Mickie is half the man he was - and feeling twice as good

His name is Ness and people used to call him a monster - but not any more.

Mickie Ness used to weigh more than 30 stone until he lost more than half his body weight - 16 stone - in 13 months.

Mickie, a Yorkshire Water Systems controller who lives in Deepcar, began to pile on the weight following a motorbike accident when he was 19.

By the time he was in his 30s, Mickie was tipping the scales at a very unhealthy 31 stone 12.

Then he decided to do something about it.

He said: "It bothered me when people began to taunt me with wisecracks about my size. Some people were very cruel and used to shout names like Nessie at me in the street."

When doctors told Mickie he was morbidly obese, it struck a chord.

And when he was offered the chance to have his stomach stapled, he opted for the surgery. He underwent the operation but that isn't the end of the story.

He changed his eating habits and embarked on a vigorous fitness campaign which has seen Mickie cycle away the pounds.

He said: "I thought I'd take up cycling because I have very strong legs. You need strong legs when you're carrying as much weight as I was."

Last year Mickie, aged 39, cycled an average of 30 miles per day as he covered 3,443 miles in the saddle.

"My longest ride was just over 100 miles from my house in Sheffield to my fiance's in Hull along the Trans-Pennine trail," he said.

Then in May, just 11 months after the initial operation, he raised 498 for charity by riding 38 miles from Humber Bridge to York Minster.

Mickie, who now gives motivational talks to groups of patients facing the same type of problems as he did at the Northern General, said: "They're very impressed when I tell them I'm now around 15 stone having lost a total of 16st 12lb - which is about the same weight as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"There's no wonder I have strong legs carrying him about. But no - the old me won't be saying 'I'll be back'.

"My waist was 58 and now is 36. I was in 8Xl tops and now I'm just XL.

"Some people have said they found my story inspirational and I'm quite proud of that."

But that's not the end of Mickie's story.

"I plan to ride coast to coast from Southport to Hornsea in the summer, riding 100 miles per day.

"And I'm also keen to take 100 off my dad.

"He bet me I'd never get down to his weight which is 14 stone eight. I'm doubly determined to reach that!"

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