THIS time last year Darin McCloud knew that if he had a day off from work, it would be spent watching TV and eaiting junk food.,
But fast forward 12 months and the 46-year-old is busy training to take part in the Great South Run.
In January this year Darin, of Stanley Road, Stamshaw, weighed 19st 10lb.
He had deliberately been over-eating in a bid to pile on pounds and qualify for weight-loss surgery.
He saw the error of his ways and began a healthy eating and exercise regime to become fitter.
And seven months down the line, Darin has shed five stone and is determined to keep going.
He is also in training for the Great South Run, which takes place in about six weeks’ time.
Traffic warden Darin said: ‘Everything’s going really well. I am going out on longer runs.
‘When I first started exercising it was about losing weight.
‘Now I’m focusing on getting fit for the race so I can complete it.’
Since cutting out fatty foods and starting running, Darin said he has noticed a massive improvement in his health.
Darin runs for around six miles four times a week, and is looking forward to the challenge of the Great South Run.
‘This time last year I would have difficulty climbing up the stairs,’ added the 46-year-old.
‘If you had told me 12 months ago that I would be taking part in a run, then I wouldn’t have believed you.
‘If I had a day off from work I would’ve just sat in front of the telly like a zombie, flicking through channels.
‘Now I’m excited about going out for runs and look forward to them.
‘My life has changed so much.’
Darin has been using a ‘Slimpod’ from company Thinking Slimmer.
The Slimpod features 10- minute recordings, which people can listen to at night, and which the firm claims can ‘retune’ attitudes towards food.
The Great South Run takes place on October 30 this year.
Darin will be running the 10-mile route and is also fundraising for Diabetes UK.
He chose the charity as he suffers from diabetes.
‘I do have down days sometimes,’ added Darin.
‘But then I don’t think about it too much and just concentrate on getting fit.’
‘I have much more energy, I’m sleeping better, and my quality of life has improved.’
To sponsor Darin go to justgiving.com/darin-mccloud.