A young dad has lost an astonishing 10 stone after he was left feeling ashamed when he could not fit on an Alton Towers’ ride.
Blake Lewis’ was humiliated when he was told he could not go on the Staffordshire theme park ride as the safety bar would not fit over his bulging stomach.
After his daughter Sophie was left distraught distraught, the 33-year-old vowed to fight the flab the very next day and immediately ditched sweets and snacks and switched to healthy meals instead.
And 18 months on, Blake now dropped from 23 stone to a much trimmer 12-and-half stone – losing a staggering 10-and-half stones.
Incredibly, Blake battled the bulge on his own through willpower alone.
He told BurtonLive: “I had been fretting about losing weight for ages ever since the children were born but I never had the willpower.
“Then we went to Alton Towers for my son [Toby’s] birthday.
“I got the Cbeebies ride Go Jetters. My daughter was excited to get on it with me. But I was too big for the bar to go down.
“When it didn’t go down I just felt shame and embarrassment.
“We had to get off the ride for health and safety.
“My daughter was upset. She was excited to get on and ride and she couldn’t. My wife went on with her after she had gone on with my son.
“The next day I was Googling diet ideas. It was a wake-up call.
“I chucked out my sweets and rolls.”
The scales in his bathroom revealed he had reached 23-stone, three stone more than he originally thought.
Care assistant Blake, from Church Gresley, added: “I never really had lunch because I worked nights, so I would have a litre bottle of full fat pop and big bags of crisps and pizza.”
But he ditched his old habits and turned to a milkshake called Slender Blend, moving on to day shifts soon afterwards.
He said: “I would have one milkshake for breakfast and it is like two meals, so then in the evening I would have a piece of meat with vegetables.
“I wanted to get a BMI target that was normal. I was on obese class 3.
“To start with I was hungry because I was having three smaller healthy meals but the more and more weight I lost the more determined I was not to snack.
“My heartburn went away within three months.
“Physically I noticed a change within six months when I looked at photos and I was like, ‘wow is that really me’?
“I used to struggle with the stairs on a night shift and I would get out of breath, but now I can run up three flights of stairs and not feel a thing.
“I can run around with my children for a lot longer.
“Everyone’s reaction has been brilliant.
“I still feel in control to maintain the weight and I know what I can do.”
And is there any advice he can offer to those hoping to lose the weight?
He said: “A few friends have been asking how I did it.
“You have got to make sure you a definitely ready to do it. If you are not able to do it then you won’t do it.
“You have got to know you are 100 per cent ready to go for it and stick to it.”
“One of the best things that got me through it was meal prepping. I always prepped my meals for the week ahead so that I could control my portion sizes and what I was eating for the whole week.
“I just used to Google healthy recipe ideas to get my meals.
“I also had a few healthy eating apps on my phone – Change for Life Smart Recipes app was my favourite – the sausage and bean casserole was lovely.
“The reason meal prepping is so important is because you know what you are going to eat every day without having to worry about it.
“Because if you leave to the last minute to make your meal then you will end up putting less thought into it and that’s when you will end up having something unhealthy and high in calories.”