Slimmer who shed 17 stone now poised for marathon challenge

Matt Briggs next to a cardboard cut out of his former self.
Matt Briggs next to a cardboard cut out of his former self.
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A YORK slimmer who shed more than half his 31st weight in just two years will run the London Marathon this weekend.

Matt Briggs, 32, lost 17st, seven and a half pounds after he saw an unflattering photo of himself on Facebook.

Having shrunk from a 56in to a 32in waist he has taken up cycling, running and going to the gym, but now faces his biggest test since slimming down to just 13st 10lb.

Mr Briggs said: “Three years ago if someone had told me I’d lose 17st and be training to run the London Marathon I’d have thought they were mad, but my life is completely different now.

“I feel like I missed out on so much when I was bigger and I’m determined to grab every opportunity with both hands and try new things.”

Friends have even started calling him the “Duracell Bunny” after he climbed Ben Nevis in Scotland, cycled 50km for charity, and competed in 10k runs.

Mr Briggs is running this Sunday’s marathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK along with four others from Slimming World, who have lost a combined 42st. Previous teams have raised nearly £70,000.

He said he turned to comfort food after his mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 15. She died two years later. But he began to cut down on takeaways and fizzy drinks in January 2010, after seeing the photo his father took of him on Christmas Day 2009.

“I’m passionate too about showing other men that losing weight isn’t girly and that slimming clubs aren’t just for girls,” he said.