Man who weighed 30-stone loses half his body weight

Sabrina Barr

A dad who weighed 30 stone has lost half his body weight by adopting a simple diet change.

Tony Howland is a 43-year-old father of three from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

His diet used to consist of huge, unwholesome meals, leading Howland to gain an unhealthy amount of weight as a result.

“Whether it was a roast dinner, a portion of chips or McDonald’s, it was pure volume and I wasn’t paying any attention to what kind of food it was,” he said.

“I could easily get through five double cheeseburgers.”

Simple, everyday tasks proved too difficult for Howland to handle, with his 58-inch waist preventing him from living his life to the full.

“My life consisted of getting out of bed, getting in the car, sitting in the office, getting back in the car, sitting on the sofa and going to bed,” he said.

When he reached 20 stone, Howland even gave up going on holiday abroad because flying was too uncomfortable.


“Asking for a seat-belt extension was embarrassing,” he said. “Sitting began to hurt and just getting to the terminal was quite hard.”

Everything changed when his wife Karen took a photo of him sitting on the sofa.

“The photo was taken by my wife to show me how big I had got,” he said.


“That was a moment of realisation without a shadow of a doubt.

“Seeing that picture, I realised my family were the most important thing to me and I wanted to see their future.”

Howland decided to lose weight for the sake of his family. After joining a Slimming World group near his home, he started by adopting a healthier eating regime.


This involved eating foods such as fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit and reducing his intake of high-calorie meals and snacks.

In just two years, Howland's weight has dropped from 30 stone to 15 stone, with his waist now measuring at 34 inches.

He began going for regular walks, gradually increasing his mileage over time.

“I started by walking to our local Tesco Express, about a half-mile round trip,” he said.

“Then I increased it up to a mile then further and further.

“The more I lost, the easier it became and the more I did it. Now I can walk 21 miles.”


One of the highlights of Howland’s journey came last year when he climbed Mount Snowdon with his 12-year-old son.

He now runs regular walking groups with other members of Slimming World and aspires to climb Ben Nevis one day.

He’s since set up a Facebook support group called Onwards and Downwards - The Big Guy to provide others with guidance on “the psychological journey of weight loss.”