Ian who got fat binging on mince pies and whisky compared himself to ‘ Bad Santa,’ and says he’s delighted to have been able to pass his suit onto somebody else.
Morbidly obese 27 stone ‘ Santa’ loses 11 stone to save his life.
Ian’s love of mince pies and whisky meant he had a giant tummy – perfect for dressing up as Father Christmas.
But despite his jolly persona, what his weight as doing to his health was no laughing matter.
Ian’s morbid obesity meant he suffered with sleep apnea which meant he stopped breathing up to 30 times a night.
But no after shedding 11 stone after even his XXXXXL Santa suit got too small, he’s feeling jollier than ever.
Ian, 64, said: ‘ I didn’t mind playing Santa for the kids, but under the suit I felt more like Bad Santa. I was eating too much and drinking too much and it was putting my life at risk.
‘I was jolly for the kids, but under my fake beard and red coat I was feeling rotten and knew I had to change. Now I’ve finally done it I’ve had to hang up my Santa suit because I’m just not round enough to play Father Christmas anymore.
‘It’s ironic because I’m more excited for Christmas now than I have ever been.’
Ian said he turned to food after the loss of his first wife in 2002.
He lived on takeaway and drank whisky every night until his health declined to badly he needed a mask to regulate his breathing at night.
He said: ‘ I stopped breathing up to 30 time a night, it was terrifying.’
And when he went to visit his brother abroad he had to book TWO seats to accommodate his giant frame.
By Xmas 2014 his BMI was 50 and spirits were low after he was warned his weight would put him in an early grave.
But he still forced a smile to don his red suit and hand out presents.
He said: ‘ Even my huge Santa suit was struggling to do up. I knew I had to change.’
So in 2015, with the support of wife Mary-Jane he started another diet replacing all food with products from the Cambridge Weight Plan.
He saw his health and mobility improve as the weight fell off and is now 11 stone lighter weighing 16 stone. It means his Santa suit is now far too big.
He said: ‘ I’m a new man and it feels amazing. I might not be Santa anymore but I feel lot happier and healthier now that giant tummy has gone.
‘It’s the best present I could ever wish for.’