Paul Barraclough, 56, from Denton, Tameside, weighed 22 stone at his heaviest (pictured) and was left taking 20 tablets a day to treat several different health conditions - including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and gout


A father-of-five who would eat four bacon sandwiches for breakfast and an entire packet of biscuits with his cup of coffee has revealed his impressive weight loss.

Paul Barraclough, 56, from Denton, Tameside, weighed 22 stone at his heaviest and was left taking 20 tablets a day to treat several different health conditions – including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and gout.

He recalled how he never wanted to leave the house as his weight shattered his confidence; he didn’t want to speak to people because he ‘felt ugly’.

But when his mother died just a week after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it gave Paul, who was also struggling with depression, the push to turn his life around. Now, eight years later and 10 stone lighter, his life has been transformed.

Paul Barraclough, 56, from Denton, Tameside, weighed 22 stone at his heaviest (pictured) and was left taking 20 tablets a day to treat several different health conditions - including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and gout

Paul Barraclough, 56, from Denton, Tameside, weighed 22 stone at his heaviest (pictured) and was left taking 20 tablets a day to treat several different health conditions – including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and gout

But when his mother died just a week after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it gave Paul, who was also struggling with depression, the push to turn his life around. Now, eight years later and 10 stone lighter (pictured), his life has been transformed

But when his mother died just a week after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it gave Paul, who was also struggling with depression, the push to turn his life around. Now, eight years later and 10 stone lighter (pictured), his life has been transformed

‘I lost my mum to ovarian cancer within a week of her being diagnosed and it was a big wrench,’ said Paul. ‘

‘We were all very close and she was the kingpin of the family who held us all together. It really hit home and I thought, “I’ve got my children and my wife, if I carry on the way I am, I’m not going to be here much longer”.

‘My mum was very old school when it came to cooking, she loved cooking and baking for her family. Stew and dumplings, steak puddings, you name it, she made it and while it was good, home-cooked food, it wasn’t the healthiest.

‘From an early age I was a big lad. Eight years ago, I was 22 stone, I had a 54in chest, a 48in waist and I’m 5ft 4ins tall. I had all sorts of health problems, just walking down the stairs or to the shops I’d be out of breath.

He recalled how he never wanted to leave the house as his weight shattered his confidence; he didn't want to speak to people because he 'felt ugly'. Pictured, Paul after his weight loss

He recalled how he never wanted to leave the house as his weight shattered his confidence; he didn’t want to speak to people because he ‘felt ugly’. Pictured, Paul after his weight loss

‘I could eat four bacon sandwiches easily for breakfast, for dinner I would eat pie and chips and a full packet of biscuits with a cup of coffee. It was easily done so the calories were piling on.’

Paul recalled how he was left with no desire to leave his house due to his weight – until losing his mother forced him to confront his unhealthy lifestyle.

He said: ‘I didn’t want to go out because my confidence level was zero. I didn’t want to speak to people because I basically felt ugly about myself and I’d felt like that for years. I was a mess, losing my mum was the kick I needed.’

Paul now takes just three tablets a day and says he feels the healthiest and fittest he’s been in 30 years. It’s all down to his sheer determination to eat healthier and exercise regularly.

Paul (pictured before his weight loss) recalled how he was left with no desire to leave his house due to his weight - until losing his mother forced him to confront his unhealthy lifestyle

Paul (pictured before his weight loss) recalled how he was left with no desire to leave his house due to his weight – until losing his mother forced him to confront his unhealthy lifestyle

But Paul is the first to admit that becoming who he is today wasn’t easy. On the advice of his GP, he attended Active Ashton and Active Hyde gyms with a friend, but lost motivation when his pal gave up.

Fuelled by the grief of losing his mother, Paul began spiralling back into old habits, with his confidence hitting rock bottom. 

But he managed to regain the strength and determination to start again, halving the size of his meals, eating healthier and going back to the gym.

After attending a course to build up his self-esteem, Paul became a member at the Tameside Wellness Centre, in Denton. 

He now visits the gym up to four times a week for strength and cardio exercises – while also popping into the sauna and steam room when he can for some well-deserved relaxation.

Now a granddad to a one-year-old boy, Paul is determined to use his experience to help others. 

He is a full-time carer for his daughter Kirsty, 22, and the pair go to the Tameside Wellness Centre gym along with Paul’s wife, Katherine.

‘I can walk for miles now. I could never do that before,’ he said. ‘I’ve got a new lease of life and so much more confidence now.

‘If I can do it, anyone can do it and it’s my goal to help other people to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals if I can. I feel like I’m in my prime now. It’s time to live my life.’

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