By Kim Reader
A 34-stone man mountain who binged on £5,000 of takeaways a year has shared intimate photos of how his body has changed after losing more than 14 stone in just ten months.
Jack Towers, 21, piled on the pounds after spending his teens gorging on secret stashes of crisps, chocolate and three takeaways a week – eating more than 7,000 calories a day.
The XXXXXXL public health advisor, who earned the nicknames ‘chubster’ and ‘fat Jack’, felt twice his age and walking just a few yards from his home to car would leave his knees and feet aching.
But after having to leave a cinema date with his girlfriend Lauren Gatehouse, 20, because he didn’t fit in the seat and a diabetes warning from doctors, Jack decided it was time for a change.
Determined to get his life back, 5ft 11ins Jack swapped scoffing on fast food and chocolate for healthy snacks and home-cooking – and still gets to enjoy a fry up every morning for breakfast.
In just 10 months, Jack has shed a staggering 14st 2lbs and feeling 20 years younger has inspired him to share revealing snaps of his weight loss progress.
Jack, of Ashford, Kent, said: “I have struggled with my weight ever since I was a kid. I was always a really bad secret eater.
“I would hide in my room with full jars of chocolate spread and big bags of crisps and scoff the lot before my mum and dad came home from work.
“When I started working and got a car things just got worse. My eating completely spiralled out of control.
“I used my car as a place to stash cakes, chocolate, crisps and biscuits and I’d drive to McDonald’s and get food before going home for dinner.
“Sitting at a desk all day for work meant the only exercise I was getting was walking from my apartment to my car and from my car to my office but my knees and feet still ached all time. It was awful.
“Simple things like putting on my socks and shoes became such a struggle and just walking up a few steps would leave me so out of breath. I felt 20 years older than I was.
“I was just getting bigger and bigger but every time I didn’t fit into my clothes I would just buy new stuff without thinking. It was a real ‘ignorance is bliss’ situation.
“But then just before Christmas last year, I went to watch Christmas Office Party with Lauren. I walked ahead of her into the cinema and realised I didn’t fit into the seat.
“I knew she would have been understanding but I was so embarrassed. I told her that I felt sick. I even went to the toilet and pretended to be sick so she would agree to go home.
“Then just days later, I went to the doctor and they told me I was on the verge of being prediabetic. To hear that at just 20 years old was a massive shock.
“I made a joke to the doctor. I told her I’d come back in six months and she wouldn’t recognise me. And that was it, I stuck to my word.
“I cook everything at home now and the weight has just dropped off. I’ve got so much more energy and confidence. I really feel like I’ve got my life back.
“I think I’m one of the youngest people to lose as much weight as I have done. Obesity in young people is such a growing problem so I really want to share my story and hopefully show other people they can do it too.”
Secret eater Jack, who weighed 33st 12lbs at his biggest, spent his first few years of secondary school getting bullied for being overweight.
In a bid to stop to the cruel name calling, Jack decided to imitate the behaviour of his bullies turning him into someone he is disappointed to recall.
But successfully putting an end to the bullying made teenage Jack think his expanding waistline was no longer a problem and his eating spiralled further out of control into adulthood.
Not only was Jack on the verge of prediabetes, but the NHS worker had also started to suffer from extreme ear infections – one so severe he was hospitalised for a week – due to his unhealthy diet.
His health was not the only thing to deteriorate as a result of his obesity as Jack’s bulky body also meant he suffered from crippling insecurities – and it took him six months to let his girlfriend Lauren see him naked.
But after joining Slimming World in mid-January this year, Jack has undergone a startling transformation and slimmed down to 19st 10lbs.
As well as eliminating fatty foods and sweet snacks, Jack has cut out alcohol and slowly taken up exercise, starting with just walking up stairs and working his way up to three hours of cardio a week.
Thanks to his new svelte figure, Jack’s blood sugar levels are back to normal and his newfound confidence and energy has even strengthened his relationship with Lauren.
Jack said: “I was bullied in school and called all the usual cruel names. Instead of losing weight, I decided I would start imitating the bullies to try to fit in a bit more.
“It worked and the bullying stopped but I just turned into a bit of an idiot. It was this weird rebellion and I didn’t really like who I had become.
“Because they stopped calling me names, I then thought my weight didn’t matter. So I tried to embrace it and pretend it didn’t bother me.
“I got all these nicknames like ‘fat Jack’, ‘chubster’, ‘big man’ and ‘Big Towers’ and I would just laugh them off as if I liked them but they really hurt.
“It made me really insecure and it took me a long time to let myself be intimate and comfortable with Lauren.
“For six months of our relationship I was too ashamed to take my clothes off but she showed me that she loved me no matter what.
“My weight never bothered her and she has been so supportive since I joined Slimming World.
“Losing weight has given me so much more energy that I feel like I can put more effort into our relationship now. We can go out and do things and I don’t need to worry about not fitting into cinema seats.
“I’m so much more confident and I’m not keeping secrets from her about my eating. It’s definitely strengthened our relationship.”
JACK’S DAILY DIET BEFORE:
BREAKFAST: Big bowl of Coco Pops with semi-skimmed milk (350 calories) and two mini Milky Ways (380 calories)
SNACK: Jumbo sausage roll (456 calories) and five chocolate cupcakes (820 calories)
LUNCH: Triple sausage, bacon and egg sandwich (693 calories), a bag of crisps (130 calories), three Mars bars (780 calories)
SNACK: Large McDonald’s Big Tasty meal (1,300 calories) and a double cheeseburger (282 calories)
DINNER: Large fish and chips (838 calories) with onion rings (240 calories) and breaded garlic mushrooms (208 calories)
SNACK: An entire trifle (828 calories)
DRINKS: 2 litres of Pepsi Max (1 calorie)
TOTAL CALORIES: 7,306
JACK’S DAILY DIET NOW:
BREAKFAST: Fried egg with Fry Light (75 calories), three grilled tomatoes (54 calories), 4 slice of turkey bacon grilled (136 calories), button mushrooms in Fry Light (34 calories)
LUNCH: Spring onion and cucumber salad (84 calories) with one tablespoon of extra light mayonnaise (11 calories) and grilled Piri Piri chicken pieces (234 calories)
SNACK: Jelly pot (10 calories)
DINNER: Grilled rump steak with all the fat removed (177 calories) with mushrooms in Fry Light (34 calories), a grilled tomato (18 calories), steamed asparagus (24 calories) and steamed broccoli (54 calories)
DRINKS: 3 – 4 litres of water (0 calories)
TOTAL CALORIES: 945 calories