A super-slimming teacher who ballooned to nearly 26 stone shed almost half his body weight in just two years – after being branded “tubby” by his cheeky pupils.
James Bentley, 25, tipped the scales at a colossal 25 stone 11lb after years of gorging on late-night takeaways while he marked students’ homework.
At his heaviest, James had a massive 60in waist and was so large it took him 10 minutes to bend down and put his shoes on every morning.
But the IT teacher decided to lose weight after being teased by pupils in his class at Oldbury Academy, West Mids.
He was also shamed into going on a strict fitness regime after seeing a picture of himself looking fat which was taken at a school sport’s day in 2011.
Incredibly, through a life-style of just diet and exercise James lost a staggering 11 stone 3lbs in just two years and over 20 inches off his waist.
The 6ft 2in cycling fan now weighs 14st 8lbs and sports a trim 36in waist but says he has had to spend hundreds of pounds on a new wardrobe because he is swamped by his old super-sized clothes.
Yesterday James said: “I’m 6ft 2in which probably means I could get away with carrying a bit of extra weight, but now I feel much healthier.
“When I put the weight on I was quite happy in myself and felt I didn’t need to diet.
“I did get some comments from the pupils, nothing too bad but the word ‘tubby’ was used a few times.
“I took it in good humour because I have a good relationship with the students but things came to a head when I had my picture taken on sport’s day.
“My body virtually filled the entire picture which was embarrassing and I knew I had to do something to change my appearance.
“I looked in the mirror and thought ‘who is that person?’.
“I decided to lose weight over the summer holiday and just saw it as a short-term thing.
“My friends suggested I start cycling and I just couldn’t stop. I was clocking up hundreds of miles a month and went as often as I could.
“I decided to carry on and the weight has managed to keep coming off and now I feel much better.
“When you are used to seeing yourself every day you don’t notice the change but I do think it’s ridiculous when I look at photos of myself from a few years ago, or I get my big trousers out.
“Also the children at school tell me that they can see I’m losing weight – they think my face has changed quite a bit and people are always telling me I look younger.
“Now I weigh 14st 8lb and my goal is 13st 13lb so I haven’t got too far to go.”
James, originally from Hednesford but now living in Oldbury, West Mids., thought he had a healthy diet because he would always skip breakfast and lunch before binge-eating in the evenings.
He said: “During the day I would just have fizzy drinks, no food at all, but then at night I would have an Indian, Chinese, pizza or go to the chippy after marking the pupils work.
“Now I usually have porridge for breakfast, a chicken wrap for lunch and then a steak and jacket potato for dinner.
“I do still have treats like an Indian meal but I tend to go for a lighter option.”
James and a group of fellow slimmers will cycle 136 miles from Whitehaven, Cumbria, to Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear, in April to raise money for the Rainbow Trust children’s charity.