A DAD was shocked into shedding more than eight stone in weight after a nurse warned him he was a walking heart attack.

At his biggest, Prestwood resident Paul Rutland tipped the scales at 21st 9.5lb and was having to take two types of insulin to contain his type two diabetes.

Despite having his reservations, the 49-year-old signed up to Weightwatchers classes in the village after being referred there by his doctor in a bid to shed the pounds.

But he's not looked back since reluctantly joining up in January 2013 and is urging other men to forget their insecurities and head along to classes.

Mr Rutland said: "I'd say 95 per cent of the people there were female. When I went to the first meeting I was a one-off on the male side.

"The first four weeks were really hard but it opens your eyes as to how badly you're eating - the portion size, the type of food you're eating, snacking in between.

"I lost five pounds in a week and I've never looked back. I'm below my target weight I set for myself.

"It's something blokes should really start to talk about. I would encourage anyone, especially men, to join Weightwatchers."

Before joining Weightwatchers Mr Rutland was wearing trousers with a 44 inch waist - now he's down to 32 inches.

His weight is now down to 13st 7lb - a loss of 8st 2.5lbs - and he's now completely off his diabetes medication.

It's all down to a wake-up call during a check-up that made Mr Rutland bite the bullet and head along to Weightwatchers in the first instance.

He said: "Every time I saw a doctor or a nurse they would say, 'You could do with losing weight' and I'd be thinking, 'Tell me something I don't know'.

"This time it was my annual check-up with my diabetes nurse at Prestwood Surgery. She gave me a kick start and said 'you're a walking heart attack', which was a major alarm."

It's a marked contrast from today, with dad-of-one Mr Rutland saying: "I feel absolutely superb - a lot fitter and healthier.

"I can now walk nine or ten miles without worrying about it. Before, I'd be dripping with sweat when mowing the lawn.

"I do a lot of cricket umpiring in the Thames Valley League. I had a pedometer on me to see how far I was going, and I was doing six miles per cricket match.

"It's not a diet scheme, it's a change of lifestyle."