A DUBLIN father and son who walked off almost 10 stone between them have encouraged others not to be embarrassed about taking slimming classes.
John Duffy Snr and John Duffy Jnr from Blanchardstown made the staggering weight loss after they began taking classes and doing 5km walks together.
Now living in Co Meath, John Jnr (43) was the first to take the plunge in tackling his weight - which has gone from 18st to 13st over the last two years.
"Don't be shy about it. Do not be embarrassed," he said to anyone else considering joining a slimming class, like the one he signed up in Ratoath in September 2013.
The security guard admitted he was "terrified" before his first meeting with the weight-loss group but added: "I was delighted when I left it".
John had a "harsh wake-up call" from his consultant who told him he had to lose weight to prevent him losing the power in his leg.
"I knew I had to lose weight. I had problems with my leg and was losing the power in it. When the doctor told me that it was down to me, I knew I had to do something," he said.
John Duffy senior (67) pictured before he lost almost a pound for every year of his life. John and his son John junior lost an impressive 10 stone between them
He said that Theresa O'Driscoll from Slimming World convinced him to join up.
"When I did I was really comfortable, because I did not feel like I was being judged because of my weight," he said.
He lost 7lbs in the first week and his waist has now gone from 46 inches to a healthy 36 inches.
"More or less straight away my leg got better. I was able to walk again and I have gone from being able to walk for 10 minutes to being able to walk for two hours or more. I run too.
"My life has changed 100pc and my confidence has grown by 100pc too," John Jnr said.
It was on the back of his son's success that John Snr (67) - who weighed 17st 10lbs at his heaviest - decided to lose weight as well.
John Jnr and his wife Pamela visit his dad's family in Blanchardstown every week and his dad, a retired groundsman, saw the success his son was having.
John Duffy junior (43) pictured before he lost weight
"I noticed he was getting thinner and thinner and he was telling me things like: 'Dad you'd like it'.
"He encouraged me to join," said John Snr, who was once a member of Clonliffe Harriers Athletic Club and has run five marathons.
"Over time I had put on weight in March 2014 I was just under 18 stone. The first week I lost 10 and a half pounds. I always looked forward to the meetings and weigh-ins and I did not find it hard to lose weight.
"When you are nearly 18 stone you feel like everybody is looking at you," he said.
"I feel like a different person and I would tell anyone thinking of losing weight that they can do it but it is up to them to make the effort," he added.