Big loser Craig sheds half his body weight
Craig Potts is half the man he used to be after shedding 16 stone in two years.
Craig, 47, from Shirecliffe, tipped the scales at 30 stones when his GP referred him to Concord Sports Centre for a discounted 12 week course of exercise.
Reluctantly he attended as his weight was preventing him from having a gastric bypass and meant he needed medication to control his blood pressure.
He said: “I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect and no one there was as heavy as me, I really didn’t want to be there. But I thought I would either be dead at 50 or bed ridden. I had to stick with it, my body was a ticking time bomb.”
Fitness specialist Dave Birds started Craig on a gentle workout a couple of times a week and has gradually increased his exercise each month. Dave himself started a new life at Concord after losing 12 stone at the gym and Craig started to trust Dave’s guidance, becoming a member of Fitness Unlimited.
He added: “It’s been really hard going physically and mentally and during the 12 week course I wanted to quit many times. I always thought I was happy and mobile at 30 stone but everyday tasks were a real struggle. Walking up stairs would require a break halfway and even tying my shoe laces was a task. I felt depressed because everything took so long to get done.
“Walking 20 or 30 yards would be a struggle but now I walk or cycle the three miles to the gym and do three or four miles on the treadmill. I’ve started running and one of my goals is to run a 5km race. I’m far more outgoing and sociable too.”
Craig, who has since come off medication for his blood pressure, has even spread the message to his family. His mum June, 72, and sister Beth, 48, are now on the GP referral scheme too. Together they’ve lost more than eight stones.
“I’m so thankful to Dave who has stuck with me after my GP Referral finished and I became a Fitness Unlimited member. He’s done me the world of good. I’d be a lot worse without Dave’s help so I owe him a lot.”
Dave said: “Craig has done incredibly well, losing more than half his weight. He has shown so much dedication, especially through the tough times. He proves people can come through the other side of obesity to live a healthy life.
“Craig can now fit into one of the legs of his old trousers and his old t shirts go down to his knees, which shows just how far he’s come!”