Morbidly obese man who feasted on fry-ups and gorged on cake in bed loses half his bodyweight after being told he would be dead in weeks… and now hopes to meet his dream lady
Raymond Upsall weighed 28st and was nicknamed the 'honey monster'
Raymond, 55, had to stop working as his knees gave in and his cousin became his carer
After being rushed to hospital, he was warned he would die if he didn't give up his diet of junk food
With the help of his cousin, who gave him a strict diet plan and taught him to swim, he has lost 14st
15:38 GMT, 30 May 2012
An obese man who was given weeks to live because of his 28st size has lost half his body weight after his cousin helped him turn his life around.
For decades Raymond Upshall, 55, feasted on fry-ups and takeaways, while snacking on biscuits, chocolates and fizzy drinks. He became nicknamed the 'honey monster' because of his large size and had to give up work after his knees gave in.
Doctors told him he was endangering his life with his unhealthy ways but he didn't know how to change his diet.
It was only after a number of health scares in which he was rushed to hospital that he began to realise the gravity of his situation.
Wake-up call: Raymond Upshall lost 14st after being warned he would die if he didn't change his unhealthy lifestyle
Raymond from Bolton, Greater Manchester, said: 'I used to eat
everything – I had no limits. I loved all the wrong foods like
chocolates, crisps, toffee and cakes. I would take them to bed with me.
'I would eat a full English breakfast
every day, go to the chippy at lunchtime and have the same at night –
I’d never get sick of it. I had always eaten like that. I didn’t have the knowledge, nobody told me any different.'
His GP warned him that his weight had sent his cholesterol and blood pressure 'through the roof' meaning his organs could fail within weeks if he carried on as he was.
It was at this point that his cousin, Veronica Yorke, stepped in to save the day – and, Raymond says, saved his life.
She taught Raymond about healthy eating and devised a strict diet plan for him. She also taught him how to swim so he could exercise.
Support: Veronica Yorke helped her cousin lose weight by giving him a diet plan and teaching him to swim so he could exercise
Veronica said: 'I remember the
doctor shouting at him, telling him to lose weight. It was only after he
lost the weight he told us Raymond could have died within weeks.
'I worked with Raymond and became his carer two years ago. I got him a job at the Reebok centre, where I also worked and I just took him under my wing.'
She added: 'I have a friend who is a
dietician and another who is a heart technician – so with their help I
managed to come up with a low-fat plan which would ensure Raymond would
lose the weight. I also taught him to swim – we started
off with floats but now he can now swim around 26 lengths. He still goes
once a week. It’s been hard work for both of us, but I’m sure proud of
Raymond said he piled on the weight when his mother died on Christmas Day in 1997.
He said: 'I have always been big – since I can remember. But when my mum died I felt really depressed, so I would eat to make me feel better. I was 28 stone from my forties. I couldn’t understand what foods were healthy and what foods were fattening.
'I found it difficult to move around and I could only walk about four or five steps before I would struggle and gasp for breath. All the taxi drivers in town called me the Honey Monster – I just laughed it off.'
Half the size he was: Raymond now weighs 13st, left, after giving up the diet of junk food that led to him weighing 28st
Raymond, who used to work as a cleaner and kitchen porter, had to give up work because his knees gave in.
He said: 'The doctor said I couldn’t go for surgery unless I lost nine stone. I was also told that my cholesterol and blood pressure were through the roof. I had tried to lose weight before, but I always failed.'
Who are you calling the Honey Monster Raymond has banished his old nickname thanks to his weightloss
Raymond began to suffer from dizzy spells and panic attacks and was rushed into hospital five times. A few weeks later he found out he had Cellutosis – which is a painful infection underneath the skin.
Veronica, 57, explains: 'He was referred to Royal Bolton Hospital and it was there he was told he had to lose the weight. His knees just couldn’t take it – the surgeon said his knees were the worst he’d seen.'
Raymond’s typical daily diet now consists of two Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and toast for breakfast, turkey salad for lunch and a low-fat chicken hotpot for dinner, with yoghurt for pudding.
He said: 'I found the diet really difficult at first, I was so hungry. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I felt like giving up a few times, but Veronica kept me going. If I gained a pound, I would have to put a pound coin in a jar.
'She got rid of all the bad foods in the house, so I wouldn’t even be tempted.'
Slender Raymond now weighs an 13.5 stone and was delighted to get measured up for his first ever suit.
He said: 'I wore it to a dinner in February – I felt so smart and handsome when I walked in the room. The weight loss has been life-changing, Veronica has saved my life.'
Raymond, who has never been married, hopes his transformation could lead to him finding love.
He laughed: 'It would be nice to meet a special someone – I definitely have more confidence. She would have to be patient though.'