A keen golfer who became so fat he could not climb out of a bunker went on a 500 calorie-a-day diet and lost a massive 16 stone – in just five months.
Hungry Phil Griffin, 56, shed half his body weight – fr om 30st 2lbs (191kg) to just 14st (89kg) – in 20 weeks after being teased by his pals.
He had become so fat he started to use an electric buggy to make it round the 18 holes and had got stuck several times in bunkers.
The grandfather-of-one had to pull out of a Golf Society tournament at the ninth hole because he was unable to walk any further.
But less than a year later he returned in December to not only to complete the full round – but to take away the champion’s trophy for first place.
Doctors had warned Phil he was at risk of heart disease, blindness or amputation when he developed Type two diabetes after tipping the scales at over 30 stones.
But after shrinking his waistline by more than 20in (50cm) – from 63in (160cm) to 37in (94cm) – he is no longer diabetic and has the heart rate of a teenager.
The disciplined father-of-three shed the pounds between January and June last year by severely restricting his calories.
He used to scoff 4,000 calories a day munching on a full English breakfast, bacon sandwiches for lunch and curries and pizza for dinner with packs of biscuits and fizzy drinks.
But on a 530-calories-a-day diet of soups, porridge, shakes and bars he dropped more than half his body weight.
Phil, who was once a stocky 18 stone rugby player, began to pile on the pounds after he stopped playing twenty years ago and took up golf instead.
When he separated from his wife of 24 years in 2002, Phil started comfort eating and his weight spiralled out of control.
After he developed diabetes and doctors warned him his health was in jeopardy, he tried traditional dieting but shifted just a pound in the first week.
When his sister, Petula Griffin, 52, told him about the LighterLife weight loss programme Phil lost an incredible 15 pounds in the first week and decided to stick with the plan.
He ate nothing but powdered sachets, shakes and bars for five months and took up badminton as his weight plummeted.
Phil, from Far Cotton, Northants., said: ”The change has been really dramatic. I have to get my driver’s licence out to prove to some people that it’s still me.
”Golf was really becoming a struggle for me. I used to get stuck on rough terrain or in trees and several times I had to be helped out of holes and bunkers.
”I never thought I was eating that much, but every time I went to the shop I would stock up on cakes and snacks.
”When I was a child, things were different. We had that post-war rationing mentality so you would never leave food – you would always finish it.
”I used to play a lot of rugby but then I switched to golf and the weight crept on. When I split from my wife of 24 years I started to comfort eat.
”One of my golfing friends even told me I would have to slim down because I was becoming an embarrassment and I couldn’t keep up with them on the course.
”I don’t have a huge amount of will power but the diet gave me discipline and was very easy to follow. I just stuck to it every day.
”Looking back, it’s hard to believe I got that big. Now I try to do what I can to help other people who are overweight realise that they can lose it.”
Phil had previously been unable to play with his seven-year-old grandson can now chase and catch the youngster and is looking forward to a second grandchild on the way.
After five months on the extreme weight loss plan, Phil was reintroduced to eating healthily and now eats a balanced diet of 2,500 calories each day.
Yvonne Chivas, weight management counsellor for LighterLife who counselled Phil, said he had lost the greatest amount of weight she had ever seen.
She said: ”Phil came to see me for weekly support meeting and weighings and it was great to watch his progress.
”Phil lost a huge amount of weight but much more importantly he has kept it off for months which is the real sign of success.”