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Success Story: Jon

AKA "Jonspencer06" lost weight with Weight Loss Resources*

Jon's Details
Age 53
Height 6'
Start Weight 19st 3lb
Current Weight 15st 7lb
Goal Weight 13st
Weight Lost 3st 10lb
Working to Rate of Loss 2lb per week
View Jon's Vital Statistics

Now: 15st 7lb

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Weight Loss History

I have calorie counted on my own and I used Weight Watchers online with a CD-ROM a few years ago, but this was not very successful. I had a look at the GI diet but have to admit to being a little half hearted and it did not inspire or motivate me. I even bought the cookbook as I am responsible for the food in the house and I like to cook but the recipes did not particularly motivate me either.

Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?

Yes! I was always a tubby child and teenager and in my late twenties I went on a diet and lost about 5 stone. I got myself fit (for the first time) and completed half marathons and lots of 10k fun runs.

I knew that I was susceptible to putting on a few pounds but would adjust my eating accordingly to control for the odd ‘good night out’. However, the weight seemed to creep back up.

I stopped exercising because it became more difficult to accommodate in the winter and with my work routine but of course did not stop enjoying the ‘good nights out’. So on went the weight, as work became more demanding so I would let things go in the evening, with a view of ‘…why deny yourself when you have had a hard day?’

So the weight carried on going up and I did nothing to stop it, except for one or two half-hearted attempts at getting it back under control. So, over time I put on approximately six and half stone which is a little more than a bag and a half of spuds!

How being overweight has affected you…

Being overweight affects your life in so many ways.

It was an ‘issue’ between my partner and I. She was concerned for my health and could not understand how I could let my weight go out of control – so it could spoil a ‘good night out’ by her seeing me eat too much or eat food I couldn’t possibly need.

When you are overweight you know that friends see you putting on weight but do not like to say anything – but sometimes, especially in male company, you get the odd comment made in ‘banter’.

Other people you do not know look at you and somehow their look seems to say ‘he’s a big (fat) guy’. I used to think I would not want to sit next to me on an aeroplane!

I felt less healthy and I was aware as I got older of the health risks of being overweight. For example, high blood pressure, diabetes, increased risk of coronary problems and so on.

All of this contributed to a feeling that I was not in control and this in turn resulted in a lack of or reduction of my self-confidence. I was not able to be as active as I liked and found cycling and even some walking demanding. So, I had lots of information that told me I was ‘A big guy – well a fat guy really’ but yet I seemed to be able to convince myself I was not that bad and that I had it under some sort of control.

It also meant that I bought few clothes as I struggled to find mainstream stores that carried sizes that were big enough. I could just about manage it and resisted going to the ‘Big Man’ Shops. So, clothes were also an issue and it was difficult for me to find clothes that allowed me to feel smart or well dressed. Being overweight makes looking smart a real challenge and this has a knock-on in terms of self-confidence and feeling conspicuous because of the weight I was carrying.

Motivation to Lose Weight

Three things motivated me:-

Firstly, I recognised that my weight upset and distressed my partner. Whilst we believe we are indestructible we know that really we are very vulnerable. Two friends of ours died young last year and whilst neither was related to weight I had to take stock and recognise that life is precious. So I decided that I must do things to reduce the risk of incurring health problems, and there was only one thing to do - lose weight.

Secondly, on the ‘pleadings’ of my partner I went to have my blood pressure taken and I was surprised that I didn’t have a problem. I nearly did and I am still being monitored by my GP but I realised that if I went on I would have a serious blood pressure issue as there is a family history. The GP noted the link between blood pressure and weight.

Thirdly, I was fed up with being fat. It was uncomfortable and was not something I felt OK with, so I had to do something about it. I was very self-conscious of how I looked and hated having my photo taken as I was always the really big guy.

The motivation to continue is still those three plus feeling much healthier. I find cycling a lot easier and now manage with my two friends to climb the steep hill out of the local town on our Saturday morning bike ride. Even though it is really steep it is a great sense of achievement to be blowing and puffing with them at the top having got there by bike rather than by walking.

I have just started jogging again, gently and not too far and the sense of well being this induces is so good.

