Nathan Ranklin would think nothing of drinking three bottles of vodka a night and spending £40 on a takeaway for himself.
His doctor had warned him he wouldn’t reach 30 if he carried on his unhealthy lifestyle, but it was only when a work colleague reached out to him that Nathan decided to change his life.
Now he’s shed an incredible 18st 7lbs and has been crowned Man of the Year in our annual Slimmer Awards.
“I have lost half the man I was but gained back the real me,” said Nathan.
His weight gain began in childhood, where he was nicknamed Biggie.
“I had always been the fat friend and had got used to being called Biggie,” he said.
“But as I grew older and my friends were going go karting, to theme parks and enjoying supercar driving experiences, I shut myself away and refused to join them, knowing I would exceed the weight restrictions.”
Even when his doctor told him he wouldn’t reach 30 if he carried on, Nathan ignored the advice.
“I remember going to see my doctor when I was 14 and he said if I didn’t change my eating habits, I wouldn’t be here at 30. I just turned a blind eye; food was my only enjoyment.
“By the time I was 20, I was struggling to breathe at night and barely slept. I couldn’t concentrate on work and neglected friends or family. Eventually the doctor said I was going to need help sleeping at night otherwise my body would shut down and I’d die in my sleep due to pressure on my chest.
“I needed a sleep apnoea machine, but the doctor also said I needed to lose weight.”
Nathan played up to his image of being a party guy and went on holidays with his friends where he would be the life and soul. But inside he was living a lie.
“I remember the humiliation of going on holiday with friends and having to wear an extension belt. On one flight a lady refused to sit next to me saying that I would crush her. Obviously, that really hurt and I cried in my room that night.”
It wasn’t until a work colleague approached him and said the immortal words ‘I want to change your life’ that Nathan’s road to a new life began in earnest.
“By the time I hit 29, my drinking and food addiction was out of control. It was only by coincidence that I was put on a training course, when I bumped into a colleague of mine, Debbie Adams, who was also a Consultant with The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.
“She told me she wanted to change my life and I agreed to visit her. I was so upset when I stood on the scales and they clearly showed I was 36 stones nine pounds. Debbie said not to worry, that she would be there every step of the way to support me.
“Don’t get me wrong it was hard at the beginning. But after a week of being on Plan, I’d lost 17lbs. I remember dancing around the room with Debbie.”
Nathan said he used social media to keep himself focused and motivated as well, vlogging his weight loss journey.
“After 12 months, on my 30th birthday, I weighed 18 stone lighter. I could bend down, tie my shoelaces up, walk into a shop and buy clothes right off the rack. I could ride my bike after 13 years and, the best thing of all, I could stop using the breathing machine at night.
“My life has changed completely for the better and I now have a bright future ahead of me. I’ve joined Debbie’s team as a Consultant. I wanted to help others and inspire people to change. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless. The 1:1 Diet saved my life and people are now calling me a new name - Slender.”
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