A man from Essex, England, has decided to make a drastic lifestyle change after being told he was too large to ride a rollercoaster.
Joe Thompson, 35, weighed over 260 pounds but has since lost 70 pounds after an embarrassing experience at Thorpe Park in Surrey in 2021.
Thompson couldn’t fasten the safety harness on the Colossus ride at the amusement park due to his weight at the time.
He was ordered to get off of the coaster and said he “walked past a queue of people, who I’m sure all knew exactly why I couldn’t ride.”
“I tried to brush it off, but inside I was completely mortified,” he told South West News Service recently.
The recruitment worker was pushed over the edge when he saw photos from weddings he’d attended in the summer of 2021. That’s when he decided to edit his photos to look slimmer and stopped allowing other people from taking snapshots of him.
“I couldn’t believe it was me in the pictures and I just felt terrible,” he admitted.
Since then, he has joined the UK-based weight loss program Slimming World, which is similar to Weight Watchers, and he even scored the company’s annual health award, 2023 Mr. Sleek.
Thompson detailed his food intake before going on a diet, saying he often ate a bacon and sausage sandwich for breakfast, chocolate bars, chips, macaroni and cheese for lunch and pizza or Chinese takeout for dinner.
He turned his diet around by eating healthy, home-cooked meals such as poached eggs, whole wheat toast, vegetable soup and low-fat yogurt.
Thompson also suffered from gout and has lessened his pain by going on long walks and wearing a weighted vest to help strength train.
“I’d struggled with my weight for most of my life. I was adopted at birth, so I found it hard looking different to the rest of my family – I convinced myself that I had the ‘fat gene,’” he said.
He explained how leaving for college in his younger years forced him to be away from his mother’s healthy cooking and he would rely on getting by with take-out and would drink excessively.
Thompson was also trying to figure out his sexual orientation during this time and he realized he wasn’t straight. “I struggled to come to terms with this and sought comfort in food,” he confessed.
And while he deemed himself a yo-yo dieter throughout his life, Thompson found cutting out carbs and going the keto diet route to be too restrictive.
He even tried calorie counting, however, he always went to bed starving.
But with Slimming World, he felt more full with his food choices because “there’s always something substantial to eat when you are hungry.”
“I love that the plan allows me to eat to satisfy my appetite. It was totally revolutionary for me,” he said.
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.