A 16-year-old boy had dreams of joining the army – only to be told he was more than two stone overweight.
And when Jermaine Pilkington went to the careers office, he was told to come back and apply next year.
“No, I’ll be joining in September,” the Penwortham teen defiantly told them.
And after joining Penwortham social club’s Slimming World, Jermaine boxed, ran and dieted his way to losing two and a half stone in just eight weeks.
The McDonald’s worker ate salads as his colleagues tucked into their free burgers, chips and milkshakes and is now set to join Harrogate Army College in September.
“It was the people telling me, ‘You won’t do it’ which spurred me on,” Jermaine said. “The Slimming World group were so motivating and my mum helped me so much.
“It feels really good and I can’t wait to get started in the army.”
The former Penwortham Priory Academy student was crowned ‘Man of the Year’ by Slimming Consultant Nicola Evans as well as an award for losing 10 per cent of his body weight.
“He’s really cracked on with it and all the members took him under their wing,” Nicola said. “He’s done fabulous.”
Jermaine has now quit his fast food job and is preparing for a life in the forces.
He said: “All I was eating was McDonald’s but now I feel great and I’m so glad to be able to focus on this year rather than next.”