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Success Story – from fat to fit on a bike

So, you wanna lose weight?

Worried that by stepping outside in tight lycra and sweat bands the local kids will hurl some vile abuse at you?

Well worry not! My name is Gary Brennan, also known as The Amazing 39 Stone Cyclist. I used to weigh 39 stone and 13 pounds, but through the power of cycling to work I now weigh just 180 pounds. There was no magic bullet, no weight loss surgery, no pills to pop ... just blood, sweat and gears (OK, maybe some tears too).

39 stone cyclist - from fat to fit on a bike

Top tips for your first ride

Your first ride WON'T be nice, so:

  • Wear baggy shorts and T-shirts – the lycra can wait!
  • Get some head phones and load up some inspirational music on that dang mp3 player.
  • Put on some sunglasses to hide the fact you feel like death.
  • Tell yourself – with a steely determination – that no matter what, you WILL do this and it's for YOU.

It doesn't matter how far your first ride is, or how slow it is. Just do it! Then tomorrow, do it quicker. Then the day after, go longer. Then go longer and quicker. This isn't a sprint, but a marathon. I lost on average 1 stone per month.

Eat less and move more

Eat fewer calories than you use during the day and you will be well on course for success.

If I can do it – and I'm just a normal bloke from up North – then ANYONE can. Trust me, it's worth every second. Your life will never be the same again.....


Too embarrassed to exercise in public? We hope you've been inspired by Gary's story (click on his biography link below to find out more). Now it's your turn to overcome the fear and run/cycle/swim - whatever you enjoy most! Let us know how you get on by posting a comment below, and don't forget to share your own success stories to inspire others to tackle it, move on!

 Fast Facts ObesityFast Facts medical handbooks are written for doctors but read by patients too.

The new edition of Fast Facts: Obesity by Drs Haslam and Wittert is out now.

Just 5% weight loss can have a massive effect on your health. Find out how your family doctor or practice nurse can help you to lose weight and keep it off. 




Written by: Gary Brennan
Edited by: Gary Brennan
Last updated: Friday, July 18th 2014


Find out more from GP and broadcaster Dr Phil Hammond about the causes of enlarged breasts in boys and men, and what you can do if they are causing you pain or discomfort, in his video on male breast enlargement.

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Comments on this article

Posted by Irin Abdal on 02/12/2015 at 11:02

Hi, Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story, I was looking for for some posts about “cycling for weight loss” success stories 3 days ago, so I can post them in my new post: "Cycling to Lose Weight: The Ultimate Guide", and I found your article. well I want to thank you and tell you that I shared this story on my blog, so I can help my readers to get inspired, and I hope you will not mind that, you can take a look here: Either way, keep up the awesome work! and thanks again :)

Posted by Mark on 24/08/2014 at 05:12

congratulations. You'r story is inspirational. I did not really realize how great riding every day is. I wish I was more into it earlier. Please educate as many people as you can.

Posted by Optional on 19/04/2013 at 02:03

Good stuff but please don't wear headphones or earbuds while cycling - you can't hear other cyclists/cars approaching behind you, sirens, etc. Cycle using all of your senses!


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