Man who was unable to put his socks on shed 11st in a year

Man who at 35 Double Deckers a week and couldn’t pull his socks up at 26st loses 11st in a year after deciding against surgery and taking up boxing

  • Tobie Vermeire, 29, from Malvern Hills, Worcester, weighed 26st at heaviest
  • Ate over 10,000 calories a day including chocolate, Pringles and takeaways
  • Motorbike salesman decided to lose weight in bid become a professional boxer 
  • He has shed 11st in a year since giving up fast food and sugary snacks

A man who became unable to put his own socks on after his weight spiraled to 26st while while scoffing up to 35 chocolate bars a week, has revealed how his quest to become a professional boxer has helped him to shed 11st in a year. 

Tobie Vermeire, 29, from Malvern Hills, Worcester, had always struggled with his weight but soon found himself scoffing a four-pack of Cadbury’s Double Deckers with lunch and sometimes more in the morning and evening.

Each bar contains a whopping 30g of sugar meaning the ‘food addict’ was consuming a kilo of sugar a week from his Double Decker habit alone.   

At his heaviest, he added an additional 10,000 calories to his daily intake on a diet of sausages, eggs and bacon for breakfast every morning, a tube of Pringles, two Domino’s pizzas for lunch and a Chinese takeaway for his dinner – along with more snacks. 

Tobie Vermeire, 29, from Malvern Hills, Worcester, who weighed 26st at his heaviest has shed 11st in a year in a bid to become a professional boxer. Pictured right: Tobie after weight loss

The then insurance broker, who wore XXXL clothes and had a 46-in waist, knew he had to make a change when he was left ‘shocked and embarrassed’ to discover he weighted 26st.

Starting his journey in September 2020, Tobie binned the daily fast food, chocolate and ice cream diet and focused on his old love of boxing.

It was tough to break the cycle while ‘addicted to calories, grease, fast food’ but believes if he had not made the changes, he would have ‘eaten himself to death’.

After just over a year of training and dieting, the motorbike salesman has lost more than 11st, but has set his sights on turning professional as a boxer by the end of this year.  

Tobie said: ‘I’ve always had a real issue with food. It was a comfort thing for me growing up and it continued through my adult life.

‘When I was 18, I was playing rugby at a reasonable level but whenever I got an injury and couldn’t play, I was still eating as if I was training. I just got bigger and bigger.

Tobbie (pictured now) who now tips scales at just under 15st, set up social media accounts to keep himself accountable while losing weight 

Tobie, who claims to have always had an issue with food, would eat around 35 bars of Cadbury’s Double Decker chocolates (pictured) a week 

Tobie said he dropped down the levels of playing rugby (pictured left), so that he didn’t have to focus on training 

Tobie was left unable to put his socks on as his weight ballooned, while focusing on his former desk job as an insurance broker. Pictured: Tobie before his weight loss

Tobie’s diet before 

Breakfast: Baguette with sausage, bacon, egg, mushrooms

Snack: Crisps, energy drinks

Lunch – 2 Dominos pizzas, 4 Double Deckers

Dinner – Takeaway with chow mein, chicken balls, beef curry, fried rice

Evening snack – Tub of Ben & Jerry’s + family size chocolate bar

Total: 8-10,000 calories a day 

Tobie’s diet now  

Breakfast – Black coffee and porridge with half a protein bar

Lunch – rice cakes, fruit, boiled eggs, protein bar

Dinner – Homemade lamb or beef curry with cauliflower rice or a nice piece of fish. Jacket potato if training the next day

Snacks: None 

Total: 2,000 calories a day

‘Around 25 I decided to focus on my career but this meant I let my health get even worse. I ballooned from 18st up to 26st. I couldn’t put my own socks on.’

Despite playing rugby for his county up until he was 20, as his weight grew Tobie decided to drop down the levels so he didn’t have to focus on training.

Tobie said: ‘With rugby, I was playing at a decent standard but instead of keeping up my fitness, as my weight ballooned I just decided to drop down the levels so I didn’t have to try hard.

Tobie said he was prone to injury at 26st (pictured) and would keep eating like he was playing rugby even when he was hurt

Tobie said the weight piled on (pictured left) as he began focusing increasingly less on his health and diet, which included Domino’s pizza at lunch followed by another takeaway for dinner. Pictured right: Tobie after weightloss

‘I was playing rugby at 26st but just playing at a very low level so I didn’t have to train. I would turn up when I was massive and still manage to do a job.

