Sunday 22 April 2018

Man (24) now feels 'normal' after shedding 25 stone

Oliver Bales with a cardboard cutout of his former self Photo: PA
Oliver Bales with a cardboard cutout of his former self Photo: PA

Ben Mitchell

A man has said he feels "normal" for the first time in his life after losing 25 stone and dropping 30 inches from his waistline.

Oliver Bales (24), from Portsmouth, Hampshire, said he had been bullied about his weight - which at his heaviest reached nearly 39 stone - throughout his school and university life.

He said he was unable to stand for long periods without being in pain, had high blood pressure and could not fit on seats on public transport and in lecture theatres at university.

After being inspired by a friend's weight loss on social media, Mr Bales turned to Slimming World, which has now crowned him its Greatest Loser 2016.

He said his weight became a significant problem as he reached his teenage years.

"While I have some amazing memories from my childhood, I sometimes look back and wish I could have the chance to re-do it," he said.

"I used to feel like people were always comparing me to other children my age, and feeling like 'the fat, ugly one' made me angry and upset.

"As time went on, I got bigger and that's when the bullying started."

"Mr Bales, originally from Ipswich, Suffolk, lost a total of 25st and 0.5lb, taking him to 13st 13lb.

He said: "Being overweight has affected my entire life - until now. I finally know what it's like not to feel like an outcast, to be able to walk down the street without people laughing, pointing or calling you names, to not take up two seats on a train, to not be in constant pain.

Irish Independent

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