HE’S literally half the man he used to be. For Paul Gillman has lost 11 and a half stone in weight and is now a personal fitness instructor.

But Paul, 36, who is based at The Bulldog Gym in Bournemouth, says he never liked sport at school.

“I was always the kid with the note to get out of PE.

“I used to like watching sport, but not doing sport. I was a computer games addict. I would love to meet my PE teacher again now – he would be amazed.”

Paul who used to run a shoe repair business before his dramatic career change, said he had battled with his weight all his life.

“I had always been big for as long as I could remember.

“I was always the biggest kid in the class. My school trousers were a 48-inch waist.”

He added: “I was in a vicious circle because when I became depressed about my size I would binge eat.

“I tried every diet and slimming club, but every time I lost some weight, I would end up putting it back on again with interest.”

At his heaviest Paul weighed 23 and a half stone – then four years ago Paul decided to turn his life around for good.

“I was 32 and I decided I wanted to change my life before I got too old so I joined a gym.

“It was so hard at first – I literally couldn’t run more than 100m without getting out of breath.”

Now Paul runs half marathons and has around 18 clients.

“I want to help as many people as possible. I think people feel comfortable with me because I understand what they are going through. But it’s not about a diet – it’s a lifestyle change.”