A TUBBY taxi driver who shed almost half his body weight after his marriage broke down is limbering up to run two marathons.
Stephen Maloney, 38, tipped the scales at 21 stone but a new diet and intensive training regime left him half the man he used to be.
The father-of-one managed to lose more than eight stone in six months after a change in lifestyle and eating habits saw him become an avid jogger.
After ten years of poor diet and no exercise, Mr Maloney’s weight ballooned. But he was inspired by the positive results of a friend’s slimming regime and finally launched into a health kick following the collapse of his marriage.
Now, the slender Parkhead resident is aiming to complete the London and Edinburgh marathons in 2013.
He said: “When I divorced from my wife, I was 21 stone. I felt and looked a state. I was very unhappy with my size and appearance. I remember thinking ‘I’m not going to get a lot of romance looking like this’, but when I began training and losing the weight women began noticing me more.
“I started dieting on the Cambridge Weight Plan and after losing a few stone, I took up spinning at LifesCycle in Newhaven Road, meeting the most inspiring people ever.”
Last January, he joined Edinburgh Running Club, where he received coaching in endurance running before launching into middle-distance races.
“I did a 10K race,” he said. “I was utterly destroyed after it, though, and had to lie on the couch for about six hours, but I was so chuffed.”
After months of careful training, Mr Maloney signed up for the Edinburgh Marathon, completing the course in four-and-a-half hours.
“Running the marathon was just surreal,” he said. “I remember crossing the finish line with my friend, Gillian, after running the last few miles together. It was the best feeling in the world.
“My friends have been amazed by my turnaround and how much weight I have lost. This has been a really positive time in my life.”
Mr Maloney has now inspired his daughter, Lucy, to join Harmeny Athletic Club with aspirations to be a professional athlete. He said: “Lucy is part of what motivates me to keep going because when you have kids you don’t want to die young.”
• Entries are open now for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival weekend taking place on May 25 and 26, which includes the classic 26.2-mile race as well as a marathon team relay, half marathon, 10K, 5K, two popular junior races and a mascot race.
IT’S BEEN A FARE OLD EFFORT TO LOSE THE POUNDS . .
FOR Stephen, shedding the pounds has not come without pain. After a decade of no exercise, he now sticks to a tough regime that sees him push his body on different nights throughout the week.
Monday is spin-cycle night, with punishing sessions of up to an hour.
On Tuesday and Thursday, he goes on five-mile jogs – warm-ups for a much longer 12-mile run on Sunday.
Previously, Stephen breakfasted on butter-lathered bacon rolls before heading out in the taxi, where he would snack on chocolate bars and bags of crisps. Dinner was often a takeaway from a Chinese or Indian restaurant.
Today, he starts the day with a bowl of porridge and limits himself to low-calorie soup and a roll for lunch.
Dinner is now stir-fries accompanied by a “big pile of vegetables”.