Dylan Condron, 21, left the scales groaning at a massive 33 stone after gorging on carbs when he failed to find work.
But he shamed himself into his stunning weight loss when a neighbour bought him the XXXXXXL t-shirt back from holiday and it was too tight.
He switched to a high-protein diet combined with a gruelling “caveman” gym programme and has dropped to a healthy 13 stone in two years.
He has also found love and got off himself benefits to start work as a restaurant chef.
Dylan said: “My neighbour brought me a t-shirt back from her holidays and it became the straw which broke the camel’s back.
“I looked at it and it was six XL and it was still tight on me.
“I was thinking at the time f**king hell, jeez, this is too much. I was getting bigger and bigger every day.”
Dylan, from Waterford, Ireland, was active as a child but his weight rocketed when he left school without a job at 16 and was on €100 weekly unemployment benefit.
He added: “I didn’t do anything, I just sat around and I just kept eating and eating.
“It was comfort eating, it was like a spiral – I eat, I put on weight and I eat more.
“I’d always eat crisps and bread and have dinner and then I would have a sandwich before I went to bed.
“I would have two toasties in the night before breakfast in the morning – a foot-long roll with fried chicken.
“Dinner could have been burger and chips or lasagne or maybe a takeaway.
“I stayed in my room all the time because I was afraid of what people would think of me. Deep down I knew I was dying.”
By the time he was 19, Dylan, who is 5ft8ins, weighed a staggering 32.8 stone.
But he turned his life around thanks to the life-changing blue t-shirt given to him by his next door neighbour Sharon Coady in the summer of 2014.
His family helped pay for him to take personal fitness trainer’s Derek Rowe 12-week regime which involved lifting, flipping and hitting tyres with sledgehammers four times a week.
He also took a daily walk before tucking into a breakfast of five boiled eggs, three table spoons of soya vinegar, one of coconut oil and a tablet of cod liver oil.
He drank protein shakes and ate two high-protein meals after the hour-long gym sessions which he likened to scenes from Hollywood superhero movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Dylan said: “I hated vegetables – I couldn’t bear them when I started and kept complaining about them.
“With my family’s support I kept up the exercise and the new food regime and things began to work and I started to see a change.
“It was very difficult but I knew it was something I had to do so I kept going.
“The training part was easier than the food part.
“At about 5pm I would have a ‘green’ drink – basically it was vegetable in a powder and you put it in water. I would dilute it with sugarless orange squash because it was so disgusting – it was horrible.
“I was at the end of the meal and there was a piece of broccoli – I just ended up putting it in my hand and walking away and throwing it away.”
Dylan believes his old ways would have eventually killed him because of the way his weight affected his life.
He said: “If I didn’t I would probably would not be here because I was 33 stone and my blood pressure was going through the roof.
“I had pains in my head and my chest all the time – it was scary.
“I never myself having a career because I never went out but now there’s no limits to what I want to do.”
After losing an incredible 17 stone, he found the courage to go on online dating app Tinder where he met his girlfriend, Amy Kelleher, 19.
Amy said: “I met him after he lost all the weight and when I was looking back at the pictures it was hard to believe. I couldn’t put into words how proud I was of him.
“It’s crazy, even when you look at pictures of him when we first got together it was like he was still losing the weight. It’s definitely a good thing, I’m delighted for him.”
Dylan is now trying to raise €10,000 for surgery to remove the “depressing” excess skin as a result of his drastic weight loss.
He added: “My life has changed but I have a fairy large reminder of how I used to be – a lot of excess skin, which really affects my confidence.
“Amy has supported me to get the skin removed.”
Dylan is now a chef at Number 9 restaurant in Waterford and plans to study Culinary Arts at college later this year.
He has kept his XXXXXXL shirt in his bedroom as a reminder of how he was.
“It’s kind of something that keeps me on my path,” he said. “If I have a bad day I look at it and ask myself this is why you did it.”
To support his fundraising visit https://www.gofundme.com/99rf3-help-me-get-my-body-back