ULTRA-DETERMINED Kevin McKenzie has the perfect reason to do well in a Hartlepool Mail competition – it can help him get the hospital operation he desperately needs.
The 23-year-old from Hartlepool was rushed into hospital doubled up with pain in October last year.
Doctors diagnosed the 23st 4lb single man with gallstones and he was also suffering from yellow jaundice.
Kevin, who works as a full-time carer, said: “I was keeled over and I was bent double. They took me in and it was two weeks before I left hospital.”
But there was devastating news for Kevin ... he could not have the operation to remove the gallstones because he was so overweight.
“They told me I was too big. They said I had to lose four stone before I could have the operation.”
Kevin was referred to a dietician after last year’s hospital drama.
Then, he spotted the brand new Weigh Forward competition run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with Tavistock Leisure and personal trainer Steven Smith.
He was accepted as a contestant and has lost a fantastic 1st 5lb in the first two weeks of the challenge.
Kevin admitted: “I have tried to lose weight for years, but now I feel determined.
“And with help from you both and the backing of my family, I know this time it is going to happen.”
Speaking about his hospital ordeal, he said: “I would hate to have to go through that pain again.
“If I lost the weight. I would then be able to go through with the operation.”
Kevin has thrown himself wholly into the Weigh Forward challenge and admitted: “I have been sick a few times but I have never collapsed. I won’t give up and I will keep on going.
“Every one of the competitors helps everyone else and we all make sure no-one is left out.”
Kevin’s diet has changed drastically since he started the competition.
He admitted: “I never used to eat during the day. I would only have a takeaway late at night, and fizzy pop, and that’s where the problem was.
“Now I live off jacket potatoes, rice and chicken.”
He would love to win the first prize of a hotel stay and personal training with Steven for two months, or the runner-up prize of a month’s supply of personal training.
But even if he doesn’t achieve a top-two place, Kevin has the ideal incentive to achieve his four-stone goal.
He added, in his initial Weigh Forward application email to the Mail: “I am well known in the town as happy, big Kev but deep down inside I dont want to be big Kev. Just the happy would do nicely.
Anyone interested in getting fit can call Steven on 07861 520717.