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A man has lost a remarkable 20 stone in less than two years after he was stunned into action when his doctor diagnosed him with diabetes.
Ashley Spendiff shed over half his body weight, dropping from 36 to 16 stone in what the 42-year-old described as a “mentally difficult” journey.
Ashley, from East Bridgford, said he ate himself into a “vicious cycle” following the death of his best friend.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “I was probably suffering from depression at the time, that’s why I put my weight on. I just buried my head in the sand.”
Mr Spendiff, who needed two scales to weigh himself, said he was given a wake-up call when he was diagnosed with diabetes by his GP.
“It was a big shock to the system,” he said.
“I did a lot of walking but I was struggling to even do that due to the strain of the weight.”
Mr Spendiff then made the decision to start going open water swimming at Colwick Country Park, something he said was vital to losing 20 stone over just 16 months.
Describing his life at 36 stone, the 6ft tall care home manager said he was low on confidence and sought solace in online gaming.
“My comforts were gaming and going online,” he said.
“I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, not even in the reflection of a window.
“Talking to people online, they couldn’t see who I was, I felt they weren’t judging me.
“I’d eat food for comfort and then I’d feel guilty for eating food – it was a vicious cycle.
“Getting my own place after school, I was going out with mates and living off takeaways.
“I used to look down at the floor because of my lack of confidence.
“When people shout comments about your size on the street it affects your confidence. I’m just happier in general now.
“I replaced those comforts with exercise and positive things.
“If you told me two years ago that I’d enjoy going to the gym I would’ve laughed.
“I find it easier to engage with people and strike up conversation in public.”
Following his weight loss, Mr Spendiff is hoping to raise money for cosmetic surgery to get his excess skin removed as it is not available on the NHS.
He has raised more than £2,000 since setting up the JustGiving page at the start of February.
Ashley said: “People’s generosity has been amazing.
“I’ve been blown away by how supportive people have been, especially in this day and age when people are struggling with money.”
To visit the JustGiving page, click here.
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