A photographer who lost eight stones will take on a half marathon challenge in tribute to friends who had a stillborn child.
Chris Brudenell, (41), from Whittlesey, began his weight loss journey in July 2017 and in that short space of time has dropped from 24 stone to an impressive 16 stone.
The weight loss, he says, has changed his life beyond all recognition and on Sunday October 13 Chris will take part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London to raise money for stillbirth charity SANDS, after his friend Amy lost her son Charlie at just 30 weeks.
Chris suffers from high blood pressure as a result of his obesity and has a history of heart conditions in his family. During his annual check-up in May 2017, Chris received some news about his health that made him realise he could no longer keep ignoring his weight and the reasons behind it.
He said: “I got to the point in my life where I was eating to try and make myself feel happy, but it just didn’t work.
“I was a full-time dad to my kids and when they both went to school I felt like I didn’t really have much purpose. That’s when the secret eating would take place.
“I’d stop in the shop to buy a pack of biscuits and eating them all before collecting the children from school. I’d always look for the 3 for £1 offers on chocolate and eat them on the way home and hide the evidence.
“The nurse came out and told me that I needed to sort out my weight or I was going to have a stroke. That was a huge shock for me.
“The first thing that entered my head was the possibility of one day not seeing my daughter’s wedding day and giving her away. I didn’t want my wife to have to care for me either. Coming to terms with my depression and acknowledging what I was doing to myself was very hard.”
To lose weight, Chris joined Man v Fat Football, a football league only for men who want to lose weight.
He said: “I did couch to 5km just eight weeks after joining the league and just carried on setting targets for myself.
“It’s become more than just running; it’s about how far I can push myself because I spent 39 years sitting on my bum!”
He has also dramatically changed his diet, swapping takeaways and cheeseburgers for beans on toast and home cooked dinners.
He said: “Since losing weight my whole life has changed beyond all recognition.
“Having spent my whole life being told no you can’t, suddenly I can! Little things like being able to buy a Next suit off the peg and clothes from Superdry! My wedding ring dropped four sizes and I’ve never had this much energy.”
To sponsor Chris, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-brudenell11