A MAN who lost more than four-and-a-half stone in just five months now feels so fit he is planning to run a half marathon.

Tristan Thomas, a community worker in Caia Park, has just taken the title of Man of the Year with Wrexham Rugby Club’s Slimming World group after his victory in the battle of the bulge.

And to mark the current national Men’s Health Week, he has spoken about his personal crusade to get into shape.

Tristan, 33, admits his staple diet was once vast amounts of beer, cola and takeaway meals but says he decided on a weight loss regime when the extra weight started having an impact on his health and happiness.

He said: “For many years I had hidden from my weight problems by fooling myself that it was in my family genes and I was destined to be big. Clothes shopping became a nightmare which resulted in me mainly searching for clothes on websites.

“Even going to watch my beloved Everton became difficult as I struggled to sit comfortably on the small seats. The unhappier I became the more I ate.

“I completely buried my head in the sand until I saw photographs of myself at a work event.

“I was horrified and felt very down as I knew deep down I didn’t need to be this big.”

He added: “With help from Slimming World and self motivation I have lost more than four-and-a-half stone in five months.

“I regularly go the gym and have started running, some weeks running in excess of 15 miles. I am intending to run a half marathon in the not so distant future.

“My love for food hasn’t changed, I am just more careful about what I eat now and eat more fruit.

“I have gone down from XXXXL to a large in T-shirts and down from a 44 waist to a 36 waist.

“Although my journey has just begun I feel 10 years younger.”

Another Man of the Year at the group is 64-year-old John Phillips who developed a weight problem – and high blood pressure – after he was made redundant. Now retired, he has managed to shed about four stone and has seen his blood pressure drop.