A young man who struggled with obesity throughout his life shed more than five stone in less than a year.
James Walker, who weighed more than 16 stone when he was aged 16, says he suffered over his teenage years from low self esteem and had felt “ugly” and
The 22-year-old, from Saltney, had tried to lose weight by exercising using the Wii and even joining sports teams, but never managed to get into shape.
However, James, who was home schooled because he felt so excluded from society, decided to change his habits by joining a gym at age 21 and within weeks he saw a change.
He said: “I was very body conscious as a teenager and realised there was a problem when I couldn’t keep up with my friends in sport. I had trouble taking part in bike rides and I could not keep up in activities when we went on summer holidays.
At some stage I started being aware of girls and this made me feel even more body conscious.
“The more I felt excluded the more I would eat. I wanted to take up sport in college but I don’t think sport was the answer because you have to be fit to do them in the first place.
“I would hate to play football because physically it was hard. I was finding as I grew more and more unpopular, I would have less friends as more people in class would not want to be connected with someone unpopular.
“I was home schooled at that stage. I had worries about my health as well, looking at people 10 years older than me and thinking that was where I was heading.”
He added: “But one day my parents encouraged me to go to the gym.
“Once I did I began to you realise it really was possible to make a difference.”
And losing more than five stone in just 12 months, James decided to become a gym instructor himself in order to help others who are struggling with weight problems.
He said: “The more you lose weight the more you want to lose. It becomes your sport or your hobby. I felt like everyone at the gym was really friendly and encouraging. Once people see you trying to make a difference, they are supportive.”
James, who works at Bodytech Health Club in Saltney, is now doing a level three NVQ course as part of his personal training qualification.