When Ryan Macdonald had a heart attack and died for three minutes, he knew his life had to change.
But rather than just cut out a few snacks and take the odd walk, he turned himself into a personal trainer – with a body to die for.
Ryan, 41, said of his wake-up call three years ago: “I couldn’t have had a more sedentary lifestyle if I’d tried.
“Working in IT from home, I spent hours sitting down, paid no attention to what I ate, smoked heavily and did zero exercise.
“Looking back I was a ticking time bomb. Every day I’d go without breakfast and by lunch was so hungry I’d scoff a sausage sandwich and four or five bags of crisps.”
Bags of sweets and endless coffees with four sugars saw him soar to 19st 5lb, with a 42in waist.
Ryan recalled: “I was painting the hallway when this pain shot from shoulder to shoulder, as if someone was pushing a bar against my chest.
“Being 38, heart problems didn’t even cross my mind – I thought I’d pulled a muscle.” But after he was persuaded to call 111, paramedics decided to whisk him to hospital.
Ryan said: “One minute I was chatting as we drove along, the next I was surrounded by paramedics, one asking if he could cut my shirt open.
“They explained that my heart had stopped on the road and they’d lost me for three minutes. The news hit me like a ton of bricks.”
A smoker for 25 years, he needed stents to unblock the artery to his heart. Five weeks later his dad Richard, 65, also had a heart attack – but never recovered.
Ryan said: “It was a turning point. I began to reassess my life. I swapped to healthy food and went to the gym.
“At first I could only work out for 15 minutes but it was addictive.”
Ryan now weighs 12st 9lb with a 30-32in waist – and has set up a website called Bodies Made Online.
He said: “I never push anyone into over-exercising, 70 per cent of the change comes through diet.
“But I feel I’ve found my calling – and I’ve never been happier.”
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