AFTER 12 weeks of gruelling workouts and lots of sweat and tears, our eight Fit Factor challengers have shed more than 30 stone between them. And today winner Daniel Henderson tells how the process has “given me a big chunk of my life back”.
Just 12 weeks ago the 37-year-old dad-of-two from Windy Nook, Gateshead, tipped the scales at almost 18 stone but, after ditching the takeaways for a healthy diet and exercising three to four times a week, he’s shed four stone to reach 13st 10lb.
“It’s absolutely amazing. I’m over the moon,” said 6ft Daniel. “Twelve weeks ago I was just lounging around at 18 stone and now I’m back training.
“I never ever thought I would get back to that position, so to do it in 12 weeks is just incredible.
“I’ve got five-year-old twins and they can take the energy out of you, so being able to run around is great. I’ve always tried my best with them but having the extra energy is fantastic.”
Daniel’s prize is a two-week holiday to Dubai, courtesy of Emirates and Hilton, plus a six-month gym membership at the Livingwell Health and Leisure Club at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.
“I’ve never been to Dubai,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s somewhere I would have loved to go but I probably couldn’t have afforded it, to be honest.”
Daniel’s wife Julie, 37, a travel agent and dance teacher, says her husband has come full circle and is more like the man she first met at college 19 years ago.
“I’m thrilled for Daniel because I know how hard he’s worked,” she said. “When we used to go out he was embarrassed about the fact that he’d put weight on. But today he whipped his top off to change in the car park when three months ago he would have crouched down behind the door.”
Daniel’s fellow Fit Factor contestants were full of praise for Daniel. Steve Mountain, 32, from Redcar said: “I can’t think of anyone in this process who’s more worthy of winning. I’m so happy for him. He’s not only improved his own life but he’s improved everyone else’s in the way he’s helped us. He’ll hang back with people to help them or run to the end and come back to help you.”
Emma Roberts, 22, from South Shields said: “Dan deserves to win it. He worked really hard. He was my gym partner, so I’ve seen how much he put into it. He always helped me and I think he has done really well.”