10:21 AM

Electrician lost 72 pounds in one year to transform into a marathon runner

A year after a nurse told him he was medically ‘obese’, Dann Sullivan is 72 pounds lighter, training for a marathon and in the best shape of his life.

The father-of-two, who joined Slimming World a year ago, says his weight used to make work difficult. He also had to start playing as goalkeeper for his soccer team as he wasn’t fit enough to keep up with the others running around the pitch.

“I’ve been an electrician for 13 years. Being bigger and working in a male-dominated environment, you have to put up with a lot of banter about your size. I laughed it off but inside, I was really unhappy.”

Dann Sullivan
Within six weeks I was telling everyone I’d joined Slimming World and my colleagues were all asking how the weight was falling off me
Dann Sullivan

Dann had been overweight from a young age and says he always felt like the ‘fat brother’ compared to his naturally slim sibling, Matt. While Dann was always active, he says it was his unhealthy relationship with food that saw his weight yo-yo over the years: “A soul-destroying moment for me came when I realized I wasn’t fit enough to run around in soccer and had to start playing as a goalie instead.”

“At my heaviest I felt that I wasn’t as competent as I should be at work either, I couldn’t do jobs as quickly or as efficiently as my peers and I often felt nervous about fitting through hatches or into tight spaces. Every night I’d come home exhausted and in pain, with my back causing me the most problems.”

Dann, who lives with his wife, Rachel, and two daughters, was given the motivation to make a change after a routine health check. He was told by a nurse that he was medically ‘obese’ and that his size was putting his health at risk. Dann joined Slimming World in January 2017 as a New Year’s Resolution. On the plan, he can fill up on ‘Free Food’ like pasta, potatoes, fruit, vegetables, eggs, and lean meat. Because of this freedom, he can still enjoy his favourite meals like chili con carne and steak with fries.

“I’d tried every diet under the sun, but for me that always meant not eating or eating less. It was always so restrictive that after a few months I’d lose interest and end up back at square one.”

In fact, Dann was so used to failing in his weight-loss attempts that when he joined Slimming World he didn’t tell any of his colleagues: “I yo-yo dieted for so long and every January it seemed like I start something new, so I feared that this might be short-lived too. I was so wrong though. Within six weeks I was telling everyone I’d joined Slimming World and my colleagues were all asking how the weight was falling off me. They couldn’t believe I was eating as much as I was and losing weight. I discovered a love for cooking and even cooked our Christmas dinner this year.”

Dann was so motivated by his weight loss that he upped his activity levels too. He and his wife started doing HIIT sessions after putting their children to bed. Dann discovered a passion for running, so much so that he’s now training for a marathon in April. However, he says the best thing about being more active is how it’s changed his relationship with his family: “Just watching my girls running around used to tire me out. Now I feel like a new man. I have so much more energy to play with them and we love going on long family walks with our dog. I’m much better at my job too – the only time I ache now is after a long run!”

*Your weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much you have to lose.