A TWENTY-year-old who had an eating disorder and weighed 18 stone two years ago has shed the pounds to run a Disney World marathon.

James Carter could hardly stand to look at himself in 2010 after tipping the scales towards 20 stone, but dropped over five stone in eight months. He now weighs 12-and-a-half stone and is preparing to take on the gruelling 26-mile-challenge in Orlando.

James is raising money for Beat, a charity who aims to tackle eating disorders, after he sought their help after realising his problem. James says he was so determined to lose weight his family was concerned he was veering towards anorexia. He started a training regime including daily running and said he turned down nights out with friends to watch his physique.

James, from Recreation Walk, in Ramsden Heath, Billericay, said: “When you look at yourself and see your reflection at 18 stone you want to change what you look like. I really worked hard to get fit and now I am proving to myself how far I have come by running this marathon. It is certainly not something I thought I would be doing two years ago but here I am and I can’t wait.”

The Walt Disney World Marathon, on Sunday, January 13, will take James through Disney World’s most popular theme parks, starting at Epcot, before moving onto the Magic Kingdom Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios before finishing back at Epcot.

James, who went to Florida when he was 13, will also be running for Diabetes UK, after he was pronounced diabetic when he was 15, Amber, a home for people that have become addicted to drugs because his younger brother suffered from a drugs issue when he was younger, and The Samaritans, who supported James after his parents broke up and his Dad moved away.

James has raised £850 towards his £1,000 target and said he has been overwhelmed by the support he received from family and friends.

“All four of these charities have played an important part in my life and I can’t thank them enough. I like a challenge and have overcome a lot so this is another step in my journey.”

If you want to donate visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jc21.