I was always a big kid and from a young age I always had a habit of making poor food choices. I guess I never really got out of that habit until my weight became a serious problem.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was very self conscious. I hated seeing myself in the mirror or catching a glimpse of myself in a shop window while passing by, the worst time was at my mums wedding, a day that was supposed to be full of joy. On the surface it very much was all smiles but deep down I get like I didn’t belong, standing either at the back or on the sides of group photos trying to shy away from the photographer, especially being a groomsman wearing the same outfit and my brother and new step brother, they’re both a lot smaller than me and their clothes fit like they were supposed to whereas I felt like if I took to deep a breath my shirt was going to burst open.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I had tried many diets and for a while they worked but there was always that breaking point after a couple of weeks when I’d break and then end up putting more weight on than I had lost. The turning point for me was when I started to struggle with simple daily tasks at work and had a couple of comments by the people I work with, nothing horrible, but when they start to second guess if I’m going to be able to do my job competently it definitely gave me a big wake up call.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I found a meal plan service that supplied everything I needed to eat for the week and that was a massive help in starting my journey as it was all done for me. It was super convenient as all good was prepped and boxed each week so I didn’t have to think about making the right choices as they were already made for me. That’s alongside my girlfriend encouraging me to go for walks in the evenings and on weekends trying to get me out of the house rather than sitting around watching TV or playing PlayStation was a massive help. As soon as I saw the results starting to come it came naturally to start exercising more regularly and more vigorously resulting in regular 5km runs on a weekend and getting back into playing rugby which I had stopped due to my size.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started to see results in the scales after maybe 2 or 3 weeks but it was when others started to see results and commented on how much better I was looking that I really started to knuckle down and see how far I could push myself.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? It’s quite weird, if I’m honest I never had any thoughts of quitting or giving up, I think the fact that I was consistently seeing results and I was enjoying what I was doing it helped me stay commutes to making the change.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I had a couple of weight loss plateaus and around Christmas I allowed myself a bit of time off my diet which lead to a weight gain but knowing how far I’d come I wasn’t worried about overcoming it as I knew I could lose the weight I’d put on, the weight gain is what gave me the push to get back into sport as I knew the training would be quite vigorous, especially trying to get my fitness levels up to scratch to match my teammates, this was a great help to get back on track especially as I then had all of them backing me and helping push me along the way.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I had lost 5 stone in 7 months, from when I started in May to the build up to Christmas. After my weight gain over the festive period it then took me about another 7/8 months to lose another 5 stone.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? I think the biggest non-scale victory for me is now being able to buy clothes from regular shops and actually enjoying going clothes shopping. Before I was very limited to where I could buy clothes to fit, mostly going on jacamo or other websites for the larger gentleman but now I can go into high street shops and I’ve gone from 4xl tops down to Large or even Medium in some cases as well going from needing 52inch trousers down to 36/34inch waisted jeans.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My eating habits were awful, from a young age I would almost put fast foods and “bad” foods on a pedestal so when the option to eat something that would not be very nutritionally great for you I was all over it. If my girlfriend told me she was going out for the night I would be so excited to be able to binge on whatever I wanted without feeling like she might have judged my choices.
If anything though that also lead to emotional eating, as I got bigger and started to feel bad about myself I would find myself trying on food to cover my feelings. It was a vicious cycle as the more I would eat the more I’d rely on food to cover my self hate for eating.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I’ve started playing rugby from a really young age and I think that didn’t help with my food choices as I was always under the impression that you needed to be big to be good at rugby, which was true to an extent. But they way the game haha developed being big isn’t good enough, you need to be able to move with your size and be powerful with it too. When I started to get really big I stopped playing as I wasn’t able to cope with the physical demands of the game. This gave me a bad relationship with sport and exercise as I was always in my head and talking myself out of trying to exercise as I was embarrassed about my size and how unfit I was. The best thing about my weight loss journey is how much more confident I am within myself and how much easier I find being able to exercise now. I’ve started playing rugby again and started working out in the gym now that they’re back open, I’m so much happier with the thought of working out now that if I know I’ve got a late start in the morning I’d even get up an hour earlier and go for a morning run before work, it’s honestly changed the way I look at anything in life. Outside of rugby my favourite activities are probably running and cycling, I enjoy running as I can just put my headphones in and it’s me vs me, constantly trying to push myself harder and get faster times or further distances. I started cycling during lockdown and used my daily allocated exercise time to get out on my bike, it’s a great way to get legs working and I find it a really nice way to get out in the fresh air and I was able to find local spots that I wouldn’t have found if I was just driving around.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Make sure you get a decent amount of sleep, rest and recovery is as important and exercise and eating well to accommodate weight loss.
- Drink lots of water, staying hydrated will help you feel full of energy and will also help you feel full and help stop feeling like you need to snack.