A REVITALISED vicar has shed more than four stone in an incredible 14 weeks to help him battle back from health problems.
And now he is on the road to fitness, Rev David Boddy plans to tackle the Great North Run.
The 54-year-old vicar at St Saviour’s Church, in Shotton Colliery, lost a staggering four-and-a-half stone in just 14 weeks.
The former runner said his weight hit its highest last summer, when he peaked at 21 stone.
He decided to do something about it when health issues mounted, including painful psoriatic arthritis, which affects the joints and also involves inflamed skin.
He started a pre-packed meal plan with Castle Eden-based firm All About W8, and within 14 weeks his weight dropped to 16-and-a-half stone.
With his improved health he took up running with instructor Melanie Towers and has lost a further half-a-stone.
He plans to lose another two stone to eventually take him down to 14 stone.
Rev Boddy had been a keen runner and played football and cricket, but put on weight after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis around 10 years ago.
He had also done the Great North Run previously, but the arthritis became too painful to continue his fitness regime.
But, Rev Boddy changed his medication last year and his condition eased slightly and he set about changing his lifestyle.
“I feel like a new man,” said Rev Boddy, who is married to Alice and dad to Martin Boddy, 26, and Jolene Blackburn, 32.
“I still get the meal plans, but am not as rigorous as I was.
“Now it’s mainly about the exercise and sensible eating.”
He will tackle the 13-mile Great North Run on September 16.
Rev Boddy, a granddad-of-three, runs three times a week.
He said: “When I first started it was horrendously difficult, but my trainer kept supporting me.”
Rev Boddy added: “I definitely think God has had a hand to play in the turn-around.”
He will run in aid of Arthritis Research, a cause close to his heart as he says the condition is a debilitating illness affecting people of all ages.
Anyone who wants to sponsor Rev Boddy can call (0191) 5261156.