At 25 stone, Oliver Reid, from Eynesbury, was unable to climb a flight of stairs without becoming breathless, and admits his love of chocolate, white bread and meat with fat on it, helped to pile the weight on. At his heaviest he was in XXL clothes and having to buy from specialist shops and clothing outlets. The 34-year-old, a welfare manager at the Kaplan International language school in Cambridge, proposed to his now wife, Karen, in 2013 and they are expecting their first child in January. He says although he was happy and looking forward to the future, he felt his weight was controlling his life. I was so happy in some ways, but knew my weight was holding me back, I wanted a full active life with my beautiful wife, and to enjoy the future we had planned, but could not do that as I was, unable to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath. Oliver, who was an overweight child who suffered the indignity of playground taunts about his weight, admits to trying dozens of diet plans over the years, but in June 2013, he decided to join a Slimming World group. Although he was incredibly nervous, he also felt excited and knew immediately that he had made the right decision. I was only there for a matter of seconds before I was welcomed into a group of members, who are my good friends to this day. Going to group soon became the day of the week I looked forward to the most; it became a social night out, and felt I was part of something special; everyone was there for the same reason. We were all rooting for each other. He says the Slimming World food optimising plan allows him to continue to enjoy the foods he loves and gives him flexibility. I do not have to stop eating proper food, and proper portions. I can still have a full English breakfast, a curry, and chocolate, I never feel that I am missing out. And the man who struggled to walk up the stairs 18 months ago has already taken part in a 12-mile assault course event for charity and is planning another next May. My life has changed beyond recognition, losing the weight has given me a new lease of life. I am using my inhaler less and I had a problem with one of my knees which just isnt there any more. I also feel that I am more outgoing and confident and I cant wait to be able to play with the new baby and run around with him or her. This has honestly changed my life for the better. Oliver is so inspired by his weight loss and the changes that it has brought to his life that he is opening his own Slimming World class in January. If I was to give anyone thinking of joining any advice, I would say just do it. Theyre all so lovely and everyone is there to help one another. INFO: Olivers Slimming World group starts on Tuesday, January 5 at Middlefield Primary Academy at Andrew Road in Eynesbury. Classes are at 5:30pm and 7:30pm. Contact Oliver on 07342651243, or email: Oly.firstname.lastname@example.org.