JAMES Anderson loves sport - but when his increasing weight meant he could no longer compete properly he decided it was time to change his lifestyle.
He also wanted to be a good role model for his young son, Oliver, aged four, and felt that his weight could lead to health problems.
James, of Helsby, decided he needed to lose four or five stone - no easy task. But as a finalist in the Old Hall fitness challenge he feels that the help and advice he is getting will change his life forever.
Just three weeks into the eight week challenge James is already beginning to feel the benefits of his healthier lifestyle and his weekly fitness programme reflects his determination to succeed. As well as visiting the gym at Old Hall for his sessions with personal trainer Ian Lloyd, he runs and plays football several times a week.
James, who lives in Helsby with his partner Emma, loves to play racquet sports, football and go hill walking in the Lake District but felt his weight was slowing him down. 'I was on the brink of being so overweight that I couldn't compete any more,' he said. 'I had tried a couple of times to lose weight but each time I put it back on again. I like to cook and that was probably my downfall.' After working with his personal trainer for just three weeks James realises it was just the motivation he needed.
'I really feel that I am getting fitter,' he says. 'I am really motivated and I know it will be a life-changing experience. I have been a member of a gym before but never really gone - now I'm following the diet Ian has devised for me and taking on board everything he is telling me. I haven't had a drink since we started, which says a lot!'
James, who works for Connexions in Liverpool, added: 'I will come out of this a lot fitter and I know I will carry on exercising.'