A dad who once tipped the scales at 22st (140kg) is now fit enough to run Sunday's London Marathon after seeing an 11st (70kg) weight loss in just 18 months.
Asthmatic Dominic Camponi, 38, from Liversedge, West Yorkshire, once struggled to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, but will complete the iconic 26.2 mile run in the capital after losing half of his body weight.
The teaching assistant, who used to wear 4XL clothes but now fits into a slimline medium, feared he would not see his son Henry, six, grow up as his size was making his lung condition worse.
And after watching an interview with former rugby player Rob Burrow on his brave battle with Motor Neurone Disease, he was spurred into making a change.
Camponi joined Weight Watchers, started adopting a healthy diet and running every day.
Within 18 months, he was running around 40 miles a week and was down to 11st (70kg), half the weight he was when he kick-started his transformation.
Before his weight loss Camponi says he would have to take his inhaler throughout the day and would struggle doing every day tasks like walking up stairs.
But it was his fear that he might not be around to watch his son grow up that really fuelled his lifestyle change.
"Asthma can be fatal and being overweight can make it much worse, you’re more likely to have symptoms and asthma attacks," he explains.
After starting his lifestyle overhaul running a mile every day, Camponi gradually increased his distance and managed to run every day for 500 days.
To mark this achievement, on May 14, 2021, Camponi completed a virtual marathon of 26.2 miles, completing it in just 3 hours 46 minutes, an average of eight minutes and 38 seconds per mile.
“I felt incredibly proud," he says.
"To put that into perspective, my first Park Run, in January 2020, was just over three miles and took me 48 minutes and 37 seconds which is over 16 minutes per mile."
Camponi says his weight loss and new found fitness has had a huge impact on his asthma.
"It has improved immensely," he says.
"I've finally managed to get it under control for the first time in years.
"I went from having to use my inhaler multiple times a day to only once or twice per week."
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For the marathon this weekend Camponi will be raising money for Asthma and Lung UK, a charity which promotes research, treatment and support for people with the condition.
"I have wanted to run London Marathon for many years," he explains. "I have always found watching it on television so inspiring especially seeing all the different charity vests and all the people that come out to cheer on total strangers.
"I chose to run for Asthma and Lung UK to help raise vital funds so that they can carry out research into better treatments so that everyone with lung conditions can live better and healthier lives.
"As a child I struggled to do much exercise because of my asthma but with the right medication it doesn’t stop me from taking part in sport and exercise now."
Visit https://www.blf.org.uk/take-action/challenge-yourself/run/london-marathon-2023 to follow in Camponi’s footsteps and sign up for the London Marathon next year.
Additional reporting SWNS.