Facebook helped me get fit: Man weighing 31-stone, shed half his bodyweight after unflattering photo appeared online

Facebook helped me get fit: Man weighing 31-stone, shed half his bodyweight after unflattering photo appeared online

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UPDATED:

18:22 GMT, 24 April 2012

A camera-shy man who tipped the scales at 31-stone, was shocked into shedding more than half his body weight after an unflattering photograph popped up on Facebook.

Matthew Briggs, 29, started piling on the pounds as a teenager, following the death of his mother and would regularly gorge on takeaways, sugary foods and demolish whole tubs of ice cream in one sitting.

But it was only when he saw an image on the social networking site showcasing his 56 inch waist, that he realised his destructive relationship with food had spiraled out of control.

Matthew Briggs

Matthew Briggs

Transformation: Matthew Briggs was horrified when he saw the picture on Facebook (left) and over two years managed to shed 17-and-a-half stone through a combination of healthy eating and exercise (right)

In a bid to get his life into gear, the phone store manager from Strensall, York, joined a slimming club and started following a healthy eating plan, swapping junk food for home-cooked meals.

He also started excersising managing to lose a 17-and-a-half stone, and
24in off his waist.

Mr Briggs, who stands at 6ft 2in tall and now weighs 13st 10lb said: 'When I saw the photo on Facebook I was mortified.

'I
tended to avoid having my picture taken so to see myself looking so big
was a real shock. I couldn’t believe it was really me.

Matthew's starting weight was 31st and he now weighs 13st

MAtthew's friends now nickname him the ‘Duracell Bunny’ because of his endless energy, which has seen him climb the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and cycle 50km for charity in less than two hours

'When
my dad asked me the million dollar question: ‘Are you happy’ I had to
admit that I wasn’t. I pretty much woke up, went to work, came home and
slept.'

It was his stepmother Jane and father Peter that suggested he should join a slimming group after a 1,000 calorie-a-day diet and slimming pills failed to work.

On January 20th, 2010, Matthew went to his local Slimming World group and made a vow to stop his lunchtime trips to the
local bakery and dinners of two takeaway pizzas.

After losing 10st, he finally
felt confident enough to pick up where he left off with exercise,
starting with simple activities like parking his car a mile away from
the phone shop he works in, before running, cycling and joining a gym.

His friends now nickname him the
‘Duracell Bunny’ because of his endless energy, which has seen him climb the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and cycle 50km for charity in less than two hours.

Mr Briggs, who now describes his favourite dish as homemade chicken curry with rice, added: 'I love life now. I’m happier and
healthier than ever before.

'It’s funny to bump into people who I haven’t
seen for a while and see their faces when they realise who I am.

'Next month I’ll be celebrating my
30th birthday and I’m delighted I won’t be 30 and 30st. I’m having a big
party and I can’t wait, best of all I won’t worry if any photos end up
on Facebook!'

He has been crowned Slimming World’s Greatest Loser 2012 and runs his own Slimming
World group, following formal training to become a consultant.