BOXER Chris Bates was not prepared to throw in the towel after piling on the pounds.
During the course of a year, Chris, from Great Cornard, has shed a staggering 12 stone in weight.
He has lost half his body weight and puts his success down to shunning junk food and stopping eating “burgers by the bucket load”.
Now he is about to compete in his first boxing competition for several years and hopes he is “gonna float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” – to quote the famous heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali – when he appears at a boxing event in Colchester on Saturday, December 3.
The 43-year-old cleaner from Sycamore Road admits he lost interest in everything when his brother Paul died in 2005 after a heart attack. His father had died a few years earlier.
His weight ballooned to nearly 24 stone as he lived on fast food from McDonalds and KFC, while buying junk food became a convenience factor.
Last July, weighing 23 stone, Chris was playing in a friendly football match against Tesco for the Five Bells pub in Great Cornard and he suffered a knee injury.
“I went to the doctor but he wasn’t very sympathetic,” he said. “He just told me I shouldn’t be playing football as I might have a heart attack.
“But after hearing his words, I thought I’ll show him and I started changing what I ate and started exercising more.”
With exercise and cutting out calorie-high junk food, Chris watched the pounds fall away.
His “American” exercise regime of cardiovascular and weightlifting has helped him tone up.
“I am eating more healthy foods, although I must admit I did have cheeseburger today,” he said.
The single father-of-one is now focusing on his big fight.
“I cannot wait to get back in the ring for my first competitive fight,” he said.
“I don’t know much about my opponent, but I am feeling very confident and am in fantastic shape.”
For the full story see last week’s Free Press.