Martin Sloan admits he was one of life's "wishful" dieters by the time his weight had increased to nearly 18 stone.
Martin (49), from Clontarf, Dublin, had lost his father to heart disease and was taking statins for many years after he himself was diagnosed with high cholesterol.
But thanks to overhauling his lifestyle, losing more than five stone and rediscovering exercise, he is now medication-free.
"I work in the construction industry, but my job is office-based and sedentary," he said.
"The stones piled up. I would have two dinners in the day – the first in the work canteen would nearly always include a plate of chips."
Martin's Finnish-born wife Jaana is a good baker, and he was partial to grazing on some of the sweet treats in the house for the couple's two young children.
"Jaana is very good at baking cakes and my fondness for them grew," said Martin.
"It was Jaana who urged me to do something about my health. She had previously joined Weight Watchers and suggested I try it out.
"I knew I had to make changes. I gave up cigarettes 10 years ago, but I still needed to cop myself on and get in shape." He felt daunted going to his first Weight Watchers class, but was relieved to see other men there.
Martin was still taking the statin at that point, but was concerned at a side-effect that showed he had elevated liver function.
"It was not at a serious level, but doctors linked it to the medication," he said. He soon began substituting his huge bowl of breakfast cereal for a more modest portion and having fruit for his mid-morning snack instead of a large scone and butter.
Instead of succumbing to the canteen chips, he brought his own lunch to work, and Jaana cooked healthy dinners in the evening.
"The Weight Watchers recipes are very tasty," said Martin, who added that one of the revelations was realising how enormous were the portion sizes he previously consumed.
He started walking and this progressed to a jog – and later a run – which speeded up the weight loss.
And he still managed a few cans of beer at weekends.
His weight dropped to 12 stone 8 lbs and his cholesterol also fell. He went off the statins a few months before returning to his doctor.
"I was also on other medication for heartburn, but I'm off both of them now," he said.
Newly fashion-conscious, Martin has even invested in Calvin Klein jeans.
"I credit my wife with the discipline – it's thanks to Jaana that I'm back to being healthy and medication-free," he said.