A rail worker who was so obese he took up two seats on public transport now feels normal for the first time in his life – after shedding a whopping 25 STONE.
Oliver Bales, 24, is now more than half the man he used to be after getting fed up with being ridiculed because of his huge waist – which measured more than 5ft.
The once-39stone beast managed to turn his life around and was today (Weds) crowned Slimming World’s Greatest Loser of 2016 – after losing the equivalent weight of a baby KILLER WHALE.
Oliver, who now weighs 13st 13Ibs, has a new-found spring in his step and hopes to run a marathon, do a triathlon and learn to scuba dive.
He has gone from from wearing a 6XL and having a 64in waist to a size medium and a 34in waist.
Oliver was so fat that when he lost the weight he even dropped two shoe sizes.
Oliver, from Portsmouth, said: “Being overweight has affected by entire life – until now.
“I finally know what it’s like not to feel like an outcast, to be able to walk down the street without people laughing, pointing or calling you names, to not take up two seats on a train, to not be in constant pain.
“Thanks to Slimming World I feel normal for the first time in my life and my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.”
Before he joined Slimming World, Oliver would turn to food for comfort after falling victim to bullies who teased him incessantly about this weight.
At 39 stone, Oliver would eat a doner kebab, a burger with chips as well as an entire tub of cookie dough ice cream in one sitting.
He would spend most of his days lying in bed, binge eating and watching TV.
He had to take a break from his business studies degree because he was suffering depression as a result of his weight.
But in 2014, Oliver, who works in catering for South West Trains, said he was inspired to lose weight by a friend he saw on social media.
He said: “Everyone tells me I look amazing, which is a great feeling.
“As I’ve shrunk, my confidence levels have soared and I’m so much happier and much more ambitious.
“I used to be so shy and quiet but that’s completely vanished now and I’ve made new friends and reconnected with old ones.”
Oliver, who is part Filipino, said he always knew he was overweight but it wasn’t until his early 20s that he realised it was a huge problem.
He struggled to stand for long periods without being in pain, had dangerous blood pressure at 160 and worried he wouldn’t see his niece and nephew grow up.
He also suffered embarrassing situations, including cracking the family bath when he stood in it to shower, and he couldn’t fit into seats on public transport and in lecture theatres at university.
He said: “While I have some amazing memories from my childhood, I sometimes look back and wish I could have the chance to re-do it.
“I used to feel like people were always comparing me to other children my age, and feeling like ‘the fat, ugly one’ made me angry and upset.
“I missed out on a lot, too – I always used to ‘forget’ my PE kit because I hated getting changed in front of the other pupils.
“As time went on, I got bigger and that’s when the bullying started.”
“I hope my story will inspire other people to know that it’s never too late to get support and even if they don’t know it, there is help just around the corner – my advice to anyone wanting to make a change is ‘close your eyes and jump.”
Slimming World champion Oliver Bales, 24, was spurred into losing weight after a particularly embarrassing holiday memory – because he squashed a pair of pensioners.
He was travelling to Japan for a once in a lifetime holiday in 2012 when the elderly couple sat next to him on the plane complained about his enormous size.
Oliver said: “I was sat in an economy sized seat, feeling very squashed when an elderly couple came to sit next to me.
“But we couldn’t all fit into the three-seat row and they complained.
“The plane couldn’t set off before I was moved into two seats.
“I needed two seat belts as well.”
Oliver, who claims he now feels like a new person, said more than anything he enjoys his new freedom to walk down the street without people ogling at him.
He said: “Children and even adults would shout at me as I walked down the street.
“They would call me everything under the sun but the most hurtful was ‘fatty’.”
After joining Slimming World in 2014, Oliver drew inspiration from other Greatest Losers, including Matt Briggs who lost 17 stone in 2012.
Oliver said: “I never imagined I would lose 2 stone let alone 25 stone, but I am so incredibly proud.
“I feel like a new person.”
He said the best thing about the programme was that he hasn’t even had to quit some of his favourite foods like chips and chocolate.
He said: “I am living proof that you can still enjoy food and lose weight.
“You just have to have everything in moderation.
“I do miss scones with jam and clotted cream through.”
His proud mum Ruby Young said she cried when she found out her son had won Slimming World’s greatest loser.
Ruby, 50, said: “I just cried when I found out he was the biggest loser.
“As a mother, I had to tell him he needed to lose weight, but when he finally did it was amazing.
“Before he never went out but now he has so many friends, it’s amazing.”
Collette May-Matthews, Oliver‘s Slimming World consultant in Portsmouth said she could barely contain her excitement when she found out he had won.
She said: “I am over the moon, he was so shy when he first joined slimming world and when I look at him now, he’s so different.”
Oliver added that his confidence has helped him develop his career.
He said: “I used to work at Primark the budget clothes store and now I am working at South West Trains.
“Losing weight has given me more confidence to speak with customers.
“I always dreamed of looking like a normal person and now I have.”
Lunch: battered cod and chips with a battered sausage, a battered burger, a saveloy and mushy peas on the side, covered in mayonnaise and ketchup. All washed down with a cola
Dinner: doner kebab meat and a half-pounder burger with chips. Followed by a tub of cookie dough ice cream, a whole cheesecake or a selection of cream cakes, with cola
Snacks: pork pies, sausage and bean pasties, chocolate bars, ice cream, biscuits and scones with jam and clotted cream.
Breakfast: bran flakes with fat-free yogurt and chopped strawberries or a pepper and spinach omelette with low-fat sausages
Lunch: chicken and sweetcorn pasta salad or smoked ham and cream cheese sandwich on wholemeal bread with salad on the side
Dinner: homemade butternut squash risotto or Slimming World Chicken and Chorizo-style Sausage Paella (available from Iceland) when short on time
Snacks: satsumas, apples, pears, melon, raspberries, strawberries, vegetable sticks, hard boiled eggs, fat-free yogurts, low-fat hot chocolate, fun-size Mars and Twix bars or high-fibre cereal bars.