The story of the 19 Stone man [120kg or 266.0lbs]

Sam Gurrey March 7, 2013 16
The story of the 19 Stone man [120kg or 266.0lbs]

The story of the 19 stone kid [120kg or 266.0 pounds]

So here it is, my story. Now I decided to write this in hope that maybe it can help someone [even if its just one person] to turn their life around and know that its never to late. Even if I only inspire a small handful it will feel all worth while.
Growing up I wasn’t the most active of kids and I hated running. However, I did play basketball until the age of 16. Apart from that, my physical activities were next to zero. I started smoking at the tender age of 13, which then led to drinking and smoking weed at 14. Whether this was to do with my parents divorce or simply the company I kept is neither here nor there. However, at this time I was slightly chubby but still a respectable size. It wasn’t until I turned 16 and went to college that it all started to go downhill.
During my college years, my motivation for learning and sports dropped to a new low. I never attended class and spent my entire two years at the pub [bar] from 11:00am till 18:00-22:00. If I wasn’t there I’d be off somewhere smoking weed. Along with the copious amounts of beer I drunk, the mandatory fast food came quickly along with it [a steady daily diet of fried pub food, McDonalds and KFC]. During these two years, I soon ballooned from 15stones [95.25kg] to 19 stones [120kg]. The weight of course had managed to sneak itself on and I simply hadn’t noticed or didn’t care. Mentally I was depressed and fed up, using drink as a crutch to help forget just how sh*t I truly felt. However, like most of us who have been overweight, I’d convinced myself I was happy and my size really wasn’t an issue. Of course it did effect my life. I was now drinking to be ‘accepted’ [at least in my head, looking back] as I could outdrink most people with ease, including adults so I’d always play up to this. Of course with the weight came low self confidence, which would also attribute to my behaviour. Not only that but it destroyed any real chance I had of having much of a sex life, instead I usually ended playing the role of the ‘safe friend’. I mean, who wants to end up with the fat, smoking, drinking ginger bloke with no confidence? Welcome to my 17yr old thought process.
This began to change though shortly after I left college. I was at my uncles house attending a family wedding, when I decided to step on the scales. I was horrified to find 19 stones [120kg] staring back at me. We had no scales at home at the time, so I had no real idea of just how big I’d gotten. Looking back, you would think the stretch marks would have been some indication to me, but like all the other signs I’d simply chosen to ignore them. With this I dropped my weight down to 17stone over the course of a year, no real achievement really as I continued to drink and smoke as heavily as before, just taking a little more care of what I’d eat. Years went by like this, going through terrible relationships, being unhappy with myself and my weight going back and fourth between 16-17 stone. The sense of loneliness and depression that this can create for yourself is terrible, but like most people we just grin and bare it or feel we somehow deserve it. I was unhappy, and of course that fed the cycle of eating rubbish because I’m fat and being fat because I ate so much rubbish.



Of course, after such a length of time I’d settled into the idea of ‘this is just how my body is’, I’ll forever be the overweight one and almost accepted this role.
Years went by like this, however, in May 2012 something changed. There was no major change in my life, or a massive influence that drove me to take my health more seriously. I’d turned 27yrs old in January 2012 and I remembered a friend once told me that a man’s physical prime is between 28-32yrs old. For some reason, I was just watching TV one day and the reality of this statement hit me like a ton of bricks. How can I be in such poor shape for a man supposedly closing in on his ‘prime years’. The thought alone disgusted me. So gradually I changed my diet and the way I saw food. The drink and smoking was cut right down as well.
I remember going to buy a bike so I could ride to and from work [about 3-4miles at the time] to get in a little cardio. However, I didn’t have a lot of money and the bike store I went to wouldn’t sell me the cheaper bikes due to my weight… So I Jogged. I would jog the 3 ½ miles home from work almost every day. Lets not forget, I hated running with a passion but I knew I just had to make a change. Slowly the run became easier, I worked through the shin splints [they were terrible to say the least], the swollen knees and all the other ailments that came with it. As the weight gradually fell away I found myself enjoying each run more and more, until I began to extend the distances [up to 12miles on occasions]. I was hooked! In 4-5months I managed to fall from 17stone to 13.5 stone [or there about]. That’s a drop of 3.7 stone [23.5kg or 51.8lbs]. I’d never felt happier with myself. Of course with the exercise came the diet. The more I exercised the easier I found eating healthily, as fast food or junk just made me think of undoing all the hard work I’d expended through running that day. Along with my new found love of dieting and exercise came a desire to learn [unlike ever before, as I said, I was never much of an academic] so I also hit the books hard, learning muscles, how to train, how to eat, workout regimes, theories, nutrition etc.