‘It wasn’t good for my health and meant I was injury prone. I just kept eating like I was playing even when I was hurt so the weight piled on.’ 

Deciding to focus on his insurance broker job, Tobie paid even less attention to his health and his daily diet saw him consuming up to 10,000 calories a day.

He would chow down on two Domino’s pizzas at lunch with a four pack of Double Deckers, before having a large takeaway every evening.

Tobie admits that he was a food addict, whose only drive or pleasure outside of work was food. Pictured: Before his weight loss

Tobie said he was ’embarrassed’ to discover that he was 26st (pictured left) after scales were brought into his workplace. Pictured right: Tobie after weightloss 

Tobie said: ‘I was a food addict. It was the only drive or pleasure in my life outside of working, so food was my getaway.

‘I was at work one day and they brought the scales out for everyone to check their weight. I thought I was going to be 21st and that I was just a few weeks off the weight I had been previously.

‘When I stepped on them, I was 26st and I was just so embarrassed about how big I had become. I was wearing XXXL clothes and had a 46 inch waist so I was massive.

‘I started to get really ill – I was fatigued, couldn’t get out of bed, constantly had headaches. I was tested for diabetes and thyroid problems but it turned out to be the physical signs of depression.’

Tobie said he had begun to feel ill with symptoms including fatigue and headaches, which turned out to be the physical signs of depression. Pictured: Before his weight loss

Tobie decided to stop eating his favourite foods in the hopes of losing weight without undergoing surgery. Pictured: Tobie with his dog after losing weight

Having considered weight loss surgery initially, Tobie decided on putting in the hard work to lose the weight naturally and went cold turkey on his favourite foods.

Tobie said: ‘I had to treat it like a drug addiction and go teetotal on most of the foods I’d eaten before, so no chocolate, takeaways or crisps.

‘I felt awful at first, really ill. I was having withdrawal symptoms for the first few weeks, which was me coming off the copious amounts of processed foods and chocolate I’d been used to.

‘I was addicted to calories, grease, fast food, the whole lot. My diet was abysmal so I had to change.

‘If I hadn’t, I think I’d have eaten myself to death. I’d like to think I’ve added 10 to 15 years on to my life by reversing the years of destructive eating.’

Tobie said he had withdrawal symptoms after giving up processed foods and chocolate, but he likes to think that he’s added years to his life by stopping his destructive eating. Pictured: After weight loss, with a friend

Tobbie, who has previously fought in white collar bouts, said he set himself the goal of turning pro to keep himself on track. Pictured left: Tobbie before, right: after weight loss

Tobie set himself a lofty goal to keep his diet on track and turned to boxing having fought in white collar bouts previously with the aim of turning professional.

Tobie said: ‘There and then I decided I had to make a change and grab life by the horns.

‘Rugby wasn’t inspiring me anymore so I knew I had to try something different. I needed a new challenge to get me out of bed and keep me driven.

‘I’ve always been a boxing fan and I decided I needed to set myself a goal that kept me on track. I decided to train to become a pro.

Tobbie (pictured now) said he joined a boxing gym and started working out by himself after losing a little bit of weight 

‘I looked for help from a few people but I realised I had to do it myself. Once I’d lost a little bit of weight and gained confidence, I joined a boxing gym and started working by myself on the heavy bags.

‘It has just snowballed from there. I’ve had a couple of amateur fights since covid restrictions have been loosened and I’ve been sparring regularly with experienced pros.’

As a way of keeping himself accountable, Tobie set up an Instagram and TikTok page called Obese2Boxer, and now tips the scales at just under 15st.

Tobie said: ‘I’ve never been happier. This is how I should have felt at 18 or 19 which has given me a whole new lease of life.

Tobbie (pictured) said that he feels bad that he didn’t change his life sooner and revealed he’s looking to get as many fights in as possible this season

‘The only thing that I feel which is slightly negative is that I didn’t do it earlier. I feel bad that I let it get to the worst and didn’t change my life sooner.

‘It’s been a huge year of change. It’s helped my mental health massively too. I left my job as an insurance broker to start selling motorbikes as I’ve always loved them.

‘I need to get some more fights under my belt before I can go pro as well as sorting some sponsorship for travel.

‘I was meant to be fighting at the end of January but that has been delayed as I have had covid. We’re looking to get as many fights in as possible this season.’ 

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