A former driver who ate three meals a day from drive-thru restaurants has shed more than 10 stone after he got so fat he couldn’t fit behind the wheel of his car.
Tom Firshing, 46, ate his way to 30 stone until he was so fat he could not even fit behind the wheel of the limousines he used to drive.
The fast food addict scoffed breakfast, lunch and dinner without leaving the comfort of his car – because he was worried that the chairs inside the restaurants would collapse under his weight.
Tom’s drive-thru habit cost him up to £46 a day – and when he became too big to drive, he shut himself in his room ordering takeaways.
Tom said: “I used to drive limousines and cabs and had breakfast lunch and dinner in drive-thrus four or five times a day. I was eating just to eat and all without having to move.
“You name it, I would order it! For lunch I would have two Big Mac meals and 20 chicken nuggets then a couple orders of chocolate cookies for dessert then I bought six to eight donuts and a coffee before having the same for dinner.
“When I hit 32 stone I isolated myself and stayed up in my room until my legs turned black and my mum was begging me to go to the doctor until the day she took me herself.”
Tom was told by a doctor that without urgent weight loss surgery he would not see the year out however, turning his back on the advice Tom replied saying he would lose it himself.
Ultimate Fighting Championship athlete, Chris Cope turned Tom’s life around when he spotted him at the surgery and took him along to the UFC gym.
A huge part of Tom’s dramatic weight loss has been two gruelling hours in the gym daily with trainer Warren Kelly who still pushes him through everything from weight lifting to cardio.
“Chris Cope found me in the doctor’s office and brought me into the UFC gym then I met Warren Kelly who I now consider my brother. We’ve been through a lot together every day has been and still is a battle.”
“It’s like being born again, I’m doing things for the first time like going out to a regular restaurant and not having to worry about whether the chairs will hold me. It’s a completely different lifestyle I’m now living.”
Remarkably Tom is now working towards getting his personal trainer qualification to help those in similar situations as he once was – desperate to lose weight.
Tom became a sales manager for the UFC gym soon after being introduced to the team there, leaving behind his job as a driver which holds terrible memories for him.
Tom said: “I’m now becoming a personal trainer so no more sitting in the car all day long.
“I couldn’t sit in a regular car seat but driving is a pleasure for me now the steering wheel isn’t buried into my chest.”
The average drive-thru for Tom before he was shocked into action consisted of two Big Mac value meals, a 20 piece chicken nugget box and a couple of packets of cookies.
Later on in the day Tom would drive to Dunkin Donuts for a selection and a coffee just to fill his day even though he was often left full from the meal before.
Tom said: “I was spending $50 or $60 dollars a day. I also smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. I wish I could get that money back!”
Standing at six foot tall, Tom still wants to drop four more stone off his current weight of 19st 3lbs, achieved by quitting his fast food binge and working out with pros.
Tom suffered three mini heart attacks as he stepped up his exercise regime following his visit to the doctor about his health.
Tom said: “It didn’t start getting really out of hand until I reached 30 years old and I was over 20 stone. Food became my comfort, my father was an alcoholic and drug addict which killed him.
“The doctor said I better go to the hospital because he’s not going to make it. They gave me no chance of survival but I guess it wasn’t my time to go.”
After three years of unrelenting work outs, a fast food free diet, and eating red meat only once a month, Tom is close to the body he wants.
Having lost 44 inches from his waist, Tom has gone under the knife twice to remove the excess skin and plans to pay one more visit once he gets down to his desired weight of 15 st.
“Skin surgeries take over a stone of loose skin but it’s so expensive. I want one or two more when I’m at the weight I want.”
A healthy diet Tom describes as pretty normal could not be further from the drive-thru meals he spent half his life feasting on.
Tom said: “Now I just keep it simple, fruit shakes for breakfast, for lunch a meal bar and for dinner chicken breast or fish and half a cup of quinoa I cut out red meats altogether but my doctor told me I need a bit because my iron levels were low.
“I don’t live to eat anymore, I only eat to live. I don’t have time to be bothered with a wife or kids at 45 I’ve got to start over. Every day for me is a blessing.
“Whenever I see old photos I almost get out of breath because I was always lost for breath at the time even when I wasn’t doing anything.
“When you’re young you’re pretty active still but it started to catch up with me as years went on.
“My mum has been a rock for me, her and my sister have been my support system, I was using a walker and a cane.”