A man has completely overhauled his lifestyle and lost as many as 10 stones in less than a year thanks to a bet with a colleague.
Phil Hulton literally weighed a massive 25-stone and ate fast food almost every day of the week.
But the IT manager from Bridgend, west of Cardiff, decided to turn his life to work after a challenge from a buddy – who happened to be a personal trainer too, as Wales Online reports.
His friend challenged him to lose three stones in the same number of months, but Phil went on to completely change his life – dropping 10 stones in just 11 months by going to the gym, lifting weights and consumed lean, healthy food.
Phil's weight rose when he left for regular meals as a teenager and started eating whenever he was hungry.
Breakfast with cheese and ham sandwiches, followed by endless bars of chocolate, pies and up to two liters of tangy pop and sugary energy drinks every day contributed to a quick weight gain and soon he wore a 44ins size waist.
In a desperate attempt to humiliate himself, Phil would turn to fat-burning tablets and unrealistic cardio sessions as soon as he managed to move three stones.
But in the following months he stacked the weight again – plus two more stones.
After a shopping trip to Cardiff on a weekend towards the end of 2015, Phil, now 25, was devastated and embarrassed when he did not find a store that would top a size XXXL that would suit him.
When he talked about the scenario at work the following week, a friend challenged him to change his life when he hired him to lose three stones in just three months.
Phil said, "Although I had tried – and failed – to postpone most of my weight before, this time something seemed to be clanking me.
"I've spent some time reading and watching YouTube videos about eating, exercising, and even thinking, and have learned that, generally speaking, if you can stay with something for three months, you're much more likely to stay.
"That became my goal, and instead of spending countless hours on the cardio machines in the gym, I started walking with friends who knew what they were doing, so I discovered my love of weight lifting."
Almost overnight, Phil decided to completely cut bread, dairy and sugary sauces like ketchup and instead eat three healthy and nutritious meals a day.
He said, "While I focused solely on losing weight, there was a protein shake and a banana for breakfast, followed by a chicken salad for lunch and something like a jacket potato with salad and tuna or a meager steak for dinner at least three liters of water a day.
"Now I've put my focus on building muscle and getting fit, I'm a bit more flexible with my diet – I have a bowl of cereal for breakfast and every Friday evening I'll spoil myself with my favorite pizza to go."
Phil said, "I knew right away that if I really wanted to achieve my goals, I would have to be very strict with myself, so I started preparing my meals separately for my parents."
Phil added, "I feel like my life is easier now, once I've walked up the stairs, I would not mind running it up and down – it's easier to move in general.
"I am also more self-confident and believe in myself and my goals, and I am a happier person.
"My parents find it hard to believe that I was that tall, and I have to dig up the old photos to remind them of the difference.
"I switched my pizza habit to a six times a week gym habit four times a week, but because I lost so much weight, I was left with a lot of excess skin around my stomach.
"I've planned to operate on him later this year, and then I'll really be able to start enjoying my slimmer look and focus on doing more."