Bus driver Ken Brown has turned the corner in his battle to lose weight – by shedding 6½ stone in just eight months.
Ken, 46, of Belsay Avenue, South Shields, shaped up after his size prevented him fitting into a theme park ride.
He had also found himself increasingly tired and lethargic due to his poor diet and sitting-down job.
The real change came when his daughter Aimee, now 12, told him she was worried about his health.
Ken is now in trim after dropping from over 18st to just 11st 9lbs and losing 14 inches on his waist.
He is even launching his own slimming group.
He said: “The turning point came when I took Aimee to a theme park and the safety guard failed to shut.
“I was told I was too big for the ride. I was embarrassed, and it really spoilt my day. I knew then I had to change my life.
“Deep down I’d been unhappy with my weight for some time, but it took me a long time to face up to it.
“Aimee also told me that she was worried about the size of my tummy.”
Ken, who lost weight through a Slimming World group in South Shields, added: “When I did admit to myself that I wanted to lose weight I still didn’t want to ask for help.
“I’ve realised that far from being weak, asking for help takes strength of character.
“Getting support to make changes has given me a sense of confidence that is benefiting every aspect of my life.
“It was nerve-wracking walking through those doors for the first time, but I wasn’t the only man there and everyone was so supportive.
“I’m so proud I can now do things as a dad that just wasn’t an option, like take my daughter swimming.
“She’s so happy she has her dad back.”
Ken launches his Slimming World group on Wednesday, November 1, with sessions taking place at 9am and 11am weekly at The Sutton Trust, Prince Edward Road, South Shields.
Anyone interested can call into his group or telephone him on 07817 794 944.