'Monster' taunts spur obese man to shed over 16 stone

Cruel taunts about his weight led an obese man to shed 16st 12lbs in just 13 months, after he had a stomach stapling operation and went on a tough fitness regime.

Mickie Ness, from Deepcar, Sheffield, said he was dubbed the Loch Ness Monster and "Nessie" as he walked down the street when he was at his heaviest – about 32 stones.

He now weighs just 15st and said he had lost most of his bulk by getting on his bike and cycling up to 30 miles a day.

The water systems engineer said he began to pile on the weight following a motorbike accident when he was 19.

He said: "It bothered me when people began to taunt me with wisecracks about my size. Some people were very cruel and used to shout names like 'Nessie' at me in the street.

"I thought I'd take up cycling because I have very strong legs. You need strong legs when you're carrying as much as I was. Last year I cycled 3,443 miles – an average of 30 miles a day.

"My longest ride was just over 100 miles from my house in Sheffield to my fiancee's in Hull along the Trans-Pennine trail."

Last May just 11 months after the initial operation Mr Ness raised 498 for charity by riding 38 miles from Humber Bridge to York Minster.

He now gives motivational talks to groups of patients at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital facing the same type of problems as he did.

He said: "They're very impressed when I tell them I'm now around 15 stone having lost a total of nearly 17st – which is about the same weight as Arnold Schwarzenegger. My waist was 58ins and now it's 36."

Mr Ness said he is now planning to carry on pedalling off the pounds after a bet from his father.

He added: "I plan to ride coast -to-coast from Southport to Hornsea in the summer riding 100 miles per day. And I'm also keen to take 100 off my dad, "He bet me I'd never get down to his weight, which is 14 stone 8. I'm doubly determined to reach that."