Original weight loss

Original weight loss

Original weight loss [side]

Original weight loss [side]

Unfortunately late last year I hit a bad spell. I’d started to move into weight training where I injured both my shoulder and back. On top of that, me and my partner had a stressful house move along with losing our un-born baby daughter [still-birth]. With all of these things happening at once, just weeks before Christmas as well, old habits soon snuck back in. The diet didn’t change too drastically, but I was eating more junk again as well as not training. Of course the drink managed to find its ugly way in there again. We have a 3yr old son, so I wasn’t drunk 24/7, infact I was very rarely drunk at all, although I found that I was drinking 2-4 beers EVERY night, back to my old emotional crutch again. Thankfully this time I’d learnt from my past mistakes and accomplishments. Mid February 2013 I stepped on the scales and found 14.4 stones glaring back at me. However, this time I took notice, so late February [the 25th I believe] I dusted off the old running shoes.
Thanks to this site, the support of those around me and an iron determination like never before, I’m well on the way to the best shape of my life! I’ve already shed a lot of the excess weight and my fitness levels are almost back to where they were. Along with with my rejuvenated sense of diet and exercise also came my desire to learn again. I’m now getting through a few books a week and holding on to each new piece of information for dear life. This is continually fuelled by my desire to become a Personal trainer so I can help others who are/were like me. [I’m currently studying so I can take the course to be fully qualified, although I’ve been told I’d walk through the exam knowing what I know…a true compliment indeed and one I’m very proud of, especially since I’m completely self taught]
So I’d like to take a moment to thank you all, from the authors to the readers, as well as my loving wife and son who allow me to pursue my dream. Reading your posts and seeing your own improvements continually inspires me to improve and push myself harder than ever before, plus I love the competition!
Thank you!

Finally, please remember that you’re never to old or too big to make a change in your life! This is the main reason I want to make this fitness section a success, to provide you with a support system that I never had. Feel free to email me at if there’s any kind of personal advice or questions you may have. I’m a full time father, the house chef, I work long hours and I was heavily overweight, unfit & unmotivated, so just know that if I can do it, there’s nothing stopping you! The hardest part is simply starting.


  1. wow March 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    19 STONE NO WAY THATS HUGE , you sure it was 19

  2. Ryan March 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    would you say that eating right or exercise was more beneficial ? or do you HAVE to do both if ur not looking to be sum amazing gym buff just healthy

  3. Sam Gurrey March 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    Yeah I was 18.13 stone, so 1lb off of 19stone.
    Ryan: personally I would suggest IF you can ony do one or the other, then I’d suggest the diet. I’d ideally say that both together will be much more efficient & better for you

  4. Babs Adedayo March 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Whatever your doing bro.. Keep At It!! Dig Deep!

  5. Nezza March 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    What an amazing story, you progressed so much even within the space of 6 months. Good on you!

  6. Gina March 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Well done Sam. Hard work pays off. Keep it up!

  7. Sam Gurrey March 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all your support!
    Unfortunately I don’t have any pics from when i was 19stone as i HATED cameras with a passion, refusing to be photographed at any time…The pics I’ve posted are me at around 17-17.7 stone, give or take a few pounds

  8. Sam Gurrey March 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I might have to try your intensity next Babs lol

  9. Jimmeh April 30, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this. I think this evening I’ve had that ‘spark’ that you had.

    When I last looked at the scales (over 6 months ago) I was 19 stone 2. I hate myself for it, and like you, convinced myself that I was happy. I turned 24 this year, and on my birthday I felt like crying, realizing that I was in fact deeply unhappy with my life.

    I’ve had a friend who took up running a few months ago, and always thought of it as a case of ‘yeah yeah that wont last’ but he stuck with it and loves it now.

    Then this evening a blogger that I follow explained how he also had a ‘spark’ about a year ago, and has turned his life around.

    Then I saw your post. And that did it for me. I cant wait to get started.

