Success Story: Gareth
|Start Weight||19st 7lbs|
|Current Weight||12st 10lbs|
|Goal Weight||12st 5lbs|
|Weight Lost||6st 11lbs - Wow!|
|Time Taken||About 2 years|
I think I’ve tried pretty much every diet under the sun at some stage.
All of them are great in the early stages as they all essentially restrict calories and the weight falls off.
Amongst the diets I’ve tried:
- Weight Watchers
- Slimming World
- Soup diets
Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?
Several times during my 20s. I was a big drinker and a big eater during my University days and this didn’t slow down much afterwards.
I regularly went through guilt periods when I would try the next big diet, lose some weight but then revert back to my old habits and pile even more weight on.
How being overweight has affected you…
Peoples’ perception was always that I looked ok. I seemed to carry most of the weight fairly well. ‘You’re just a big bloke’, ‘You’re very broad’ etc.
"My stomach took most of the punishment and baggy clothes are pretty good at hiding that."
I just got lazier throughout my 20s as it became more of an effort to do active stuff anyway.
I’ve always enjoyed computer gaming and so got more into that. (I should point out that I’m still into now that I’ve lost the weight – I just do other things as well!)
When I was about 26 I was in hospital for a couple of days with heart murmurs.
"This was caused by a combination of binge drinking and being overweight. That was 2 days before Christmas. Took me 4 more years to learn my lesson."
I started to find it difficult to find clothes that I felt comfortable.
XXL were sometimes snug. I had a 42” waist and 31” inside legs (I have a really long upper body) – which are bizarre measurements.
Motivation to Diet
A combination of things have acted as my motivation.
My son was born in January 2005 – a life changing event in itself. But I figured I wanted to be able to kick a ball around with him etc. when he got older.
But perhaps the main motivation at first was me!
"When I hit 30 I was actually very satisfied with life – I’m happily married, got a good job, nice house and a young child. Only thing I wanted was that there would be less of me!"
These two factors combined with a bit of luck led to me discovering cycling.
I’d ridden a charity 60 mile ride on a crappy mountain bike in September 2004. I was at about my heaviest then – 19 and a half stone.
"I got off the bike at pretty much every hill and walked up and my arse was ragged at the end of it!! I was stiff for days. And I didn’t get on a bike again for several months."
My 30th birthday was in March 2005. I asked for and got, a bike.
Just a standard mountain bike. It appeared there was no stopping me. I was riding as much as I possibly could in between having a wife, young baby and job. More about cycling later.
Discovering Weight Loss Resources
I have to admit that WLR was one of my failed attempts during my 20s – it was only £7 a month back then.
"The reason it didn’t work for me was that I’d just cheat. And of course, it doesn’t work unless you’re entirely honest."
This time round I had already made a mental shift. And WLR was my crutch for the final stone and a half of my weight loss.
How Weight Loss Resources Helps
Main thing I’ve benefited from is ‘learning’ to eat like a healthy person.
WLR helps you with portion control. For example, a bowl of cereal for me would be around 75g – not the standard 30g listed on the back of the packet.
However, when you see the sheer amount of calories in cereal … well you compromise. I have 40-50g of cereal now, depending on what else I’m having.
"The community support on the site is outstanding. As well as the official helpteam, there’s a wealth of knowledge across a range of subjects."
And perhaps even better for me, I was able to share my knowledge of cycling with people. It’s all about peer pressure but in the most positive way.
The Best of Weight Loss Resources
I did get into the habit of logging in and immediately going to the Fitness and Exercise board, then the A&S board.
Only then would I go off to the food area.
"My two favourite sections though were the exercise board – when I could input all those extra calories to eat and the goals and results board where I could track my success."
Perhaps one area I could have used more was the recipes. There are some fabulously talented cooks around the WLR site but sadly for me, it was only towards the end that I started to have a look at some of the recipes.
Perhaps WLR will release an e-book of some of the best recipes?
Gareth's Dieting Tips
Nothing in addition to what I’ve said above except perhaps there always seem to be.
"Perhaps the thing I like best about WLR is that it doesn’t try and make out that weight loss is easy."
Yes, the way to do it is easy – but actually getting there takes a significant investment of time and effort.
And, in my view, it will only be successful if you change your whole attitude. I wish I could say it’s easy – but it isn’t always. What I will say is that WLR is a pretty significant crutch that helped me do it.
Cycling is fantastic. I got on a bike at 19 stone plus – felt awful, looked awful and went about 2 miles before thinking I was going to die.
"Last week, at about 12stone 10lbs, I did 60 miles on the Saturday morning, 55 miles on Sunday and then 10 miles at 25mph on the Monday! Who’d have thought it possible."
Always eat breakfast. I used to hate breakfast and I had to literally force myself to eat it. I’m glad I do now. If you don’t like breakfast stuff – have a butty or spaghetti or anything to be honest (except chocolate probably.)
Water is your friend – I drink 3-4 litres (yes three to four litres!) a day.
Sometimes I put a bit of Asda’s smartprice lemon squash (19p for a litre) in a 750ml bottle of water. Taste great and is still 99% water.
There is no need to follow faddy diets. With WLR you can keep an online food diary and learn about eating healthily which will really put you in control. You can try it free for 24 hours.
* 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.