Richard Jeferies after the weight loss... and a picture of him before
by Emma Grove
A dad has been shamed into losing more than seven stone after almost getting stuck in a theme park ride and having a child point him out as a ‘fat man’.
Richard Jeferies, of James Street, Sheerness, has shed the weight in a little over 12 months.
The 48-year-old has gone from tipping the scales at more than 24 stone to a much healthier 16st 9lbs.
Mr Jeferies, who runs several Sheppey art and acting groups, first decided to do something about his size in November last year and there were three things that prompted it.
One was looking at photo of himself and realising just how large he had become, the second was the little girl in a supermarket car park saying ‘look mummy, a fat man’ and the third followed a trip to Alton Towers.
The father-of-four accompanied his daughter on a ride and the attendants had to stamp on the bar to get it shut over him and it was so tight he struggled to breathe.
“It was spinning round and I thought they are going to be taking a corpse off this,” he said.
Although he had considered surgery in the past, it was good old-fashioned hard work that lead to his drastic image change.
He joined Weight Watchers and after dramatically changing his diet and exercising, the weight started to drop off.
Mr Jeferies, who is 5ft 10in, said: “It was hard for me to do anything physical and I was really suffering with my knees.”
“There are simple changes you can do at first which really help, like cutting out crisps and fizzy drinks.
“I cut back on stupid eating like going to McDonald’s while waiting for the train.
“But if I want to go out for a family meal I don’t feel guilty.”
Sheppey Little Theatre volunteer Mr Jeferies admits he does get a bit smug about his new shape and says he often finds himself lecturing people about how many calories are in things.
“If you had told me this time last year I would be going to the gym three times a week and eating salad I would have laughed and not believed a word of it,” he said
“It’s given me a whole new lease of life – I can run and keep up with my children.”
However he does admit he won’t be missing out this Christmas.
“There’s no sense spoiling it,” he added.