    Funnily enough, my biggest issue isn’t the running itself. It’s the people. I’m a very anxious person, and very unconfident (which I guess could be attributed to my big ass belly!) so my biggest problem is what people will think. I know people wont say anything, or probably even think anything – its just subconsciously I feel embarrassed.

    One way I think I can combat this though is to avoid running along public footpaths and roads. I’m lucky enough to have a number of large woodland parks locally, so can probably start off by restricting myself to those.

    Thanks a bunch for your post again – its a real eye opener. Any info or tips for a complete and utter beginner would be massively appreciated. Anything at all really!

  10. Sam gurrey May 6, 2013 at 12:28 am - Reply

    Jimmeh, thank you sooo much for your comment! It was very moving & made this post worth while! I will be emailing you personally & will help you in any way I possibly can. Keep your head up & know that anything you want is possible…if I can achieve it so can you

  11. Nicole Helme May 6, 2013 at 2:24 am - Reply

    Great article. I love to see people get inspired to stay fit and take care of their bodies. Garbage in=garbage out. Something some people never learn. :-)

  12. Rhys Forsyth November 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Sam, just wanted to say how inspiring this post is to me. My story is very similar, living on a lifestyle of fastfood, drugs and drinks. I started at 140kg and am now down to 120kg and have plateaued a bit but your story has given me the motivation to know that it can be done. You should be so proud of yourself for sharing your story and being such an inspiration. If you have any tips or wish to share stories I would love to hear from you and pick your brain. Take care and thank you.

  13. alex February 21, 2014 at 10:28 am - Reply

    very inspirational story, im sortof in a similar situation. last year i was 143kg.
    my kidneys failed and i was told i needed a transplant, problem was i was too fat to be accepted for the transplant list.
    i struggle with exercise because not only my weight but my blood was impure, not efficient at transporting oxygen and removing lactic acid so i felt exhausted all the time. but i found out 1lb body weight is 3500 calories, so i started by reducing my intake. i now only actually eat 800 cal worth per day so considering the body requires 2500 per day i burn off 1700 per day without doing anything (thats about 3.4lb per week). during the year ive gone from 143kg-120kg, still too big for the transplant list but now i feel i can start jogging or somthing just to help it along a bit. i know just dropping calories isnt healthy but in my situation atleast its helped get the ball rolling :)

  14. Sam Gurrey February 21, 2014 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Dear Rhys & Alex

    Thank you so much for your kind words and I’m truely touched that you we’re able to relate (and maybe find a little hope) in my story. If either of you want to contact me, then please email me at if be happy to hear from you!

    Good luck to the both of you in your quest & I truely hope that you find the strength & fortitude to stick with it!

  15. Lucie April 20, 2014 at 1:40 am - Reply

    Hi Sam, I just wanted to tell you that you have inspired me so much. I mean apart from the smoking and drinking my teenage years were my worst. I think 14-15 was when I was at my heaviest, I don’t actually know because I was always to embarrased to weigh myself.

    I am now 19 and I weigh 126kg maybe a little more, and for a girl it’s just mortifying. My one goal for this year was to nonstop jog the race for life which is 5km (about 3.1 miles) and I can’t even keep at a steady jog for about 5 minutes. I wish I just had the balls to do what you did and start running, but like Jimmeh, the running isn’t an issue I actually enjoy running, it’s the other people on the street.

    I am trying to exercise regularly, I play football (soccer) every Monday and I have recently purchased the biggest loser workout game on xbox Kinect which definitely works up a sweat. My eating and diet is my next big tackle as I know I need both diet and exercise sorted if I have any chance of sorting my weight.

    My dream and the one thing I want to do with my life is to become a paramedic, the thought of saving someone’s life just seems to me a priceless job and something working hard for. But my weight is holding me back, I would feel like a hypocrite trying to help someone when I weigh 20 stone plus and unable to climb 1 flight of stairs without breathing heavily.

    I am ready to change my life, for my self now and for the future. I’m still young and I have the rest of my life to live. I just want to thank you for giving me that little bit of motivation I needed. I may even print your story off so it can remind me all the time that I can do this.

    Thank you again :]

  16. Dennis October 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Hey dude! Good to see what can be achieved. In the last year I’ve gone from being a heavy smoker and weighing in at 20 stone to running about 10 – 15 miles a week and weighing in at about 13 and a half stone! Really enjoying my new lifestyle too! Cheerz!

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