A YORK man who lost more than 17 stone after being shocked into losing weight by a family photo is to run in the New York marathon.
Matt Briggs, 32, from Huntington, dropped from 31 stone to under 14, after a photo posted on Facebook of him posing next to his dad left him shocked by his weight gain.
He joined Slimming World with his step-mum, with a bet from his father spurring him on, and has since gone on to become one of their best known success stories, going on to manage slimming groups across York.
Matt - who ran in the London and York marathons last year - has now announced that he be running in the New York marathon in November in memory of his mother Susan who died after becoming ill with multiple sclerosis.
He is raising funds in her honour for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Matt said: "In March of 2000 she lost her battle with Multiple Sclerosis - she used all her strength and determination until the end to try and fight this disease. She has always been my inspiration.
"I am the man I am today because of the woman that she was, I inherited many of my qualities from her. The strength and determination is what I used as part of my weight loss journey. I walked through the doors of Slimming World in January 2010 weighing in at over 31st. Over the next two years I completely changed my life and lost over 17st.
"If you had told me that first night that I would be running marathons in the future I would have laughed myself silly, but here I am - about to compete in my third."
Matt said he was active in his younger teens, but when his mum became ill and he had more responsibility at home, exercise fell by the wayside. Consequently, he said, the weight began to creep on.
He managed to lose the pounds by swapping pre-packaged meals, takeaways and his daily indulgence of a two-litre bottle of full-fat cola with three regular healthy meals a day.
Despite his mother's illness, Matt said she always tried to stay as fit and healthy as she possibly could to help cope, which he said inspires him to keep up his healthy lifestyle.
Matt is holding an auction to help raise funds - if you or your business can donate prizes, please call 07449961111.
To sponsor Matt, visit https://www.justgiving.com/MattBriggsNYC2014/