41ST father who gorged on pork pie sandwiches loses half his body weight after breaking his car seat

Before: Marc Soulsby used to be so big he used to drive almost lying down so that his belly could fit behind the wheel
Marc became too ashamed to leave his house because of his size

A father who was so fat he used to drive his car almost horizontal so he could fit behind the wheel has lost nearly half his body weight.

Marc Soulsby, who weighed more than 41 stone, used to gorge on pork pie sandwiches every night as well as packets of biscuits and takeaways.

But when he eventually broke the seat of his car, his sisters confronted Marc and persuaded him to stop eating himself to death.


...and after: Marc has already lost 17 stone 0 (and hopes to lose a few more) by giving up his pork pie sandwiches and other unhealthy food

Marc, who used to stuff himself with pork pie sandwiches has has lost 16 stone (and hopes to lose a few more)

Before going on a diet, the 39-year-old was too ashamed to leave the house and couldn’t walk anywhere without becoming breathless.

Now – after shedding 16 stone, the weight of a baby elephant – Marc, from Gateshead says he no longer recognises himself.

He said: ‘If you had seen me two years ago to what I am now, you would think I was two different people.

‘I used to drive almost lying down just so my belly could fit behind the wheel. Nobody could fit behind me either.

‘The day the seat broke was pretty bad, although I can laugh about it now.’

Mark, who is dad to 15-year-old Connor, admits he ‘has always been big’ but says that his weight spiralled after he lost his job as a call centre trainer in 2005.

With nothing to do, Mark would sleep from 6am until 2pm, skip breakfast and lunch before devouring a takeaway at around 9pm with half a loaf of bread on the side.

He said: ‘I was really lazy. My mam would try and give me recipes but I just couldn’t be bothered with it. It was so much easier to phone up for a takeaway.’

As Marc began to pile on the pounds he became reclusive, too scared to even go into his garden after a group of boys taunted him about his size.

Very happy family: Marc pictured with hi sisters Donna (left) and Lisa who persuaded him to loose weight

Very happy family: Marc pictured with hi sisters Donna (left) and Lisa who persuaded him to loose weight

He said: ‘It was like a spiral, your
confidence is knocked, you’re not going out as much and you just find
yourself comfort eating.

‘Anytime my friends would call or ask me to go out, I’d say I was busy and make excuses.

‘I used to have a lot of friends but I cut them out because of the way I felt about myself.’

The only time Marc would venture outside was to drive his grandmother – who has asthma and a knee replacement – to the shops or to pick up his 15-year-old son Connor from school.

He said: ‘Crowds used to really scare me. And when I picked my son up he used to ask me to stay in the car.

‘It could have just been that age where it is not cool for your dad to come for you, but then I always thought he might be embarrassed about my weight too.’

One day his sister Lisa persuaded him to go for a walk, but Marc said: ‘I got out the car and I must have walked for 50ft when I had to stop because my knees and my back were hurting so much.’

Despite the warning signs Marc didn’t face the facts until his sisters, Donna and Lisa, staged an intervention.

They contacted their brother’s doctor who sent over a crisis team of nurses.

Lisa said: ‘We talked for months about what we could do because we were worried sick about him. Our nana used to cry herself to sleep thinking she’d find him dead.’

Donna said: ‘We did not want to invade his privacy but in the end we had to because if anything happened to him we would always be thinking “why didn’t we do anything”

‘At the time I felt bad but it was the best thing we have ever done.’

Although Marc had a panic attack when the nursing team arrived, he agreed to visit his GP.

He said: ‘He gave me three choices: I could die, I could have a gastric band or I could try to lose weight myself.

‘The gastric band was not an option as both my dad and grandad had died in hospital and I was scared of surgery.’

So Marc plucked up the courage to join his local Slimming World in Dunston, Gateshead.

He was delighted to lose a stone in the first month and continued to lose a stone a month.

He said: ‘One of the scariest things I have ever done was walk through that door at Slimming World.

‘It seemed like there were about 1,000 people there and as I opened the door everyone looked. It’s been a breeze since then!’

Now slimmed down to a more healthy 25 stone, Marc has a new lease of life. He’s swapped the pork pie sandwiches for fruit throughout the day and has home-cooked pasta, curry or chilli in the evening.

Now no longer housebound, Marc loves walking everywhere.

Last year he was able to take Connor for a birthday weekend in Northumberland for the first time since 2006.

He said: ‘Before I had heard about things being built but was stuck in the house so I never saw them. I thought “I live in this area but I do not know it anymore”.

‘So I took up photography and I go all over the place taking photographs.’

The super-slimmer says he still wants to lose another six stone but isn’t worried about suffering from loose skin.

He said: ‘At 6ft 4ins the doctor said I should be just over 14st 2lbs. But I don’t think I would look right so I’d be happy at just under 20 stone.

‘My attitude might change when I have lost more weight but for now I am happy to tuck any loose skin into my pants!’