An unflattering picture and an ex-girlfriend’s dogs helped a man who binged on takeaways to shed 122 pounds.
Mark McCann had hit nearly 27 stone when he decided enough was enough and became the only male at his local Weight Watchers group in Werrington.
The 37-year-old who wore clothes which were up to 6XL was shocked at how he looked when he saw a photo taken by partner Sharon Law during a trip to the New Forest in Hampshire which left him determined to slim down.
So Mark decided to try out Weight Watchers in the Hodgson Community Centre, Hodgson Avenue, a place he knew about from walking his ex-partner’s dogs.
And despite a massive culture shock which saw him ditch fast food for crumpets, chicken, wholemeal pasta and vegetables, Mark of Cranemore, Werrington, battled through a tough start to become a much leaner and more confident person .
He said: “I felt really awkward as I was the only guy here, but it’s one of the best things I ever did.
“The first month was a nightmare but I kept doing it and when I saw the weight coming down and people tell you they notice you just go with it.”
Mark said he had always been a big man but did not think he needed to lose weight until he saw the unflattering photo of himself.
He would go every morning to his mum’s for a fry-up before tucking into toasted sandwiches, takeaways, crisps and coke. “It got to the point where people at work would ask, ‘Mark, would you finish mine off’?” he said.
His unhealthy diet even prompted a nurse to tell him he would be dead by the time he was 30, and because of his low confidence he would stand at the back of trains rather than next to someone so as not to make them uncomfortable.
But that is all a thing of the past even if he is determined to move down from seventeen-and-a-half to 16 stone in the future.
Mark, who answers the phones at Millfield Autoparts in Lincoln Road, added: “I can’t explain the difference. I can look in mirrors where before I could not.
“In my head I’m still a fat guy but I do look different.”
Mark is not the only man to attend his Weight Watchers group now, and group leader Jean Fuller said there has been a transformation since he attended his first meeting in March 2014.
She said: “He is a completely different person. If you see the photos it’s absolutely amazing. You look and think, ‘is that really the same person’? It’s that drastic.”
Jean, who leads a Thursday lunchtime meeting at the Parkway Sports and Social Club in Maskew Avenue, is also encouraging other men to give Weight Watchers a go - “If they are not sure if it’s for them they can come along for free.”