A music lover who went to a festival feeling ‘too tired’ to watch his favourite band because of his weight, has now returned - after losing 14 stone. Aaron Walker, 27, went to Leeds Festival in 2021 but struggled to enjoy himself because of his 26st 12.5lbs frame.
He was “gasping for breath” by just walking to the main stage and felt “self-conscious” the entire time he was there. Aaron even missed the performance of one of his favourite bands, the Two Door Cinema Club, because he was ‘too tired’ to walk to the stage they were playing on.
He sprung into action to start losing weight and Aaron now weighs a trim 12st 10.5lbs and his waist size has dropped from 48ins to a slimline 32ins. Now he’s back at the festival, which is held at Bramham Park, and said he is ‘loving’ it this time.
Aaron said: "When I arrived, it soon dawned on me that being on my feet would be hard going for me at almost 27st. Just the walk from the entrance to the main stage had me gasping for breath – I was exhausted.
"I felt self-conscious all day and even missed one of my favourite bands, Two Door Cinema Club, because I was too tired to walk across the field to the stage they were playing on. I thought to myself – I’m 25 years old, I should be having the time of my life at a music festival with my mates and I’m not.
"That was my turning point. I joined a Slimming World group not long after. Now here I am – two years later, 14st lighter and loving Leeds Festival this time."
Reflecting on the festival in 2021, Aaron says that his ‘weight was a problem’ before he even arrived there as he recalls struggling to find an outfit that fitted him.
Aaron, of Doncaster said: "Even before I arrived my weight was a problem. The button had popped off my shorts because they were so tight and I tried to find some more the day before, but clothes shopping isn’t exactly simple when you have a 48ins waist. So, I sewed the button back on and hoped for the best."
Aaron admitted that he’s ‘always had issues with his weight, even when he was growing up. When he went to university, his ‘weight problems became even worse’ because he was eating ‘whatever he wanted.’
Aaron said: "I’d always had a problem with my weight, even as a child. When I was younger my parents had to put a padlock on our treats cupboard because otherwise I would eat a lot.
"When I moved away to uni my weight problems became even worse. Being independent meant I could eat whatever I wanted – and a boozy night out often ended in a takeaway – with another one the next day to help clear my hangover.
"I presented myself as the big, funny one even though inside I was really self-conscious."
While at uni, Aaron would gorge on takeaway pizzas and snack on crisps, sweets chocolate, biscuits and cake. He was ‘totally inactive’ and even walking to the top of the stairs would ‘leave him out of breath.’
So he decided to join Slimming World to start losing weight when he was studying in Hull. And as the weight began to fall off, he decided to start going on small walks around the block and his fitness levels improved over time.