A man lost a remarkable 140 lbs in order to land his dream job as a personal trainer.
Tom O’Brien managed to shed 10 stones in weight – almost half of the 24st that he previously tipped the scales at – in order to gain the confidence to start dating.
And the 31-year-old is now set to marry his fiancee Shannah Lennox, 28, in three weeks time.
Asked about the key to his weight loss success, Tom said that a discounted gym membership referral from NHS Greater Glasgow saved his life after he had previously binged on takeaways and packets of doughnuts.
The Daily Record reported the fitness fanatic told how he was diagnosed with a fatty liver at the age of 24 which resulted in his GP sending him to Glasgow Club via the Live Active Scheme.
Tom, who now weighs 14 stone, told how he had now come full circle after qualifying as a PT this year and is now working at the same gym that saved him.
He said: “I have Asperger’s Syndrome and had some other health issues in the past but I grew up very obese. High school was a tough time for me so I always turned to binge eating.
“I tried to lose weight before but I never really took it seriously. When my mother died, I was 21 and I definitely lost all hope.
“In 2015, I weighed around 24 stone and I was on my way to getting diabetes. I was struggling with back pain and other problems like that.
“I had a blood test and they found liver cells in my blood which meant I had a fatty liver.
“Visceral fat was surrounding my liver and causing scarring which was putting me at risk of getting diabetes, hepatitis, cirrhosis and other things.
“My parents always told me to listen to doctors because they’ve always helped me with my Asperger’s. My GP referred me to Glasgow Club to help me lose weight and eventually I managed to lose 10 stone.
“You get a concession so it’s much cheaper to go to the gym and swimming which was a big bonus for me. I started with the gym and then did swimming too because I really enjoyed it as a child.
“I decided to go back to college at 25 to study fitness and now I’m a PT for Glasgow Club. It completely saved my life. If I didn’t lose the weight, I’d definitely have diabetes, maybe even heart problems.”
Describing a typical day before his weight loss, Tom explained: “I had no job so I wouldn’t really be doing anything. Just living off state welfare, which I personally was never comfortable with.
“I would probably skip breakfast after sleeping in and then have a big lunch followed by unhealthy snacks.
“A four pack of doughnuts from the supermarket was my guilty pleasure and a two litre bottle of full fat Irn Bru. Then I’d have a takeaway and stuff like that.
“Now, I get up early and have some Weetabix with a cup of coffee. I walk to work to get the steps in and sometimes have fruit for lunch and a sensible meal where I keep track of all my calories for the day and drink lots of water.
“By keeping track of my calories, I can treat myself to the food that makes me happy. Losing weight gave me the confidence to find work and go to college. Now I’ve actually met my lady love and I’m getting married in three weeks.”
He added: “It’s not as impossible as it may seem to be. You don’t have to give up all the things you love and that make you happy. You can be healthy and still treat yourself to a Burger King or whatever.
“But it’s all about not going overboard. If food makes you happy and that’s your guilty pleasure, there’s definitely worse things out there.”