Saturday, 20 April 2024
Saturday, 20 April 2024

Firefighter to take on Half Ironman after losing 12 stone in 12 months

A Lancashire on-call firefighter will take on a Half Ironman Triathlon in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity next year, to celebrate achieving his dream of joining the fire service after an incredible weight loss journey.

Lee Bioletti, 27, who’s based at Fleetwood Fire Station in Lancashire, was 27 stone before the first UK lockdown and he knew, if he wanted to achieve his wish of becoming a firefighter, he needed to make a drastic change.

Swapping his unhealthy eating habits – which included regular takeaways, two breakfasts a day and constant snacks – for much healthier meals including chicken, rice and vegetables, Lee also started running regularly in a car park close to his house and saw the weight begin to drop.

Lee said:

“I always dreamed of becoming a firefighter. Everyone told me I’d never do it, and I’d never be the weight to do it – I guess that motivated me.

“I’ve now lost 12.5 stone since lockdown pretty much. I actually lost 12 stone in 12 months. I remember having my last appointment with my doctor and being weighed. I think I’d been in a bit of a bubble until then and hadn’t realised how far I’d come. I got back in my car and I cried. I couldn’t believe it – I’d done it. I did it myself, no one helped me. I went from 6XL to a large in clothes. It’s helped my mental health dramatically too.”

Hoping to push himself with a new challenge, Lee is now training for the Lakesman Half Ironman Triathlon on 16 June 2024 – a 1.2-mile swim, 56 miles on a bike and a Half Marathon – and he hopes to raise as much money as he can for The Fire Fighters Charity in the process.

The charity supports serving and retired fire and rescue service personnel, their dependants and other eligible members of the UK fire services community, throughout their lives, helping them to live happier and healthier.

Lee said:

“Knowing now that the charity’s there for me if I ever need it is amazing and knowing my partner has the charity there for her too is fantastic. This charity needs support, it’s relying on donations, so I just thought, ‘what can I do, however small?’

“I had a couple of friends that were firefighters and sadly they’re no longer here. It brings home how important it is to have that support net there for you and your family.”

Lee also hopes his journey will inspire others and he added:

“If you need help, ask for help. Men in particular don’t do that enough. Remember this process takes time and hard work, but believe in yourself and set goals, have a dream and aim for it. Don’t let people put you down, celebrate the small goals even if it’s a few pounds, that’s a huge achievement. Be proud, and trust me it will all fall into place.

You can read Lee’s full story here.

With The Fire Fighters Charity relying almost entirely on donations to fund its vital work, none of the support it offers would be possible without the generosity of its supporters. You can directly support members of the UK’s fire services community by donating now at: www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/donate.

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