A Clydebank man who shed an incredible nine stone after being teased about his weight recently competed in his first Thai boxing fight in front of 1000 people, but James Gilmour isn’t stopping there. 

Around two years ago 32-year-old James, from Parkhall, walked through the doors of the Clydebank fight club the Glasgow Thai Boxing Academy, to lose some excess weight after his kids poked fun at his belly. 

James’ confidence was low and he was self conscious about his body, but after one class he was hooked and caught the Thai boxing bug. 

Fast forward two years and James has gone from a portly 21 stone to a toned 12 stone, marking his transformation with his first Thai boxing fight at a MTB show in Linwood’s ON-X centre earlier this month.

Despite his fairytale not continuing with a win, James went the distance and he credits GTBA with changing his life.

He said: “I joined GTBA because of a few misplaced comments while wearing a Superman t-shirt! I had bad depression and nothing to do with my time other than binge eat and feel miserable.

“I was 21 stone and my kids were teasing me about my belly. I ran to a shop which was just around the corner one day, got a stitch and nearly died from exhaustion. I thought no more.”

After admitting to struggling with his first few sparring sessions, James has vowed to continue improving and maintaining his new regime.

He added: “On my first night at GTBA I was sick twice and pretended to need the toilet so I could catch my breath. I returned the following night and struggled again. The guys at the club didn’t laugh at me though, they told me they had been there and at least I was trying. 

“After sparring with the fighters I wanted to be one of those guys and I changed my eating habits. I didn’t even notice the weight coming off as the gym became my happiest place.

“After sparring with some of the top fighters, being beaten up by 15 year olds and boys half my size, I was hooked. I knew I had heart but not the ability. Every class makes me feel better so I don’t like taking credit for the weight loss because I’m doing something I love. There’s no way I could’ve done it had I not joined the club.”

Craig Floan, head coach at GTBA, is over the moon with James’ progress.

He said: “He does everything I ask of him, and dedicates himself to every single aspect of Thai boxing. He eats right, gets up, goes running and puts in a great shift in the gym.

“He does all of this as well as being a father of three and working full time. He is an example that anything can be possible.”