A super slimmer has lost almost half his body weight after knocking takeaways and binge drinking on the head.
David Hudson steadily crept up to 34 stone after years of late night fast food, pies and pasties.
But after the embarrassment of having to use a pregnant woman’s seat-belt on a plane and an inspirational meeting with an old friend in a supermarket, the 43-year-old decided to take matters into his own hands.
He has now reached his target weight of 17 stone and at 6ft 8ins tall, his GP has said he’s now fit and healthy for a man of his age.
“I had been approved as a candidate for gastric band surgery and had even met with the consultant but then I decided I would try to do this myself.
“I bumped into a friend in a supermarket who had lost a lot of weight himself and I thought if he can do it - so can I,” said David, a CCTV engineer who lives in Wallsend, North Tyneside.
His own work shift patterns, and his wife Alison’s late nights as the former manager of the Rosehill Tavern in Wallsend, meant that the pair often weren’t eating until midnight or 1am in the morning.
“I was just eating daft rubbish and slowly the weight crept on. On a flight to Turkey the stewardess gave me a seatbelt for a pregnant woman and I got wedged in the seat so there was no legroom for the guy behind me.
“That was the worst. You are aware of looks and you are aware that even though people politely say nothing, you can see them looking at you out the corner of your eye,” said David, who as a young man had been a member of the Heaton Harriers running club.
“I was a runner and people used called me Rodney Trotter I was so lanky, but by my late 20s I was starting to put on weight,” he added.
After losing an impressive five stone by himself he felt he had hit a brick wall and couldn’t shift any more weight without support.
He then took the brave step of signing up to a Slimming World class in Howdon in September 2013 and turned up to every session without fail, regularly losing half a stone a week. There he learnt how to cook meals from scratch and was given a host of healthy recipes to try as well as the support from everyone else at the group to shed the pounds.
Over a period of 36 weeks he lost more than 10 stone and now weighs 17st 10lb. He also inspired his wife Alison to join the group and she has lost two stone, taking her from 11 st 8lb to 9st 4lb.
Kerry Kirkbride who runs the Slimming World group at Denbigh Community Primary School, said: “It’s the highest weight loss record I’ve had. It’s really changed his life. He says he’s not just lost the weight, but it’s staying off for life.”
Exercise has also played a huge role in his weight loss and he’s now a regular at the gym, going up to 12 times a week.
“The first time I did three minutes on the treadmill I thought I was going to die but I went back the next day and did 10 minutes and now I can do an hour’s cardio session,” he said.
Despite the couple spending a lot more on their weekly supermarket food shop, overall the couple are saving money with their new healthy lifestyle and that’s helped pay for the redecorate their house.
There are also plans for a celebratory holiday next year.
He said: “The Slimming World sessions were just the focus I needed each week to keep the scales going down.”