By SADIE WHITELOCKS
Transformation: Matthew Briggs was horrified when he saw the picture on Facebook (left) and over two years managed to shed 17-and-a-half stone through a combination of healthy eating and exercise (right)
A camera-shy man who tipped the scales at 31-stone, was shocked into shedding more than half his body weight after an unflattering photograph popped up on Facebook.
Matthew Briggs, 29, started piling on the pounds as a teenager, following the death of his mother and would regularly gorge on takeaways, sugary foods and demolish whole tubs of ice cream in one sitting.
But it was only when he saw an image on the social networking site showcasing his 56 inch waist, that he realised his destructive relationship with food had spiraled out of control. In a bid to get his life into gear, the phone store manager from Strensall, York, joined a slimming club and started following a healthy eating plan, swapping junk food for home-cooked meals.
He also started excersising managing to lose a 17-and-a-half stone, and 24in off his waist. Mr Briggs, who stands at 6ft 2in tall and now weighs 13st 10lb said: 'When I saw the photo on Facebook I was mortified.
'I tended to avoid having my picture taken so to see myself looking so big was a real shock. I couldn’t believe it was really me.
MAtthew's friends now nickname him the ‘Duracell Bunny’ because of his endless energy, which has seen him climb the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and cycle 50km for charity in less than two hours
'When my dad asked me the million dollar question: ‘Are you happy?’ I had to admit that I wasn’t. I pretty much woke up, went to work, came home and slept.'
It was his stepmother Jane and father Peter that suggested he should join a slimming group after a 1,000 calorie-a-day diet and slimming pills failed to work.
On January 20th, 2010, Matthew went to his local Slimming World group and made a vow to stop his lunchtime trips to the local bakery and dinners of two takeaway pizzas.
After losing 10st, he finally felt confident enough to pick up where he left off with exercise, starting with simple activities like parking his car a mile away from the phone shop he works in, before running, cycling and joining a gym.