A SUPER slimmer who shed 15 stone will brave the cold of Wednesday’s Boxing Day Dip as he prepares for an Arctic survival challenge in 2013.
Anthony Hughes, of Seaham, is taking part in the annual Seaburn fund-raiser as a warm-up before he heads to the sub-zero location in March.
The 27-year-old, who once weighed in at a whopping 34 stone is now just over two stones heavier than his target weight for the Arctic challenge of 17st 2lbs.
Anthony, who works at EDF Energy’s customer services centre at Doxford Business Park, in Sunderland, signed up for the challenge through the energy company to help staff fund-raising to generate cash for the firm’s official charity partner, ParalympicsGB.
Anthony has also set himself a personal challenge to lose one pound of fat for every £10 of the £2,400 minimum sponsorship needed to take part in the challenge.
“At my heaviest, I couldn’t have dreamed about doing something like this and for extra motivation I decided to link the fundraising with a weight-loss target,” said Anthony.
“I’m working really hard training.
“I go to the Armageddon Fit bootcamp in Southwick and do a lot of my cardio training in the gym at work.”
After struggling to lose weight in the past, Anthony decided to change his lifestyle and get fit when his uncle died at the age of 51 due to obesity-related illness.
Just over two years ago, Anthony began his weight-loss journey and shifted 1.5 stone before joining the bootcamp the following January, where he lost another 5.5 stones in six months.
In July 2011, he had gastric bypass surgery and through continuing boot camp sessions, has managed to lose another 8.5 stones.
Anthony added: “My friends and family did ask why I wanted to go ahead with the gastric bypass when I was doing so well with the weight loss.
“But the bypass is a way of making sure I will never go back to how I was.
“I’d been on the waiting list for the operation. Losing some of my weight meant I reduced the risk of any complications in surgery.
“By no means has the weight loss been down to the bypass. I’ve continued to exercise and that’s been the main driver.”
This year, Anthony has already raised the £2,400 needed for the Arctic challenge but is continuing his fund-raising to collect as much as possible for ParalympicsGB.
Earlier this year, he ran the Great North Run with his sister Coleen, who also works at EDF Energy, with the pair completing the run together in 2 hours 51 minutes.