A MAN who has lost almost 20 stone by attending gym classes and workouts says the transformation has 'saved his life'.

Craig Harper, from Great Sankey, Warrington, started training at Orford Jubilee Hub four years ago and takes part in a variety of exercise regimes.

He weighed 38 stone when he joined and is now down to 18 stone.

The 37-year-old has lost more than 19 stone by doing workouts in the gym, exercise classes and Aquafit classes in the swimming pool.

Now he has fulfilled a long-term ambition of taking part in his first boxing match.

The former Great Sankey High School pupil travelled to Derby as part of the Inspire Championship Boxing card – he lost but said it was a brilliant experience and he wants to try again.

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He trained for the fight with LiveWire instructor and personal trainer Mike Bannister who also took part in a match and boxing star Martin Murray gave Craig some advice.

Craig said: “I love LiveWire as they have literally saved my life.

"They’ve helped me on this journey to lose the weight that I’ve lost, and they’ll keep helping me maintain that.

“I’ve lost more than 19 stone by changing my lifestyle and changing my outlook.

"It started off in the gym, with me doing the classes. You’re going out less, you’re drinking less, but you’re still coming ‘out’ because you’re coming to the gym – so you’ve still got that social interaction, you’ve still got that network of friends.

“And you’ve got the encouragement from the instructors. The coaches and trainers are brilliant – supportive, motivating and push you constantly to do give your best.

“You need a reason to do it – no one can make you. But if you get that determination to start, staff and facilities and other users you meet on your journey will make sure that if the will is there, you will finish your journey.

"And you will be richer for it health wise – physically, mentally and socially.”

Craig also had to radically change his diet and switched his usual five takeaways each week for healthy pastas, rice and fresh meats.

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He added: "It is all about portion control too, you have to be eating good food but also the right amount of it.

"I've had an enormous amount of support from my wife and friends, I don't think I would have been able to power through without it."

LiveWire group fitness instructor and personal trainer Mike Bannister has worked closely with Craig.

Mike said: “I’ve never met someone as determined as Craig.

"His attitude towards fitness and changing his lifestyle as got him to where he is now.

"LiveWire has helped him by having the variety of training options and quality of instructors to ensure he succeeds in his journey.”