West Yorkshire man who ate takeaway every day loses 15 stone in one year
Joseph Ruthven said he was a recluse and felt embarrassed to see his mates when he weighed himself at 30st 6lbs last year.
Despite skipping breakfast most days, the account manager said he ate a takeaway and drowned himself in up to ten cans of fizz each day.
The 28-year-old would also gorge on packets of crisps, cake and ice cream on a regular basis.
Joseph, from Bradford, said: “I weighed 30 stone six pounds at my heaviest. I got to a point where I was so self conscious I was terrified of going out.
“I was unhappy because I was big, but I was big because I was unhappy. It was a vicious cycle.”
Joseph said he used to be a “normal size” as a teenager and played both football and rugby in school - weighing around 15 stone when he was 18.
However, his bad food habits began around this time when he would gobble up either a kebab and chips or a large meat feast pizza every day.
His weight gain was slow at first because he was still “young and active” but it began to spiral out of control when he got an office job at 25 and ballooned to over 30 stone.
Joseph says he tried various workouts and even joined Slimming World in a bid to lose the weight - but said he felt isolated and stood out as he was the “only bloke” there.
He said: “I was at a point of no return with my weight. I tried everything to lose it. I tried Slimming World but most of the people who attend are women and it made me feel so self conscious.
“It was hard, I stood out more because I was the only bloke. So I quit.”
Eventually Joseph decided to seek the advice of a medical consultant at Spire Hospital in Leeds who recommended him for a gastric bypass.
Joseph said: “I spoke to my parents in January last year and told them I needed some help because I was deeply unhappy.
“The private consultant I was referred to suggested I do a gastric bypass because of how big I was and I trusted them fully.
“It was scary but exciting - the first step to the rest of my life.”
In late October 2019 he had the £11,500 surgery which he says has allowed him to “stop hating” himself.
He added: “I’ve never felt happier.
“It’s changed my life. I couldn’t put a price on how I feel now compared to 18 months ago.”
A gastric bypass is where surgical staples are used to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach.
The pouch is then connected to your small intestine, missing out, or bypassing, the rest of the stomach.
This means it takes less food to make you feel full and you'll absorb fewer calories from the food you eat.
Joseph says he lost a stone each week following the surgery, and has completely changed his lifestyle and diet.
He used to gorge himself with food and eat in secret so his parents wouldn’t know - but now eats healthily, goes to the gym and runs 5k every week.
He said: “No one eats themselves to 30 stone because they’re happy. Male mental health is so taboo we find it hard to speak about things that affect us.
“I used to eat 7,000 calories a day even though I skipped breakfast.
“I used to live with my parents and I would find ways to eat food in secret - but that’s all in the past now.
“Thankfully I was able to make this change before I developed any serious health issues that are associated with obesity.”
Joseph said the conversation around male body positivity is still incredibly taboo, but hopes others like himself seek the help they need.
He said: “I hope we can start talking about this more - because it’s so important that we take care of ourselves.
“I think many people are embarrassed the way I was but I feel like I’ve added 10-15 years to my life.”