A Northern Irish man completely changed his life after losing weight at the bottom of the sea.
Peter Large, of Carrickfergus, knew everything had to be kept under control after he struggled to tie his shoelaces without difficulty breathing.
The 27-year-old weighed 23 stone and was wearing a lot of clothes to try to hide it, which he said didn’t work, but now he’s another guy, losing seven stones a year.
“I wasn’t happy at all and hated my looks and my feelings,” she said.
“When I was in Edinburgh in 2019, I was climbing the Royal Mile, which was mostly uphill and paved, and as you can imagine, it was tough climbing 23 stones on a hill. A man my age shouldn’t stop catching his breath as he climbed the hill.
“It sounds silly, but one morning while I was training at work, I tied my shoelaces and grabbed my head, and when I was done, I was breathing. Then I realized I had to. At least trying to control my weight, so I signed up for a local weight loss course at Downshire Church.
Speaking on Belfast Live, Peter advisor Doreen Wilson said she’s noticed big changes in Peter that aren’t just about weight.
Peter lost seven stones in one year and then lost another and a half with the help of Doreen and their community in the weekly group.
Doreen said: “He joined our group in November 2019 and joined us after realizing that weight loss is essential to better health. I shed just one stone in the first five weeks and appeared fully in improving food with amazing results. He knew he didn’t. Without doing anything We must make our plan to help him achieve his results.
“When the shutdown occurred in March 2020, Peter lost a total of three stones, but was very determined not to give up. We moved to virtual service and Peter lost seven stones by November 2020.
Peter grew up from a very shy young man in the group, quite confident and inspiring the other members every week. He has won many awards, including Man of the Year 2021 and Biggest Loser 2021 and 2022. We are very proud of his journey.”
While she was excited about her progress, Peter says the challenge is getting used to what she looks like today.
He says people are now telling him he looks happier, this is a compliment that means the world to those who have had unhealthy relationships with food.
I was heavier than a 23-year-old, and contrary to popular belief, I didn’t hide it very well. I wore big sweaters and jeans that didn’t fit. Looking at the old photos, I realized that I was mistreating myself. I am not happy most of the time.
“It’s completely different now and people are pointing at me very quickly.
“My first “small-scale victory” was walking into a store and buying clothes I couldn’t afford in high school in my fourth year. I went from a 4XL to an L—and my wallet wasn’t thankful or forgiving then!”
“I’m much more mobile than before. Half the time I go up the stairs and enjoy walking the 10km, which I haven’t been able to do yet.
“After losing seven stones, I have more mobility in my joints and my back doesn’t hurt more than half. I am really grateful to the group and I think what I love most is the sense of community it brings.”
“I know many members and look forward to seeing them every week. It’s also great to dedicate an hour a week to improving myself: it’s kind of a therapy for me.”