A MAN who was morbidly obese lost 13 stone in one year and has become a personal trainer.

Lee Rand tipped the scales at 30 stone, wore 5XL shirts and had a 62 inch chest and a 52 inch waist.

But now Lee says he has turned his life around and has launched a venture helping others to achieve their goals.

The 42-year-old dad explained he struggled with weight issues from the age of four.

Lee realised something had to change when he became out of breath with heart palpitations watching TV on the sofa.

"My heart was racing as if I had run a marathon. I knew then something had to be done sooner rather than later.

"That's when I realised it was do or die."

Suffering from depression and desperate to lose weight, Lee sought help and considered having drastic gastric surgery.

However when the consultant told him there was a chance he could die on the operating table, initially he felt there was no other option and agreed to go ahead.

However months later he decided to opt out of the surgery - and to take action himself.

Lee, from Milton on Sea, joined a gym and swapped junk food and alcohol for healthy homecooked food.

He has cut sugar, processed food and alcohol from his diet and eats three well-balanced meals.

Within months his own brother and close friends did not recognise him.

Lee said: “The consultant told me my chances weren't great with the surgery but they also weren't great anyway, that's when the fear of God hits you and that's when I took action.

"I remember the first day I went into the gym. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The thought was just daunting.

"I started on the cardiovascular machines and the weight began coming off.

"My brother was living in Spain at the time and he walked past me in the High Street. I used to wait for friends in a pub and they would walk past me. I took myself out of the equation for so long, my mind was fixed on getting the weight off."

Today Lee, who is 6ft 3ins and weighs 16st 7lbs, said he feels happier than ever.

“I look back now and I find the pictures of myself grotesque. I describe my old self as 'he.' I drew a line under it.

"Today I am the happiest I have ever been and I'm now a dad to Archie and married and they are both fantastic.

"I think the word personal trainer strikes fear into people. I'm more working to people's level and I hope my experience will be able to really support people.

"All I'm aiming to do is not to help any particular age level, I just want to help those who really want to lose the weight. I lost a lot of years of my life and felt very sad and very isolated. Even when you don't think there is a light, there always is."

For more information search Lee Rand Weight Loss and Wellbeing Coach on Facebook.