19 stone man slims down, sets sights on running London Marathon
EXCLUSIVE: A super slimmer from Huddersfield, who once struggled to tie his shoelaces, is set to raise money for a cancer charity at the London Marathon.
Leighton Stead, from Kirkheaton, will raise funds for Cancer Research UK when he runs the 26.2 mile London Marathon as part of the Slimming World Marathon Team.
He put on weight gradually after leaving school and found himself weighing over 20st as he reached adulthood.
Tying his shoelaces was a struggle and he couldn’t climb stairs without losing his breath.
Christmas Day decision
Leighton decided to lose weight in 2012 on Christmas Day and joined the Brighouse Slimming World group with his wife Andrea.
After adopting a healthy eating plan and incorporating activity into his lifestyle, Leighton lost 7st going from 19st 11lbs to 12st 11lbs in just over a year.
He said: “Once I started losing weight though I began doing the Huddersfield Park Run on a Saturday Morning and I joined a local running club, the Stadium Runners. Since I’ve completed local 10ks and most recently I trained for the Great North Run, which I completed in 1hr 57mins.
“I was completely over the moon with this and instantly set my sights on the London Marathon. I applied to run for the Slimming World team and I couldn’t believe it when I got a place.”
Leighton is one of a team of 14 who have lost a combined total of 74 stones and will be representing Slimming World in the 35th annual Virgin Money London Marathon.
Running to raise money for Cancer Research UK will be particularly important to Leighton, who has seen family members battle the disease.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Leighton and the Slimming World Marathon team can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/SWTeam2015.