A FORMER fitness trainer who ballooned to 27 stone after becoming addicted to crisps is a Golden Wonder again – after kicking the 20-packet-a-day habit.
James Quinn, 44, devoured the cheese and onion flavoured snacks along with four burgers, bacon, fried eggs, countless biscuits, an entire loaf of bread and two litres of Irn Bru or coke… EVERY DAY.
Mature student James struggled to walk and could not climb a flight of stairs to make it to college classes in multimedia technology and web design.
But after being told by doctors that his lifestyle would kill him, James joined Slimming World and shed 14 stone – HALF HIS BODY WEIGHT.
A year later, he weighs in at a far healthier 13 stone 10 pounds.
Dad-of-four James said: “I feel fantastic now, absolutely great. I’m a totally different person and I haven’t touched a bag of crisps in over a year.
“I ate one to celebrate hitting my weight loss target and it was horrible, I didn’t like the taste at all.”
Grandfather-of-one James, who lives with his wife Joyce, 46, in Irvine, North Ayrshire, began to pile on the pounds after leaving his job as a fitness instructor to manage a video rental shop in the early 1990s.
The slow-down in activity and hours spent sat behind a counter saw James eat more and exercise less.
Over the next 20 years he moved from job to job in various high street shops until he reached the age of 40, when he left to study at college.
The student lifestyle meant James gained weight even quicker as his diet deteriorated into a sea of fast food, fried breakfasts and salty snacks.
At his heaviest James weighed 27 stone seven pounds and struggled to walk.
James began to realise the seriousness of the situation when he tried to buy a kilt to attend a wedding and found his bulging 62in waist left him just one inch short of needing specially made clothes.
But even that wasn’t enough for him to ditch his snack-filled diet.
James said: “I would buy the big multi-packs of crisps and they would all disappear.
“My diet was dreadful, breakfast would be four pieces of bread, two eggs and three sausages followed by biscuits and crisps.
“For dinner I would have four burgers, half a plate of chips and a tin of beans or a large curry.
“I had visited doctors who told me that if I didn’t lose weight I would probably die but that didn’t stop me.
“The turning point came when I started going to college. I would take the lift because I couldn’t manage the stairs.”
In March last year James decided to change his life and ate his last bag of crisps.
He joined a weight loss class at Irvine’s Old Parish Church and began to exercise.
In just six months he lost seven and a half stone and by nine months he had shed another five in time for the completion of his HND course in November last year.
He reached his target weight last month and said he is determined to continue his healthy lifestyle.
James added: “I’m no longer on blood pressure tablets and I’m really happy with the way I look.
“It’s given me a new lease of life, some people walk by me and don’t realise it’s me.
“And I don’t miss crisps at all.”