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Dramatic transformation sees overweight businessman become top model working with David Beckham

Gwilym Pugh in 2007 before he radically changed his look

A man from Cardiff shed over six stone to become a successful model who has graced the pages and GQ and even worked with the likes of David Beckham.

Credit: Instagram/Gwilymcpugh

The 33-year-old, who played basketball for Wales at under-16 level and operated a life insurance company from his spare bedroom, put on weight while working from home and was prevented from training due to his knee injury.

But now, Gwilym is gaining fans across the world thanks to his ginger bearded-look on Instagram.

Gwilym posing for one of his many photoshoots Credit: Instagram/Gwilymcpugh

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in uni so I decided to put that off and I ended up working in British Gas and then I started my own financial start up back in 2006 at the age of 21.

At that time I was pretty overweight, working 12 hours a day, plagued with injuries which meant I couldn't train at all. The business was doing okay, but I decided I needed to get my life in order and wanted to get healthy again.

– Gwilym Pugh

Gwilym decided to clean up his diet and cut out takeaways, but the biggest difference came when he quit his desk job. He said: "It was the best thing for my health as I stopped sitting for 9-10 hours a day.

"I always keep an eye on my steps and aim for a minimum amount every day averaging about 15,000 per day. Bear in mind the weight loss took around four to five years from my biggest to leanest. Walking and generally trying to be active in some way throughout every day has been key."

As the weight started to drop off and the now-famous beard grew, Gwilym did something that would seal the deal on his new life: he joined Instagram.

"I started using Instagram as a way of social networking and growing my profile and that of the band," he said.

Gwilym, who is now signed with top London agency AMCK Models, was then photographed for a coffee table book, 100 Beards, and was part of the Red Hot Photography project - the two things which, he says, spring-boarded his career.

Gwilym pictured with David Beckham

Since then he has worked on campaigns for Vans, Bud Light, Diesel and he's also worked closely with David Beckham.

Gwilym is now an ambassador for Beckham's male grooming brand, House 99.

Speaking about his life now, Gwilym says he appreciates the situation he finds himself in.

He adds: "Having worked in finance for years, the opportunity to work with creative people and travel around the world is amazing.

"But you forget how nuts it is, it all becomes normal. I think I'm lucky I got into this profession at the age that I did."