When Scott Middleton took on a big challenge, he did not do so lightly.
The 28-year-old, from South Shore, shed a staggering 9st – essentially just following his own plan and using will-power.
He changed his lifestyle and now says he would never go back to his less healthy ways.
He hopes his story of weight-loss success will help inspire other people, especially after figures revealed nearly three quarters of all Blackpool residents over the age of 16 are overweight or obese.
Scott went from tipping the scales at 24st 10lbs, to a slimmed-down 16st 2lbs – in just seven months. His waist has shrunk from 54ins to 34ins.
He made the decision to lose weight after he had to go into hospital with kidney stones last year – and realised his weight could cause him health problems in the future.
It all changed when he joined the Gateway Gym, run by Blackpool Council, in the town centre, while he was between jobs.
Scott said: “I started eating better, I changed my habits.
“I started going to the gym at 6.30am and doing six or seven miles on the treadmill.
“Then maybe 10k on the bike and some weights.
“I would go home and have a massive meal. Then I would go back to the gym in the afternoon.
“I made friends with an older guy there and I used to try to meet up with him, to spur each other on.
“By week three, I was burning 2000 to 3000 calories a day.
“It’s a bit mental really, my life was just going to the gym.
“But after about eight months, I had got down to 16st 2lbs.
“I had got a new job by then, working at Wetherspoon’s, so I couldn’t go the gym twice a day anymore, but I started jogging home from work.”
Scott also changed his eating habits drastically.
He no longer eats as many ready meals and takeaways and he now controls his portion sizes.
He said: “I buy a lot from the butchers, from Marton Meats – chicken, meat, fish, I eat pasta.
“I buy a lot of frozen vegetables from Farmfoods, the frozen are just as good as the fresh.
“And I can still go out with my mates at the weekend and have some beers and pizza.
“I eat healthy for five days and just have a treat at the weekends.
“I used to get through a lot of cheese and bread, but I don’t now.
“I was getting through three or four big blocks of cheese a week and a loaf of bread in two days.
“The biggest things for me were eating at work and doing nothing.
“When I was going to the gym a lot, I was actually eating more, because I was working out so hard – but eating healthy foods.
“So I still lost the weight.”
Scott has noticed all kinds of differences since shedding the pounds.
He said: “I am asthmatic, but haven’t had to use my inhaler now for 12 months.
“I suffer from psoriasis and my skin is now a lot better.
“I couldn’t walk to town for the bus and not stop halfway. But now it’s no problem, I can walk as far as I want to.
“The biggest thing really is it means I can do stuff I want to do, I don’t struggle now.
“After a few months, I started to notice my clothes getting baggier – I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe. Now I can buy nice designer clothing again, instead of just having to find something which would fit.
“I can buy a nice pair of shoes – before, my shoes would only last about two or three months because they would get so worn down.
“I was never really lacking in confidence, but I would say this has boosted my confidence.
“I can just be more stylish and I get a lot more looks when I go out.”