A Goring grandfather who lost both his legs has undergone a health transformation – and says anyone can do it.
At his heaviest, Steve Blaikie weighed 26 stone and was so large he struggled to clean himself.
My life spiralled out of control, but then the penny dropped and I thought ‘I have to do something here’Steve Blaikie
But after battling serious health problems, the 55-year-old cut out the junk food and hit the gym, losing 14 stone.
He said: “I feel brilliant. I have a bit of shape to my body which I haven’t had for 15 years, and I’m wearing shirts that aren’t 6XL.
“When I have a shower, I look in the mirror and think ‘look at the state of me seven years ago’.”
Steve said he had always been ‘chunky’, but years of 12 hour working days on the railways took their toll on his weight. In 2007, he was rushed to Royal Sussex County Hospital with deep vein thrombosis and had muscle removed from his left leg, hospitalising him for six months. A doctor told him: “If you don’t lose weight, we will be saying goodbye to you.”
As a result, Steve had to leave his job, and he found himself drinking through ‘self-pity’ and eating burgers and hot dogs.
He said: “My life spiralled out of control, but then the penny dropped and I thought ‘I have to do something here’.”
He swapped the unhealthy food and alcohol for water and three healthy meals a day, and lost several stone.
With the help of personal trainer Kenny Rye, Steve hit the gym at the Sidney Walter Centre in Sussex Road, and continued his weight loss journey before disaster struck.
An infection in his left leg earlier this year led to both lower parts of his legs being amputated. But Steve has remained positive, saying his gym regime gave him the upper body strength to support himself with no legs.
He said his motivation was his ‘six beautiful kids and 20 grandkids’. He has also recently found love, meeting 57-year-old nurse Margaret Greene.
Currently 11st, 6lbs, Steve’s goal is to get down to 11st. He said ‘there is no magic wand’ to weight loss, but added that ‘anyone can do it’.
His advice for people who want to lose weight is to drink lots of water, always eat a healthy breakfast and have set meals. He said he eats more now than when he did when he was 26 stone.
Steve and Kenny run the Get Fit Worthing Facebook page, which has helped people lose 10,000lbs of body fat so far.
Steve said: “No-one will take the mickey out of you. We have heard all the excuses: ‘I’m fat because I had kids’ or ‘I only eat a little bit of chocolate’. Your mindset has to be positive.”
Kenny described Steve as an ‘inspirational guy’ and said: “If we can help just one person lose weight, then it is worth it.”
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