A DEVOTED dad who lost six stones in just over a year has revealed he shed the pounds so he could go on rollercoasters with his young son.
John Murphy, from Bonnyrigg, has been named Portobello Slimming World’s Man of the Year after dropping from 23st to 17st.
And today the father-of-two revealed his primary motivation for shifting the weight had been an upcoming family holiday to Disneyland Paris with nine-year-old son Reece and daughter Megan, three.
John, 43, was previously too overweight to be strapped into theme park rides, with a trip to Flamingo Land in Scarborough seven years ago marred by his inability to pull the security bars over him.
And a few years after that he was left red-faced again when he had to be given a seatbelt extension on-board a flight to Tenerife.
But now the NHS resource co-ordinator has turned his life around – and dropped eight inches from his waist size in the process.
He said he had been left “stunned” by the success of his weight loss, and admitted wife Karen was “extremely pleased” when old clothes started to become too big for him as he continued to slim down.
“My friends and family can’t believe how much weight I’ve lost since last January,” he said.
“My wife had been nagging me to lose weight. My dad passed away last July and I had to buy a new suit for that as my old one didn’t fit me – but since then, that suit is now too big.
“My wife was extremely pleased about it, and so was I – I was stunned. I knew I had been losing weight, but not to that extent. But I’m trying not to get too big headed about it.
“It’s because we are going on holiday and my son is now of an age when he wants to go to theme parks and I just wanted to make sure I get on the rides. That was the driving factor.
“I’ve had previous experiences before with my size stopping me getting on. It was when my son was a lot younger. It was the ride where you all sit in a row and it shoots you up into the air, and the safety belt wouldn’t fit around my stomach.
“It’s all about the wee things. They just mount up and you kind of deny it’s happening. I’ve always fought with my weight. It’s been a constant battle, up and down.”
He added: “To see the weight loss – to lose eight inches off my waist in a year – has been absolutely phenomenal.”
John also paid tribute to the “fantastic support” of his Slimming World class leader Lynda Goodfellow.
He said: “Lynda has been a fantastic support ever since I joined. She looks after her members – if you miss a couple of weeks, she will be on the phone to make sure you’re OK.
“It’s like a big family – we all have a good laugh and good banter. That makes all the difference and that’s why I try to give back as much as I can because they’ve given me a lot.”
Lynda insisted John was a “great inspiration”, adding: “It was really just because he was trying to be a good dad to his kids and his family.”