Meet James Dunn, a 28-year-old teaching assistant who lost an astonishing 448 pounds after an incident at an amusement park that saw him get told that he was too large to ride a roller coaster, which ended up being the best thing that could have happened to him.
Dunn, who says his busy schedule working multiple jobs is what led to his heavy weight and lack of exercise, decided to change his life after seeing an ad on TV that promised to turn people's lives around.
Per Liverpool Echo:
He said: “I’d always skip breakfast, and then for lunch I’d have pasties, sausage rolls, white bread and I’d drink sugary drinks.
“Then about four times a week I’d have takeaways, I’d eat whatever was convenient, and it would always be in huge portions that just weren’t normal.
“I’d eat pizzas, Chinese, Indian, but not a portion that a normal person would eat. They’d always be massive portions.”
After being embarrassed and "mortified" following the incident at the amusement park, James vowed to make a change.
"We had a big staff day out at Alton Towers, and I tried to get on a ride and the bar wouldn’t fasten. Two people tried to help fasten it but it wouldn’t and they said I was going to have to get off.
“It was mortifying, it was so embarrassing. There was tons of people watching and I just couldn’t ever face going back again.”
After trying to go at it on his own, Dunn's breakthrough moment came when he saw that ad on his TV, as he auditioned, and was selected, for Davina McCall’s "Make My Body Better".
To kick-start his weight-loss, he was given gastric sleeve surgery - where around 3/4 of his stomach was removed—but claims the real difference was made when Davina and her team introduced him to Liverpool-based personal trainer Mark Grice who placed James on a gruelling workout schedule.
As well as daily workouts, James swapped his usual diet of pasties and takeaways for a protein-rich mealplan with vastly reduced portion sizes and says he “couldn’t have done it” without Mark.
He said: “The show was the first time I’d done a diet in public. I’d always done them in secret. I thought I’m going to just have to go for it in the most public way possible, so I did and now it’s going to be on TV.
Tackling the weight issues that plagued him since he was younger, James Dunn is a success story who deserves an applause for making a change that saved his life. As successful as his weight loss was, Dunn believes that the issue needs to be addressed early in life, saying. “I’d always been overweight even as a child and I think the best way to combat it is to tackle it while you’re young. We need to educate them at a young age.”
Here's to James for accomplishing something that was both mentally and physically difficult and passing with flying colors.