A “true West country boy” who once drank up to 15 pints of cider on a typical night out lost more than 10-stone in weight by ditching his binge drinking habit.
Mitch Jones, 39, of Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, shrank from 22st 6lb to 12 stone by abandoning habitual trips to the pub and takeaway in favour of the calorie-controlled Cambridge diet and active lifestyle.
He said: “It’s not ‘cool’ to diet, unfortunately. For some reason it’s seen as unmanly.
“It’s alright for guys to step forward and take control of their weight. Struggles with being overweight can have just as much of an emotional impact for men as they do for women.”
Mr Jones said his lowest point came in the autumn of 2006.
He said: “My marriage came to end and I was made redundant, which was a huge double-blow. It was a very painful time.
“I was around 16 stone and had been told that the fact I was unattractive had led to the end of the marriage.
“In my mind, I decided that I would continue to be unhealthy. If I was unattractive, then I would be less likely to find a new partner, which would protect me from the possibility of going through the ending of another relationship.
“A lot of people lose weight when their relationships come to an end, but for me it was the opposite.”
Just three months later Mr Jones hit his heaviest weight of 22st 6lb and had a 52 inch waist.
He said: “Drink was a big thing for me. I never drank alone - it was always social thing. As a teenager I’d got it into my head that the lads would be impressed if I could down a big bottle of white lightning and still stand at the end.
“The binge drinking continued until my 30s. My daily diet would be a fry up for breakfast, fried chicken for lunch, and then I’d get straight out on the lash.
“Being a true West country boy, I would drink 15 pints of cider on a night out without even thinking about it. I must have been consuming more than 5,000 calories a day.”
Mr Jones said a turning point came in 2011, a day before a 30th birthday party for his current partner, Georgina Wilkie, 33, a personal assistant working in the NHS.
He said: “I wanted to buy a decent outfit for the party but could barely find anything in the shop which fitted around me. I went into the changing room, saw myself in the mirror and, barely recognising myself, I couldn’t stop crying. I knew I had to make a change.”
Mr Jones began on the Cambridge Weight Plan, which offers meal replacement as a route to a balanced diet which promotes weight control.
In just over five months Mr Jones lost an incredible 11st 4lb.
Today he weighs a stable 12 stone, wears a 30 inch waist band and has begun playing football again for the first time since his youth.
He said: “People were amazed that I lost so much weight so quickly, and there are still some who expect me to put it back on. But I’m two years slim now and I feel like a completely different person.
“I can still have a cider and enjoy a takeaway from time to time, but the reasons behind why I eat and drink what I do now are different to when I was larger. I’m in control now.”
In January 2013, Mr Jones decided to become a wellbeing consultant and he has since established the Revolution Health and Wellbeing Centre in Burnham-on-Sea, where he has a growing base of clients keen to emulate his success.
He is also looking to release an album of songs he has written about his transformation, entitled Great Expectations.
He said: “I keep a picture of me when I was larger in my office, which I use to reassure my clients when they feel challenged.
“I know exactly how they’re feeling, but now I feel as if there’s nothing I can’t do.”
For more information search for ‘The Revolution Health & Wellbeing Centre’ on Facebook.