WHEN Darin McCloud spoke to The News last year about his efforts to pile on the pounds to qualify for weight-loss surgery, he had no idea how much his life would change.
Just 12 months ago the 46-year-old weighed 21 stone.
Darin would spend hours in front of the television and going up the stairs would leave him breathless.
But now through healthy eating and finding a passion for running, Darin has lost more than six stones.
And he’s looking forward to building on his success this year.
Darin, of Stanley Road, Stamshaw, said: ‘When I initially contacted The News I didn’t care what it was going to be, I needed help.
‘I thought it was bariatric surgery I needed.
‘But deep down I realised that that wasn’t going to happen – that’s why I spoke to the paper.
‘I wasn’t expecting the reaction I got afterwards.
‘The story went national and some of the comments I got were so nasty – it was the most horrific week of my life.
‘Looking back it obviously wasn’t what I wanted, but do I regret any of it? Absolutely not. Without everything that happened I would not be where I am today.
‘This month is the most important anniversary because I’ve come such a long way.’
Last October, traffic warden Darin completed the 10-mile Great South Run in under two hours.
And this year he plans to carry on running.
Darin is due to take part in the Brighton half-marathon next month, the Marwell Wildlife 10k run in May and the British 10k London Run in July.
He has entered this year’s Great South Run and is hoping to get a place in next year’s London Marathon.
‘If you had asked me 12 months ago to do exercise, I would’ve said no,’ added Darin.
‘But now I love going out for a run.
‘Bariatric surgery is good for some people, but not all.
‘If I had the surgery I would’ve lost the weight, but my relationship with food would not have changed.’