Dunmow garage apprentice loses a staggering nine stone in just 12 months

PUBLISHED: 12:54 20 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:44 26 June 2017

Daniel Harknett before he decided to lose weight last year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Daniel Harknett before he decided to lose weight last year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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A teenager who was afraid of setting foot in a gym a year ago has turned his life around by losing an impressive nine stone.

Daniel Harknett after his dramatic weight loss. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDDaniel Harknett after his dramatic weight loss. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Daniel Harknett, 19, weighed more than 22 stone when he started working as a parts apprentice at Taylor’s Service Centres, in Great Dunmow, and his boss decided to help him get fit.

Jeremy Taylor, who owns the garage and kick-started the teen’s transformation, said: “On joining it was evident he needed some help with his weight and fitness.

“I suggested as part of his contract and working day Daniel would visit Unique Health & Fitness, which he has done for the past year and continues to do so.”

The gym, also based in Great Dunmow, became part of Daniel’s daily routine, although he admits going there for the first time was daunting.

“The thing that scared me at first was going into the gym. I was very shy,” he said.

“At first it was difficult, but it was mainly with the exercise that I struggled. I struggled to walk and now I can run. My favourite exercises are cycling or running – I just really enjoy them.”

Daniel now goes to the gym five times a week, and rather than tucking into pizzas and burgers eats plenty of chicken – changes which he says improved his confidence and health.

“I used to struggle just to take down a couple of brake parts. Now I can take down three or four easily,” he said, adding he also used to suffer from aches and pains.

“He has shown great commitment and perseverance to improve his well-being, weight and overall health and just proves what structure, routine, encouragement and time can achieve if given the opportunity,” Jeremy added.

“He is an inspiration to us all and we are all very proud of him.”

Daniel is now 13 stone and 12 pounds, having lost exactly nine stone.

Hoping to encourage others to get fit, he said: “Don’t keep putting it off, take the next step and give it a go. Also, make sure you have a support network from friends and family for when times are tough going. My life really has changed for the better.”

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