half years later after losing over eight stones in weight.
“It is incredible the small things that can be changed to make a huge difference to your weight.
“My family can’t actually believe how much I still eat despite being on a diet.”
Derek, who works in the complaints department of a financial services firm, has also become a weight loss consultant and is now running his own Slimming World club.
He added: “This diet was just so great for me. It has changed my life completely, I feel so much better nowadays than I did before I started losing weight.
“Last year I was able to cycle 50 miles to Loch Lomond and back with my friends.
“I have my son Jackson now and I take him out walks and I play football with my nephew. I have gained a family and I feel like I can be the dad I always hoped I’d be.
“My life is perfect at the moment. I can’t complain at all.
“I’m a Slimming World consultant now myself and I hope to inspire more people to do what I have done.
“I got a message from someone who heard about my story and he told me he was really encouraged to lose weight for himself.
“If I can help other people with my own experience then that will be absolutely great.”