Former fitness trainer who ballooned to 27st after becoming addicted to CRISPS cuts 20-pack-a-day habit to lose half body weightMature student James Quinn, 44, was so large he could no longer climb a flight of stairs
12:55 GMT, 30 April 2012
A former fitness trainer who ballooned to 27 stone after becoming addicted to crisps has lost half his body weight – 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 24 hours.
Mature student James struggled to walk and could not climb a flight of stairs to make it to his college classes to study for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in multimedia technology and web design
Former fitness trainer who ballooned to 27 stone after developing an addiction to crisps that saw him eat 20 packets every day. When doctors told him his lifestyle would kill him, he finally shed 14 stone – and now weighs in at 13st 10lbs
But after being told by doctors his lifestyle would kill him James, with the help of staff at Slimming World, shed 14 stone and a year later weighs in at 13 stone 10 pounds.
James said the weight loss also meant James graduated from college and is now studying for a degree in the same subject.
Father-of-four James said: 'I loved cheese and onion crisps. I could easily go through 20 packs in a day on top of all the fried food.
'It got to the point where I couldn't walk up the flight of stairs to get to class, I think it would have killed me and I definitely wouldn't have finished the first year, never mind be doing a degree.
At his largest, James weighed almost 28 stone and could not climb a flight of stairs at the colelge he attended
'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 at the Scottish Sports Council, 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 hit the age of 40 when he left to study at college.
As well as the crisps, James' diet consisted of four burgers, bacon, fried eggs, biscuits, an entire loaf of bread and two litres of Irn Bru or coke every 24 hours
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 62 inch waist was one inch short of needing a specially made garment. 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.
'I would get annoyed and ask my family who had eaten them all, but then I realised all the empty packets were down the side of my chair, because I had eaten the lot.
'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, 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 last month and said he is determined to continue his healthy lifestyle and shed a few more pounds before his graduation from the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley, Renfrewshire, later this year.
James added: 'It just shows what you can do.
'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.'