Dream of joining the marines prompts Jai to lose 10 stone at 17

Jai Harms at 17 and 14
Jai Harms at 17 and 14
Maureen Hunter

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A 20-stone teenager who spent 84 hours a week playing on his Xbox has trimmed down to half his original size to pursue his dream of becoming a Royal Marine.

Jai Harms, 17, shed an incredible 10 stone in three years by ditching a diet of fast food and his games consoles to train five hours a day.

Jai Harms, who lost 10 stone in three years to pursue his dream of becoming a Royal Marine, holds a pair of his old 46ins jeans  Picture: Victoria Jones/Solent News & Photo Agency

Jai Harms, who lost 10 stone in three years to pursue his dream of becoming a Royal Marine, holds a pair of his old 46ins jeans Picture: Victoria Jones/Solent News & Photo Agency

His weight ballooned to a staggering 20st 7lbs by his 14th birthday when he feasted on a diet of bacon rolls, snacks and Chinese takeaways every night.

Now three years later and with a waistline which has dropped from 46ins to 28ins, Jai is nine months into a course at the Military Preparation College in Portsmouth where students spend half their time every day on physical training.

Jai, of Waterlooville, said: ‘It was pretty bad – I would eat what I want, when I wanted.

‘I would make regular trips to McDonald’s and my lunch was normally four bacon rolls.

‘My dad used to work for a Chinese restaurant and at the end of every day we used to get free meals.

‘When I was in school I barely moved. I would just sit around and play on my Xbox for 12 hours a day, probably more, from the moment I woke up until I went to bed.

‘I don’t look at the Xbox now.’

Jai was bullied over his weight at school but decided to turn his life around on New Year’s Eve 2011 when he told his mum Andrea, 48, he wanted to take up boxing.

He soon started running three times a week in addition to his boxing and started to lose between one and two kilos a week.

When he enrolled at the Military Preparation College (MPCT) the weight kept dropping off and he has now even been crowned as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight boxing champion for his age group.

Jai said: ‘I always wanted to look like Floyd Mayweather the boxer – he’s my biggest inspiration in life.

‘My parents are really supportive and are constantly pushing me. Mum has made me healthy lunches and dad has been there training me from the start.’

Jai now feasts mainly on pasta and chicken and three protein shakes a day in between his busy schedule of five hours worth of military training and gym work a day.

He can now run an impressive 1.5 miles in just eight minutes thanks to his marine training.

Jai said: ‘Everyone is so supportive at the Military Preparation College, so I knew there was no need for me to worry about joining. It is challenging at times but we’re all one big family and everyone helps each other get to where they want to be.

‘Not only has my physical strength and fitness increased massively, but my mental strength, too. I am now much more confident, organised and am improving on my Maths and English too.’

The next steps for Jai now are completing his MPCT course, and applying to the Royal Marine commando unit.

The Military Preparation College is is free to attend and open to any 16 to 19 year olds who want to get fit, boost their self-confidence and prepare themselves for life, including in the armed 
forces.

Nathan Gibbons, head of physical literacy at MPCT, said: ‘It’s amazing to see how Jai has turned his life by getting fit, healthy and motivated.

‘He is living proof that with the right amount of hard work, determination and support, young people can achieve incredible things.’