A teenager has turned his life around after losing eight stone in eight months.
Worried about his future health, 17-year-old James Struthers from Seaburn decided to make a change when the only clothes he could fit into were size XXXL.
He swapped his junk food diet for healthy options on the Slimming World diet plan and began training at Fitness 2000 gym in Roker.
“My family were concerned about me being that size at that age, and I wanted to make a change so that I can be healthier for the rest of my life,” he explained.
Less than a year later, he looks almost unrecognisable from his former self and has gone from 24st 12lbs to 17 stone.
“I’m happier than I’ve been,” said the A Level student. “I feel healthier, fitter and stronger and completely motivated to lose another four stone to reach my target weight.”
James say attending the gym has been a key factor in his weight loss.
He said: “I train about four times a week and it’s made every part of my body feel more alive. I’ve noticed a lot of changes, things like going to the cinema, which I couldn’t do before because I couldn’t fit in the seats.
“I’ve also been taking blood pressure tablets for a number of years because of my weight but it looks like I may be able to come off them soon.”
As well as attending the gym, James attends Slimming World classes at Fulwell Methodist Church.
He said: “Everyone’s really supportive and people have said I’m their inspiration because I’ve lost so much weight, which is amazing.”
Fitness 2000 owner Les Ojugbana said: “This achievement is so inspiring, especially coming from such a young lad in this age of the PlayStation and social media.
“It goes to show what pure willpower, determination and definitive decisions to change your life can get you. I’ve never once heard of him complaining about coming to the gym, he turns up everyday with a refreshing smile on his face.”
•Les is hoping to help more people achieve their weight goals and is offering ten people a chance to win six months’ free gym membership with a training program to kick start their road to fitness. Entrants need to like the Facebook pages ‘powerhouse gym South Shields’ and ‘fitness2000 Sunderland’ and send a message to the page stating why they need this opportunity.
Breakfast - chocolate cereal with full fat milk, biscuits and cereal bars
Lunch - pizza or burger
Tea - pizza or other takeaway foods
Snacks - snack all day on biscuits and cereal bars
Breakfast - fruit and yoghurt
Lunch - lean meat, eggs and vegetables
Tea - fish dish or lean meat with vegetables
Snacks - fruit