An overweight local man with a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder turned his life around after dropping seven stone in less than a year.
Earlier this year, Ian Paton, 31, from St Leonards-On-Sea, weighed 22 stone, had a 42-inch waist and suffered from sleep apnoea – a condition obese people are particularly prone to where you stop breathing as you sleep.
Ian says the day he was diagnosed was the wake-up call he needed to lose weight for the sake of his health and life expectancy. He said: “I’ve been fat as long as I can recall and particularly over the last five years, my weight kept going up to the point I was wearing size 3XL clothing.”
Ian had previously followed a GP referral programme and tried gym sessions but they had no lasting effect. Ian was diagnosed with sleep apnoea after it was discovered that he stopped breathing up to 50 times an hour while asleep.
Being obese is a major contributing factor to the life-threatening condition and Ian knew he had to lose weight. He said: “I was 20 stone when I was diagnosed and by February this year I was 22 stone. With the help of a friend I plucked up the courage to visit Falaise Fitness Centre in March. From the minute I walked in, I felt welcome.”
When Ian started at the gym (operated by Freedom Leisure in partnership with Hastings Borough Council) he couldn’t run 20 seconds on the treadmill: now he can run 5 miles outdoors a few times a week without stopping.
A change of diet coupled with regular exercise resulted in dramatic weight loss. Ian is now 15 stone, lost eight inches from his waist and dropped three clothes sizes. He said: “ I feel energised and confident, run further and keep challenging myself. I will never return to my old ways and weight.” Visit: www.freedom-leisure.co.uk.