Tipping in at just under 500lbs, Scarborough father of four Russell Robinson was eating his way towards an early grave.
But now he’s fighting fit and ready to take on the world after shedding a whopping 22 stone after going under the knife for an operation that he claims has saved his life.
Caterer Mr Robinson, 43, of Newlands Park Avenue, underwent a gastric band operation in Leeds after finally deciding enough was enough.
He had turned to food to cope following his divorce, regularly scoffing mountains of fatty treats and greasy takeaways, which resulted in his weight spiralling out of control.
“My life was horrible,” admits Mr Robinson, who suffered from ill health brought on by his unhealthy lifestyle.
He was diagnosed with diabetes and suffered severe sleep apnea, leg ulcers and hypertension, and then lost his job – causing him to sink into a deep depression.
“My relationship had ended, I missed my kids and I ate comfort foods like burgers, pizza, Chinese takeaways and chocolate. I stopped going out and lost interest in any hobbies.”
His weight rose to 35.6 stone, and his BMI was critically high – 72.9.
Diets were not working, and so he asked his GP for the operation.
Russell’s GP deemed him a suitable candidate and was able to secure NHS funding for the operation in Leeds, which took place in February 2011.
The operation, which shrinks the size of the stomach, worked, as the weight started falling off him, as much as two stone a week at one point.
The results have staggered doctors, and is the greatest to date for the Spire Leeds Hospital.
“It saved my life, no question,” he said.
“I feel 100 per cent better, and it’s given me a new lease of life.
“I’m doing things that once I could only dream about doing.”
“I know what to eat and am now more careful about the choice of food I eat. My diet is much healthier, more fruit, high fibre and wholegrain foods.”
He now tips the scales at a trim 13.5 stone. Having lost 90 per cent of his excess weight, he has now stabilised. His BMI has dropped to 29 and his waist measurement from 58” to 32”, and has a new partner, who he met on New Year’s Eve and hopes to move in with.