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Herne Bay dad inspired to lose weight by friend's death and son's jokes

Fuelled by the death of a friend and his young son’s jokes about his “big bouncy belly”, a dad-of-two shed almost eight stone.

At his heaviest, Dean Wingrove, from Herne Bay, was a scale-busting 22st and regularly eating pork pies, sausage rolls and crisps.

But the 43-year-old was compelled to start losing the weight towards the end of last year after returning from a family camping holiday in Cornwall.

Dean weighed 22st at his heaviest (14335814)
Dean weighed 22st at his heaviest (14335814)

During the trip, he was reluctant to remove his top and insisted on wearing baggy t-shirts.

“General day-to-day things in the heat were hard work,” said Dean.

“I just wanted to sit in the shade and have a cold beer with a packet of crisps. Some holiday photos came back and I looked at the size of me – I was getting older but not any smaller.”

Due to his size, Dean had to cut short games of football with his son Noah, seven, and struggled to pick up his one-year-old Riley.

“Around the same time, I had a close friend pass away,” he said.

“She was on the large side and it woke me up – she was too young to pass away.

He has now eclipsed his 14st target weight (14336973)
He has now eclipsed his 14st target weight (14336973)

“My son would say I had a ‘big, bouncy belly’. He wouldn’t say it in a spiteful way, but it cut quite deep after her death.”

Dean had tried several diets – including Weight Watchers, Slim Fast and calorie counting – but was unable to shift the weight.

He attended a Slimming World class for the first time after seeing before-and-after photographs of one of its regulars.

“It’s worked for me because it meant I could lose weight and still have my steak and potatoes,” he said. “I very rarely feel hungry at all.

“It educated me about my food. I was terrible – I would eat pork pies, sausage rolls, crisps and all the wrong things.”

Ten months on, Dean now weighs 13st 8lbs – eclipsing his target of 14st – and is in training for next year’s London Landmarks Half Marathon.

'My son would say I had a ‘big, bouncy belly’. He wouldn’t say it in a spiteful way, but it cut quite deep' - Dean Wingrove

“With a mate, Neil, from work we said one day, ‘shall we go out for a run tonight?’" he added.

"I think I lasted about 60 seconds. I’ve made my way up to 5ks and 10ks.”

He hopes to raise £700 for charity Clic Sargeant, which helped a pal’s six-year-old child during her battle with leukaemia.

Click here to donate.

For more quirky and unusual stories, click here.

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