LIFESTYLE

Overweight Man Given Two Years To Live Loses 13 Stone By Blogging About 'Superfood' Meals

30/12/2015 11:03 GMT | Updated 30/12/2015 11:59 GMT

An overweight father has shed 13 stone after creating his own blog of his favourite healthy ''superfood'' meals - just like those made by TV chef Jamie Oliver.

Billy Smith, 50, weighed 32 stone but went on a diet when his doctor warned him he would be dead within two years if his unhealthy lifestyle continued.

To help shed the pounds Smith set up his own Facebook group in which he showed off his typical daily healthy meals with descriptions and calories - and a result he got 1,500 well wishers joining up to get slim themselves.

Now nine months on, the married father-of-one weighs 19 stone - but is still battling on to make his target weight of 11 stone. He has even set himself up as a self styled diet guru in which he gives tips on eating healthily.

billy smith

Billy Smith

Smith's blog has already been compared to the Channel 4 show in which Oliver revealed and made "superfood'" meals which he claims can help people '"live to 100".

Smith, a security guard, who lives in Warrington, Cheshire, with wife Carol, 52, and son Daniel, 14, said: "I am just so proud of my progress and it means so much to me have all that support out there.

'"The diet has been very hard work, and I feel I still have a long way to go, but I am getting there. I feel fantastic and I am determined to carry on. It feels so good to be able to resist the temptation of fatty foods, I have found my willpower.

"Losing weight has given me a new lease of life. In two years, Carol and I will have been married for 20 years, and to mark the occasion, we are going to renew our vows.

"I am more confident now, and everything about life is so much better now. So it seems fitting to mark that with such a special occasion."

Smith began to put on weight when his late mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992. He soon became her primary caregiver, and continued to provide her with constant care for over 10 years.

But when the pressure of taking care of his poorly mum and maintaining his job got too much for him, he began to skip meals and instead, gorged on fatty snacks and greasy takeaways throughout the day, as he felt that they were comforting and convenient.

His weight gain caused him to develop high blood pressure and severe osteoarthritis in his knees and in 2014 his bulk was so severe his doctor warned him he would be dead within two years.

billy smith

Billy Smith with his wife Carol before losing weight

Smith added: "When I heard that I had two years to live, I was devastated and it was in effect a death sentence.. I was completely crushed. I didn’t want to die. I wanted to see my young son grow up, and I knew it was time to change.

"I was in denial from the moment I began to gain weight. I didn’t realise I was putting anything on at all. But as the years went on and I missed out on bonding with my son and spending quality time with my wife, I realised it was becoming a big problem. Things just spiralled out of my control.

"The following week I signed up to Slimming World but when I stepped onto the scales for the first time, I never imagined I could have put on so much weight and when I read those numbers aloud, something in me changed. I decided it was time to turn my life around.

"Up until that point, I’d hidden away in the shadows. I was utterly humiliated and ashamed of myself, and the way I had allowed myself to put on so much weight. Things had obviously spiralled out of control and I didn’t want to live that way anymore.'"

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Smith's diet includes tuna salads, healthy cereals, fruit and vegetables and he has been posting his dishes on his blog causing other Facebook users to ask how he makes his meals. He is now visiting the gym and going swimming.

"Losing weight has changed my life for the better and has really boosted my confidence. Before now, I missed out on so much that life had to offer.

"I had never even been to my son’s parent’s evenings because I was so ashamed and scared that my weight would lead to him being bullied.

"Now, I can make up for lost time with my son - I can do the things I have never been able to do, but should have done as his father.

"I had never taken him swimming before, but now, I feel confident and healthy enough to take him on a regular basis. I take him shopping, out for walks in the park and even on father and son weekends away to visit museums together.

"My wife and I barely went out before. On the rare occasions that we did, I insisted on dining out in dark restaurants because I was so embarrassed to be seen.

"Now we like to go out a lot more, and it’s fantastic to be able to go wherever we want. I don’t feel like I have to hide in the shadows anymore. Losing weight has changed my life forever."

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