A MAN from Abergavenny who lost 10 stone after his GP told him he was in danger of ill health says he was unsure whether he would be able to stomach the gym ahead of his long weight loss journey.

Five years on and Paul Waldron, 47, has plans to help others who are struggling with their weight.

When Mr Waldron was at his heaviest in 2015, a trip to his doctor confirmed his fears that he could become seriously ill due to his weight.

“I was over 22 stone at that time, and it made me realise the difficulties I was having were a little more serious than I thought,” Mr Waldron recalled. “I remember having back-ache constantly because of the weight I was carrying on my front. It meant I struggled to do normal things like bend down to pick up my children or take them swimming.

South Wales Argus:

Mr Waldron in 2015 (right) compared to now

“I would struggle doing things like walking to the supermarket too, and I was constantly tired. I used to come home from work and get straight on the sofa.”

Mr Waldron, who works for the NHS’s Complex Care team, said the benefits he’s gained from his weight loss have been “astronomical”.


“It’s helped me no end – both fitness-wise and with my mental health too,” he said. “I used to just wear baggy clothes to cover the fact I was so big. Now if the clothes don’t fit well, I don’t wear them. It’s given me confidence in my own skin.

“I would struggle to walk anywhere just two or three years ago. Now I try and walk 10 miles a day, and I go to the gym four times a week too.”

Last summer he began playing cricket again for the first time in 20 years, which he said was “unthinkable” in 2015, when he was struggling to get his weight loss mission off the ground.

“I remember when I first stepped foot in a gym in 2015, I felt nervous and I would go as far to say a little intimidated too,” he said. “There were a lot of very athletic people there running at high speeds, and I wouldn’t have had a chance of running back then. I just used to get on the rowing machine because it was the only thing I felt comfortable doing.”

The following five years have not been easy for him either, and he admits he had regular set backs along the way which led to him gaining weight.

South Wales Argus:

Mr Waldron with a pair of his old trousers

“I split up with my partner and my children’s mother in 2016, and then I had a rough year in 2017 when I kind of relapsed and became quite lazy again. I went back up to 18 and a half stone,” he said.

During Mr Waldron’s most challenging days, his children (his daughter, 9, and son, 17) provided significant motivation.

He added: “The biggest driver for me is wanting to see my kids grow up and being there for them for as long as I can. When my motivation drops I just have to look at my daughter to remind myself that there is no way I’ll get to the stage where my weight is affecting my health again.”

After achieving his 10-stone target by getting down to just under 12 and a half stone in 2018, he is now at 13 stone and says it is the most comfortable he’s ever felt. Now, he wants to use his experiences to help others do the same.

“My ultimate goal is to own my own gym one day and to create a welcoming place where people who are struggling with their weight can receive help in a welcoming environment,” he added. “I want to help people change their lifestyle and I’d love to help them realise that it doesn’t have to be one huge challenge if you can have some perspective.”

For now, Mr Waldron is planning on voluntarily helping people on their weight loss journey, with plans for walking groups and advice sessions in the pipeline.

If you are interested in joining Mr Waldron’s walking club you can visit the Facebook group Abergavenny Walking and Fitness at https://www.facebook.com/groups/510524459670083/.