A SWINDON dad who lost nearly six stone in 2017 has spoken of his delight at his changed life and improved health.

Accountant Tom Reynolds, 33, weighed nearly 20st before embarking on a new weight loss regime last year, and has shed the pounds through strictly watching what he eats and regular exercise.

Tom said: “I have a small daughter growing up, and I didn’t want to be one of those guys who can’t keep up with their daughter.

“Also, she was starting to get to that age where she’s starting to copy what we we’re doing and I didn’t want her to pick up any bad habits.”

After contacting Ronny Terry, a personal trainer at Swindon’s Kiss Gym, Tom found his old eating habits remodelled and his exercise levels ramped up.

Tom said: “He has a very no-nonsense approach to weight loss, with no faddy diets, and accepting that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in.

“I was counting calories, and restricting what I ate, and creating a calorie deficit. I didn’t cut anything out, and I was still enjoying a beer or glass of wine at the weekend.

“I developed a porridge addiction – eating it every morning for a year!”

Although he had held gym memberships before, Tom said that the advice and support he received was key to sticking with his regime.

He said: “There’s always an excuse as to why weight loss isn’t working, and bringing Ronny into the equation took out that excuse.

“When you go to the gym, there are very muscular men picking up heavy bits of metal, which can be quite intimidating, but Ronny could talk me through the technique. I saw him twice a week, and additionally I’d try and go to the gym another couple of times. I was pretty much starting from scratch. I’ve been overweight for pretty much 20-odd years.”

With the new habits built up over time, Tom is now looking forward to new fitness goals in 2018.

He said: “Running became easier and more enjoyable, instead of being a chore. The mental health side for me, having that half an hour to go out and just have time to myself, was a big part of it.

“I’m thinking about running a half-marathon this year, which would be a huge achievement – before I started this I couldn’t run 500m non-stop.”

6’2” Tom lost 80lbs in total, taking his BMI range from obese to close to normal. He also saw other health benefits.

Tom said: “Through work I have health check-ups: in November I was within the normal range for body fat percentage, and I’m now at a slightly lower than average risk for heart disease. One of the things that I’m fairly proud of is that I am fairly ambitious in my career, I have a small child who takes up a lot of my time, and I have a sedentary job, so there could have been a lot of barriers to stop me exercising.”