Profile: Alan Noble
Bullied at school, Alan grew up knowing he was overweight and in a constant fight to slim down.
But three weeks ago, he joined Fit Factor 2015 and his life has been changed forever.
Alan, of Walker, Newcastle, said: “I had no friends at school whatsoever. None.
“Actually, I did have one friend - food.”
The now 23-year-old’s battle to stay slim has seen him try every diet and slimming group around, but with no success.
He said: “I was in Slimming World for more than two years and lost 3st but that just came back.
“I have been a member of three different gyms but the support wasn’t there and I didn’t really know what I was doing.
“I even made a documentary about being overweight as part of my degree thinking that might encourage me to slim down. It didn’t.
“In the end, I’d given up. There was nothing more I thought could be done; I was never going to lose weight.”
Alan, who is in his third year studying a media production degree at university, decided a gastric band would be the only answer.
He said: “The GP said I fitted every requirement to have a band fitted, but first I would have to go through a 12 week fitness programme. I was willing to try anything.
“I got gym membership and entry to Byker Pool but, again, I was left on my own, completely unsupported. I didn’t know what I was doing.”
It was during this time that Alan saw an advert on the Journal’s website seeking entries for this year’s Fit Factor competition.
“I entered and then forgot about it,” recalls Alan. “Then I got a phone call saying I’d been selected for interview. It all seemed to come at exactly the right time.”
Starting the training with fitness guru David Fairlamb has helped really change Alan’s perspective on life.
He said: “It’s been incredible, sometimes I think David knows me better than I know myself. He really challenges us and makes us work harder than we ever have before.”
Alan, who weighed in at 25st 8lbs before starting the programme, is aiming to get down to a healthy 15st.
He said: “Meeting the other five contestants really has been life changing too.
“We have all become great friends and we’re there for each other, helping everyone pull through.
“I love the fact that you feel you’re not alone, that you have friends supporting you every time you go into the gym.”