A man who tried to kill himself in shame at his 26-stone bulk has lost more than half of it and become a ripped gym instructor – after exercising in the DARK.
Nathan Priestley, 21, was dubbed ‘Jabba the Hutt’ by bullies and became so depressed by his weight he refused to leave his house for a year.
He was just 18 when took an overdose of 30 pills – but survived because he hadn’t taken enough for his huge bulk.
But he then decided to stop wallowing in self-pity and turn his life around and within two years had shrunk to 14 stones.
For the first year he would only exercise in the dark in fear others would mock his efforts as he struggled to start shedding the pounds.
He ran the streets in the dead of night when no-one was around and turned off the lights so he could use a treadmill at his local gym unseen.
After 12 months he started using weights to tone his slimmed-down figure and became so toned he has now landed a job as personal trainer.
Nathan, now a trim 13 stones, said: “I was always overweight as a kid and as I grew up the bullying contributed to that because I tended to comfort eat.
“Others would throw sweets at me when I was on the bus and call me ‘fatty’, ‘fat mess’ and ‘Jabba the Hutt’.
“It was at that period in high school where I started to become really self-conscious about my weight.
“I didn’t leave the house for a year and the only time I would leave my room would be to go downstairs to get food.
“My parents were really worried about me and tried to tell me to go and see somebody for help.”
He added: “After the failed suicide I realised that I needed to turn my life around and I started to diet.
“It was scary going outside and I was too afraid to leave the house because I thought people would be judging me.
“I never went to the gym at the beginning because I had no confidence so for the first month it was purely diet.
“Then I would get up at three or four in the morning to go for a jog because I didn’t want anybody to see me.
“When I did eventually start going to the gym I used to run in a darkened room which was there for people with low self esteem.”
Nathan was addicted to sugar and gorged on bacon and egg butties, chocolate bars and greasy takeaways by the time of his suicide bid in September 2011.
Afterwards he went “cold turkey” and cut out junk food, chocolate, crisps and alcohol and said he was left suffering from flu-like symptoms as a result.
He snacked on cashew nuts and went on a strict low carb diet which helped him lose a stone a month for eight months.
By September 2013 he had dropped 14 stone and has spent the last year dedicating his time to building the perfect body.
He now plans to enter body building competitions to illustrate his “complete transformation”.
Nathan, from Norwich, Norfolk, said: “I just want to show that it is possible to achieve what you want and it is never too late to get to where we want to be in life.
“It has helped my self confidence. I am single but I do get attention from girls that I obviously wouldn’t have got before.
“I am so much happier now and my life at the moment has completely changed around from where it was three years ago.
“I wanted to show the people that bullied and harassed me that no matter how hard they beat me down I will achieve more than them.
“If you’re unhappy with yourself, nothing is impossible and you should follow your dreams to become the absolute best version of yourself.”
Breakfast: Two bowls of cereal and a bacon and egg sandwich
Lunch: Takeaway burger or fish and chips
Snack: Crisps and a chocolate bar
Dinner: Healthy family cooked meal
Snack: Sainsbury’s meal deal
Breakfast: Smoke salmon, egg and avocado
Lunch: Turkey salad
Snack: Cashew nuts or beef jerky
Dinner: Chicken and vegetables