A 21-stone teen shed almost HALF his body weight to become a shredded fitness guru after football fans called him a ‘whale’ – for blocking their view.
Ricky Ingram, 26, has got the super slim buff body most men can only dream of having.
But the personal trainer as once nicknamed “kebab legs” by his friends and admits he was a “human dustbin” who wolfed down fast food while watching TV.
It wasn’t until he was mocked by football fans in a bar on holiday in Spain for “blocking the screen” that he overhauled his diet and joined a local fitness club.
Six years on, weighing a healthy 12 stone and boasting chiselled abs and biceps Ricky now runs his own online personal training business.
The businessman from Westerham, Kent, said: “There were some lads drinking and I was just standing there watching the TV. I covered the screen and the names starting coming out.
“They were laughing and said ‘get out of the way’ fatty. They said there was a ‘whale blocking the TV’.
“It really hit a nerve. It was nasty and that was the first time anyone had said something to upset me.
“I felt awful. I never used to weigh myself but I jumped on the scales when I got home from the holiday.
“It really hit me and I knew I needed to make a change. I wanted to do something about it.
“I wish people were more honest with me. I wish my parents told me I needed to lose weight.”
Only child Ricky said as a child he was always bigger than most of his friends, and had full control over his diet as his single mum worked late most nights.
He had “no interest” in eating a balanced diet and had no knowledge about what food is good and what food is bad.
By the time he was 15 he weighed 15 stone, and in his college piled on six more until he weighed 21 stone aged 18.
Ricky puts his weight gain down to a gluttonous diet that saw him eating his way through more than 3,500 calories a day.
A sugary cereal breakfast would be followed by a burger and chips from the school canteen at lunch and a daily dose of sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks from the local shop.
When he got home Ricky would gorge on crisps and coke “for the sake of it”, before cooking up an unhealthy plate of pizza, hotdog or another burger for dinner.
Ricky said: “People did take the mickey out of me but I just thought they were joking. I got teased but never took any of it too seriously.
“I suppose I needed someone to be more honest with me.
“I neglected my body and I was ashamed of that. I was really unhealthy and I only had myself to blame.”
After returning from Spain, Ricky sat down with his mum, Vicky, 44, and talked about drastically changing his diet.
He “binned” the fast-food lifestyle and joined the local fitness club with a friend, where he’d spend hours using the pool, gym and tennis courts.
He mixed up his training with sessions of high-intensity cardio and weights.
He said: “It didn’t feel like I was dieting because I was enjoying it. It was a lifestyle choice.
“We would go every night together I felt so much better for it.
“My mum paid for me to have a personal trainer and my knowledge got better so I could do it on my own.”
Helped by a low-carb diet of rice and chicken with healthy vegetables, the weight soon began to “drop off”.
He started studying sports and exercise science and by the time he was 20 – weighing around 14 stone – he had qualified as a level three personal trainer.
Ricky now runs his own online personal training business – Bodies Made Online – where he uses his own experience to help other people lose weight, with business partner, Ryan Macdonald, 41.
The pair create bespoke fitness and nutrition plans for clients – who pay up to £125 a month.
Ricky, who has a girlfriend, Rachel O’Flaherty, 24, said: “I wanted to help more and more people.
“I absolutely love it. To see the progress people make gives me a great feeling.
“I want to make a difference to people’s lives and I get a proper buzz from it.
“When I look back now, I can’t believe what I see.
“It feels like a lifetime ago. People say it just doesn’t look like me.
“I feel like a completely new person now and I will never go back to how I was in that part of my life.”
Before deciding to lose weight Ricky would tend to eat up to and sometimes over 3,500 calories a day.
A typical breakfast would be sugary bowl of cereal followed by a burger and chips from the school canteen at lunch.
Throughout the day he used to snack on daily dose of sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks.
His evening meal used to involve a plate of takeaway or oven-cooked pizza, a hotdog or another burger with chips and a fizzy drink.
A typical daily diet for Ricky now would involve him eating an average of 2000 calories.
Breakfast tends to be porridge with chocolate protein powder followed by a lunchtime meal of swede, carrot and potato mash with chicken and cup of vegetables.
During the day he tends to snack on things like a protein bar and Greek yogurt and berries
His evening meal varies based on the day’s calorie intake but might involve sweet potato or rice with chicken or fish with salad or vegetables.