A MAN who lost more than 6st in a year got on his bike to tackle a 100 mile cycle ride.
Andrew Harrison, of Hadrian Drive, Baston, weighed 18st 10lb in May last year but after cutting down on his eating and taking up cycling as a hobby, he now weighs a slim 12st 7lb.
And after ditching the pounds, he decided to take up the challenge of riding in the annual charity bike ride, the Peterborough 100, which he completed last month.
Father-of-two Andrew, 43, said feels like a new person after shedding the pounds and adopting a more active lifestyle.
He said: “I feel fantastic about what I’ve achieved.
“I’ve had people say that I’m unrecognisable and the other day my wife Alison had to look at me twice before saying ‘crikey your thin now!’.
“I used to wear trousers with a 42 inch waist but I’ve had to take them all to a charity shop because I’m now wearing a 34.
“I used to feel tired and exhausted but that’s all changed and I’m enjoying feeling healthier and having more energy.”
To lose weight was Andrew’s New Year’s resolution last year but it was not until his birthday in May that he took his challenge seriously.
He was then alarmed by reading an article about Body Mass Index, and realising that with a BMI of more than 35, he was cutting his life expectancy by 15 per cent.
Andrew, a computer programmer, said: “I was just eating too much of the wrong things and the children started commenting on my weight. I knew I was fat but it was the BMI story that made me think I have really got to sort this out.
“I started walking whenever possible and eating better but it wasn’t until I took up cycling and really started enjoying it that my weight began to fall.”
And after discovering his love of cycling and saddling up to ride more than 40 miles on a regular basis, Andrew decided to keep a monitor on how much weight he was losing.
He said: “I noticed in October that my clothes were getting smaller and when I saw the weight coming off, that was my motivation to keep going.
“And things just started getting easier to do. I could tie my shoelaces easily, my clothes began to feel comfortable and I had energy to play with my children, Luke and Charlotte. It was little private victories like that which kept me going.”
Andrew then took on his biggest challenge of taking part in the Peterborough 100.
The event sees participants riding from Peterborough to Rutland Water and back again, a total of 104 miles.
With support from his family and friends, Andrew managed to raise more than £400 for Action Medical Research, a charity which funds research into childhood illnesses.
Andrew said: “A friend mentioned the event to me and I thought if I follow a training regime I can do it. I started riding further and further and built up to a 70 mile ride before the event.
“During the event there was rain and hail in the last 30 miles and it was quite a struggle. But I kept on going to the end it was great to cross the finish line.”
He added: “The hard thing now will be keeping the weight off and not going back to my old habits but I’m loving cycling and want to keep that going.”