A construction worker who ballooned up to 26st while devouring biscuits, sweets and sausage rolls has ditched the junk food – and become a bodybuilder.
Oliver Hagerty, from Preston in Faversham, decided to battle the bulge last January after feeling disgusted with his 7,000-calories-a-day diet and the hefty reading on his scales.
The 29-year-old, whose BMI stood at more than 40 – considered morbidly obese – opted to start jogging and dieting as he feared his weight could have prevented him from ever having children.
Over the intervening 22 months he has lost more than 10st and participated in his first bodybuilding competition.
“For some reason, two days before New Year’s Eve in 2019, I decided to step on the scales,” Mr Hegarty recalled.
“I thought I was about 22st at the time – I knew I was a big guy – but the dial just wound round.
“I was disgusted with myself that I’d let it get to that stage. It was a flick of the switch and as soon as January hit, I decided to lose weight.
“I felt like food was affecting me mentally – one minute I would be full of energy, and the next I’d be lethargic.
“My supervisor at work told me my behaviour was all over the place and that it couldn’t continue.”
The former University of Kent student regularly polished off a four-pack of supermarket sausage rolls and a chicken and mushroom slice during work at Brett Aggregates in Sittingbourne.
Before sitting down for dinner with his partner, Kim Vass, he would also get through a Haribo share bag and a packet of biscuits, which would usually be Hobnobs or Biscoff.
But Mr Hagerty, who stands at 6ft 6ins, says the shock of realising he tipped the scales at more than 360lbs made him fear he was “bound” to have a heart attack if he did not act fast.
“I had started to feel very conscious about my weight because the sizes of T-shirts and jeans were going up. The T-shirts sometimes went up to triple-XL or even four-XL, depending on the brand,” he added.
“Me and my partner have been together nine years now and we’re wanting kids – and that was part of the motivation as I worried that the size I was would lower my sperm count or cause problems.
“I now look at pictures and think if I carried on after Christmas at the rate I was eating, I probably wasn’t far off a heart attack.”
Mr Hagerty says he immediately started to eat less, before embarking on daily 5k runs at the beginning of the pandemic.
He joined a gym but then lockdown was imposed and he was forced to buy his own weights to exercise at home.
But that summer he started to be guided by online personal trainers Tom Thorman and Aston Worsfold, who devised a diet and exercise plan that he continues to follow diligently.
“Through Tom, we introduced a training plan and a lot of it is bodybuilding movements,” Mr Hagerty continued.
“If you look back a year ago, you’d probably see me sat at a desk playing video games and not moving for hours on end, and it’s changed now.
“Anyone wanting to lose weight should just not think about it – start right away, because otherwise you can give yourself excuses for why you shouldn’t start.”
Earlier this month, Mr Hagerty took part in a Pure Elite bodybuilding event at Margate’s Winter Gardens, winning the competition’s transformation category.
'Anyone wanting to lose weight should just not think about it and start right away, because otherwise you can give yourself excuses for why you shouldn’t start...'
He now weighs about 15st 6lbs, and is hoping to start adding more food to his diet to add more muscle to his frame.
Drastic change in daily diet
Before Oliver Hagerty decided to lose weight, he would drink up to three cans of Monster Energy while at work.
These would be coupled with a meat-filled pastry slice and a pack of four sausage rolls.
Dinners – which he says were “the healthiest part” of his day – tended to consist of homemade dishes, but were preceded by entire sharing packs of sweets and biscuits.
Mr Hagerty now eats six meals a day, the first of which tends to be a spinach omelette served with two turkey or bacon medallions.
This would then be followed by a lunch of chicken, rice and vegetables. Before heading to the gym, Mr Hagerty has peanut butter and oats.
Following his workout, he will have chicken, rice and pineapple. And at dinner he has more chicken, rice and vegetables.
His drink of choice is water, which he drinks about six litres of every day.