AT 6FT 7ins tall since his teenage years, Ben O’Donoghue was always used to being a “big lad”.

But when recently when he saw photographs from a family holiday, it dawned on him there was an “issue” with his weight.

The 40-year-old personnel manager of a Salford Quays-based company had reached 27 stone 4lb almost without realising it.

It was then, exactly two years ago, that the father-of-two took the bull by the horns and enrolled at his nearest WeightWatchers group in Chadderton.

After two years of “re-educating” himself on his food intake and visiting the gym three times a week, Ben’s weight currently stands at 19 stone 11lbs.

He’s not finished yet. His target weight is 18 stones on the scales fully clothed.

“I spend a lot of time on the road with my job and I had a tendency to go to McDonald’s for a Big Mac, rather than grab a salad from Subway,” he said. “But that’s all changed now.

“You can actually eat what you want, but the key is to burn more calories than you’re putting into your body.

“But re-educating myself over my food consumption was an important step.”

His gym work is mainly cardio-vascular, with the treadmill – mainly for walking – the cross trainer and the bike all part of the routine.

“I don’t run,” he said. “Because at 6ft 7ins, it’s not a great idea. I’m now starting to do low-level weights to help with muscle toning.”

The big dividend for Ben, however, is confidence and energy.

He went ton: “I do a lot of public speaking for my job, and I’ve found losing the weight has made me much more comfortable in front of people and in summer, I’m much cooler. And when the temperature drops I actually feel cold, which is a new thing for me.”

His daughters, aged 10 and five, are also reaping the benefit of the trimmer Ben.

“I’ve got a lot more energy to run around and play with them,” he said. Meanwhile, his wife Leonie, can also get her round him for a good cuddle. He continued: "She never objected to my size, but she's very happy with my new look. Only problem is, I'm having to renew my wardrobe every six months and it's very expensive. The good thing now is that I can buy close on the high street now, unlike before.

“Looking back, I was never fazed by my size. After all I’ve been 6ft 7ins since I was in my teens and wasn’t particularly worried about body image. But I’m so glad I’ve done it now.

“I’m determined to keep the weight off and continue a much healthier lifestyle.”