A BOWLING club president gave the green light to a whole new lifestyle by shedding more than a third of his bodyweight.

Mark Kelly, of Wellington Park BC, weighed in at 23 stone 8lbs when he joined Slimming World in January.

The 36-year-old now weighs 15 stone, after ditching takeaways for healthy home-cooked meals.

Mark was inspired by Greenock call centre colleague Joe Glancy, who became a consultant for Slimming World after his own weight loss.

He said: "Joe is a manager in my department in EE and after seeing how he had done it, I decided to join his class.

"I just followed the plan.

"I was really surprised - I eat an awful lot more now than I did before but it is all healthy food.

"There is a lot of 'free' food, like rice, pasta, chicken, eggs and speed foods and good snacks such as fruit."

Mark, of Bournemouth Road, said he had always been big but piled on the pounds thanks to fast food.

He said: "I put on weight due to bad eating habits and lack of exercise.

"I was eating processed food, Chinese takeaways and McDonald's."

Mark, who lives with his partner Selina and two daughters Beth, 16, and Brooke, 15, lost 12 inches from his waist.

He now wears 36 inch waist jeans and shops for extra large tops instead of 4X large.

He said: "It's great, I can just walk into any shop and take clothes off the shelf now."

Mark says he feels better now than he did in his 20s.

He said: "I feel amazing, the health benefits have been tremendous.

"I used to struggle to walk upstairs in my house, now I can run up them."

It's even helped his bowling at his beloved club.

He said: "It's made bowling easier - as soon as I started playing beforehand I was breathing heavily and sweating.

"Now I can play for hours."

He has also started weekly walks with club members, who are thrilled for him.

Mark said: "They are pleased as punch.

"Last year I complained that my bowling top was too tight and we bought new strips in - now I'll need to get a smaller size!"

His partner Selina and his daughters are equally impressed.

Mark said: "Selina is amazed by it and when we look back at old photos we can hardly believe the difference."

Mark has introduced regular exercise to his regime.

He said: "I started at the gym eight weeks ago with virtual sessions with personal trainer Chris Millar and I've also joined Ravenscraig Gym."

His friend Joe says he is 'so proud' of Mark.

He told the Tele: "I have worked with him for a long time and we'd spoken a wee bit about weightloss before, but I didn't want to push it.

"I knew when he was ready he would come to me.

"He is an inspiration to all the members and more than that he is such a lovely person."

Mark urges anyone who was in the same position as he was just a year ago to give slimming a go.

He said: "If I can do it anyone can do it."

*Joe's class runs at St Mary's Church, Bardrainney Avenue, Port Glasgow, on Saturdays between 8 and 11am, for more information call 07944340609.