A man who feared he was “too fat to find love” is now engaged after gaining a newfound confidence that came from his 10st (63kg) weight loss.
Kenny Igumna, 36, weighed 23st 7lbs (149kg) before he embarked on his weight loss journey, and says, at his heaviest, his weight had a severe impact on his mobility, gave him back pain and he also suffered from sleep apnoea.
He adds that his 44-inch trouser size and 3XL tops made him feel “anxious” and “depressed” and turned him into a recluse, feeling he was “too fat” to attend family functions.
“My weight really messed up my confidence,” Igumna, who is based in London, says. “I thought: 'You are fat and you are never going to find someone’.
“When I put myself out there, I was looking for someone who had the same ideas as me – with health as a priority and was active like me. My weight gave me a lot of social anxiety. I wasn't happy going out because I knew I was going to overeat.”
The tipping point came in early 2020 when Igumna’s sister, who is a doctor, told him he should get checked for diabetes.
“I went into panic mode after my sister said I could get diabetes. I was terrified,” he explains. “I didn't want to feel like this anymore – I thought that my weight could cut my life short.”
In January 2020, Igumna took up cycling and started the 1:1 diet with Cambridge Weight Plan which sees users drink meal replacement shakes instead of eating solid food.
This led to a 10st (63kg) weight loss in seven months. Igumna now weighs 15st (95kg) and wears a 34-inch trouser.
“It has felt like I have a new lease of life, I feel like I have been given a second chance,” Igumna says.
“All my health problems have disappeared and I have met someone who cares about me and I want to spend the rest of my life with her – she is the one for me.”
Igumna met his fiancee, Leanna Jemififo, 35, on a dating app in July 2021. He proposed to her on Boxing Day 2022, surrounded by their friends and family.
Before losing weight, Igumna says he would eat food like fried chicken, burgers, chocolate and crisps regularly. After losing weight his diet now consists of porridge or a protein shake for breakfast, chicken casserole for lunch, a chicken noodle soup for dinner, protein bars as snacks, and plenty of water and fruit.
Igumna, who is now a weight loss consultant himself, said losing 10lbs (4.5kg) in his first week of dieting was a “huge” motivator.
“I felt considerably lighter and my body was in a lot less pain,” he explains. "I began feeling much happier and suddenly found I had a lot more energy. It was my second chance at life.
“The shape of my body began to change a lot and I felt more energetic and was visibly happier in myself. By the time I started dating my now fiancé, Leanne, I had my confidence back – a lot of which was down to her.
“I began to do things I had previously fallen out of love with due to my weight gain. I was able to cycle again and found a real passion for it.”
Additional reporting by SWNS.
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