A man who has seen an incredible 21st (136kg) weight loss has shared the secrets behind his unbelievable body transformation.
Jonathan Hodgson, 36, an electrician, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, weighed 40st (254kg) at his heaviest and says he struggled with his size his entire life.
"I was always a big kid," he explains. "You kind of roll with it after a while and being a big guy eventually became a persona for me."
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Hodgson, who now weighs 18st 10lb (119kg), says that while he did have some success in losing weight when he was 21 – an amount he estimates to be around 8st (51kg) – he ended up putting it all back on and more.
The turning point came in September 2020 when he contacted Pete Shaw, the owner of Barnsley Barbell, who had inspired him during lockdown with his daily, motivational fitness videos.
"I remember making my tea in my kitchen and watching one of his fitness boot camp videos," he says of the videos.
"My wife, who has always been really supportive and never fat-shamed me, came into the kitchen and said: 'Why are you watching these videos, but you're not you're not doing anything with it?' "I remember saying to her: 'I'll sort it out one day.'"
But it took Hodgson months to pluck up the courage to message Shaw for guidance. "As a man, it's not always easy to ask for help," he explains.
That changed when Hodgson spotted that the gym had gone live on social media with a final call out for a 28-day boot camp.
The request inspired him to write a message that he says he ended up sending by accident.
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"When I got a reply from Pete, saying he could guarantee results, it was like a weight had been taken off my shoulders," he admits. "So I did the 28-day programme, and I never looked back.
"I was getting good results, which helped spur me on. I just totally changed."
Hodgson believes stumbling across the online fitness videos during lockdown were the catalyst he needed to change his lifestyle.
"My mum offered to pay for a gastric band," he says of life before his weight loss. "But because I'd manage to lose a lot of weight before, I knew I had it in me to do it naturally."
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The dad, who has two children aged seven and eight, believes that the key to him losing and keeping off the pounds was being held accountable by another person who wasn't a friend or a family member.
"I feel like it was fate for me to meet this guide because my family, friends, wife, anybody close to me, I would have just ignored them," he explains.
Hodgson says his life has now completely transformed, with him now able to push his body to new limits and visiting the gym five days a week.
Previously, he says he struggled with simple tasks like walking and would get out of breath just going up stairs.
His transformation has impacted other areas of his life in a positive way too.
"Now I've been able to grow my business as I can move about and take on more jobs," he said of his work as an electrician.
"I've also become a better dad, a better husband, and a better family man."
While Hodgson says he previously felt ashamed of having once weighed 40st, he is now happy to share his story and hopes it may help inspire others.
The next step in his weight loss journey is surgery to remove his excess skin, which he has booked for next March.
For anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps Hodgson has some key advice: "Don't rely on motivation. You need to focus on discipline because motivation comes and goes, whereas discipline stays regardless of whether you're motivated.
"Whatever you're wanting to do, you'll achieve it if you have the right mindset."
Additional reporting Caters.
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