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Northwood Football Club chairman loses eight stone 'to watch son grow up'
TIPPING the scales at more than 27 stones, Northwood Football Club chairman, Ian Barry, feared he wouldn't be alive to see his son, Jamie, grow up.
And when pupils at 16-year-old Jamie's school made cruel taunts about his father's size, he knew he had to take action.
After more than a decade battling with his weight, Mr Barry (pictured above with footballer John Terry), 41, has now lost eight stones thanks to a healthy eating and fitness regime.
The 6ft 3in tall father-of-one, who lives in Rickmansworth Road, Harefield, said: "You might not think someone who is involved in football would be overweight.
"I used to be an active sportsman and had trials when I was younger for Wycombe Wanderers and Cambridge United, plus I was a referee on behalf of the Middlesex County Football Association for six years.
"But I also have an office-based job working as a director for a telecommunications company, and I became stuck in a routine of skipping breakfast, having a big lunch then eating dinner late at night.
"My problem was both being lazy and eating the wrong food - I had a weakness for anything quick and easy, usually fried chicken and kebabs, washed down with diet coke.
"I started to put on weight and although I knew I had to get fit, it was difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle."
Mr Barry, who has been chairman of Northwood Football Club, in Chestnut Avenue, for four years, initially decided to lose weight after failing a strict fitness test, when he weighed in excess of 20 stones.
"I tried a lot of different diets and at one point I lost five stones in six months, but I always put it all back on and more," he said.
"I made a conscious decision to try again in August 2009, working with fitness instructor, Maggie Dokic, based at the Body Studio in Joel Street, Northwood Hills.
"It has been a mental and physical journey, going through lots of ups and downs, but most of the battle is won when you actually admit to yourself you need to lose weight."
Mr Barry is now a trim 18 stones and is planning to take part in the Hatch End triathlon in May.
He added: "I don't miss the old me at all, giving up junk food more than compensates for the way I feel now - I actually enjoy exercise, and my asthma is significantly reduced.
"I also now enjoy shopping in the high street, rather than specialist stores, where the prices can be higher.
"Maggie has played a pivotal role - she has been nothing short of a miracle worker and her encouragement and support has kept me going in some very low times.
"I haven't set myself a target, I just want to maintain my healthy lifestyle.
"I was concerned I would leave my son without a father - that's the reality of being as heavy as I was - but now Jamie and I can look forward to the future together."
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