I can now buy clothes in less than extra-large and extra-extra-large and it is a great boost to confidence that once again I look and feel good in clothes – and I am not using them to try and hide the fact that I am overweight.

My partner is incredibly supportive and she is not distressed and worried about my weight now and we still have ‘good nights out’.

I also feel good about having regained control over my life. Finally, after a time people recognise that you have lost weight and no one has ever been disparaging. In fact on the Saturday morning bike ride there is sometimes a ‘pub stop’ for a pint. I am not spending my calories on beer at the moment so I take a glass of sparkling water. My friend said to me ‘That’s good, there is no point doing it if you don’t mean it’.

I am fitter, confident and healthier - my blood pressure is now on the way down!

One final point of motivation is the desire to be able to wear my wedding ring again.

Discovering Weight Loss Resources

I decided before Christmas 2005 that after the Christmas holiday and a work trip abroad I would tackle my weight. I knew that trying before Christmas would be hopeless and with a work trip away it would be difficult to start. I arrived home, actually having put on weight and so was at my heaviest. I knew that calorie counting had worked for me in the past and so looked for calorie counters in GOOGLE and up popped WLR. I signed up for the trial but within 24 hours had signed up for a month and then signed up for six months.

How Weight Loss Resources Helps

WLR is a great motivator. The ability to count calories accurately is excellent and it provides a framework for me to work within. So I can record my food in the diary and know what I have eaten and how I have balanced my diet between fruit, veg, protein, fat and carbs.

As I started WLR I lost weight quite quickly. I think it’s a guy thing. However, what WLR provides is a real sense of freedom that I could have whatever I liked as long as I did not exceed my calorie allowance – so it gave me the control and allowed me to make the decisions about how I ‘spent’ my calories.

So, as I lost weight I found that my eating habits changed; weighing everything to know how much I was eating, using more fruit and veg in my diet, balancing the different elements; carbs, fats and proteins. I also found I could cook for friends and serve a meal and they did not recognise it was WLR friendly – the Amoretti Crumble is a must as a pud!!

The weight reduced week on week and that showed me that I had total control over this diet. I think I ate reasonably healthily but I ate far too much and of course some not so good things. WLR helped me to shift my eating from too much to the right amount, to a better structured diet and to begin to include elements of exercise in my routine. So, I decided to eat no bread, Ryvita instead, no chocolate or sweets, no beer and no pastry and so on – but this was my decision rather than one of a ‘diet’. So, my diet is much healthier now than it was before I started with WLR. Within the first month of WLR I lost a stone and yet I did not starve myself or feel that I was denying myself a ‘good night out’!

The information on the site is also excellent as it provides up to date nutritional advice as well as explaining why drinking 2 litres of water a day is a good idea.

The message boards are also a really useful forum. I am not a great contributor but I do read lots of posts and add something when I feel I can be helpful. Reading the boards brings it home that changing how you see yourself and feel about yourself is the key and that everyone is really supportive and motivating of others. I think my resolution for the future is to be a little more proactive on the boards.

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

I use the food diary every day and probably log on three or four times. Sometimes I check the calories in a food item before I decide to cook it. I read the message boards, look at the articles that are available too. The only problem is you could spend all day on WLR!

Jon's Calorie Counting Tips

The main tips are the ones everyone else has noted. Fill the food diary in and be honest – if you are not honest it is only yourself you are kidding. Also don’t see it as a form of denial. WLR gives you the control and so you can use this to your advantage to re-think your eating patterns so you lose weight.

Being the right weight really does feel good; it gives greater confidence and a greater sense of well being. Being overweight is a drag.

Drink the water – I drink less tea and coffee now and lots of water and again I feel better. Also take exercise, but plan how you are going to do it, and make it enjoyable because you will keep doing it.

Take the advantage of WLR to explore food, you can try lots of different things via the recipe section and it is great how changing your eating pattern means you can change the foods you eat and find ones that are new and exciting – one thing about WLR is that it is not boring!

Weigh everything as this helped me to reduce portions and to see how much in excess I was cooking – and eating!

Jon's Vital Statistics

  Before Now
Weight 19st 3lb 15st 7lb

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* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.

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