Portion Control Helped Dave Get Control
Portion Control Helped Dave Get Control

Dave knew his weight was out of control and his portion sizes were part of the problem. Using WLR’s tools to get that control back, he has re-educated himself about food and lost over 4 stone! Read how he did it.

Portion Control Helped Dave Get Control

Dave, Age 43, Height 6ft
Start Weight 18st 6lbs
Current Weight 14st
Goal Weight 14st
Weight Lost 4st 6lbs
Working to Rate of Loss 1-2lbs per week

Tell us a little about your lifestyle

I’m a pretty standard bloke in my eyes. I have a wonderful supportive wife and two wonderful children who all make me very proud.

I live in Manchester in a semi and enjoy life to the full (sometimes over full)!!! Which is how I made it here.

As a teen I was stick thin and pretty much an athlete until I reached 21 at which point I became interested in cars, beer and women. Most of my exercise disappeared overnight.

I did manage to stay pretty healthy while the children were young and I tried to take an active role in their exercise including football, cycling and even karate for a while.

"We were active enough at that time to deal with the cupboards of crisps which were obviously only bought for the kids (yeah right)."

We moved out to South Africa in 1995 and that was the starting point of my weight battle. Life out there revolved round people getting together and eating and drinking.

We stayed there for nearly 3 years but when I returned to the UK I was almost 3 stone heavier then when I left.

My work life changed at the same time from an active shop floor role to an office based role and my eating habits stayed in SA mode. Within 12 months I had managed to get up to 17 stone. 

What diets (if any) have you tried in the past?

It was time for my first Diet. Me being a bit of a computer geek I decided to set myself up a spread sheet and started logging my weekly weight in graph form.

I was pretty chuffed with myself as I managed to lose over a stone in a few months by cutting out the beer and crisps etc but within 3 or 4 months the motivation failed because I had done without the “nicer things” and I felt I had earned a break so I went back to the beer and crisp etc but again too much and I started to put weight on again.

"I did this over 7 or 8 years but one thing I noticed was I was on a downward spiral. I noticed that every year I was starting at a heavier weight and losing less each time."

My wife and daughter tried Weight Watchers and while they were eating well I did lose a reasonable amount but when they stopped so did I.  It shows what other peoples’ influence can do to help or not as the case may be.

Tell us how your weight has affected your lifestyle/mood/stopped you doing things/other people’s reaction/perception to you etc?

Being quite a big guy I hid behind the 'I’m big not too fat' but I knew and dressed accordingly. Baggy T shirts and trousers under my belly to keep the waist size down.

I had got to the stage where when I was sat on the bed in the morning and I had put my socks on I had to take a breath before I bent down as when I was bent over I was too big to be able to breath. Or I’d come up gasping for air.

"I started to hate myself for letting myself go and felt disgusted with myself."

I sort of tricked myself in to believing there must be something wrong with me as I didn’t think I ate enough to be over 18 stone but I am quite a highly motivated person and just needed to channel it the right way. (I gave up smoking overnight which was easier than the weight loss!)

What has been your main motivation to lose weight?

I have always worked hard towards being able to retire early - 55ish. I wanted to spend as much time as possible, with Yvonne, enjoying our latter years.

I didn’t want to be an old overweight ill guy so I decided the time was right to do this for good. I made myself an appointment at the doctors to blow this theory of there being something wrong and prove it was my eating habits that was the problem.

That appointment was on the 25th September 2007. It started as any other normal day up and off to work. Then came the phone call to go to my mother’s house as she could not wake my dad.

He had passed away in his sleep. The reason…. Oxygen Depravation because his lungs were not capable of supplying enough.

The reason for the respiratory failure was “Morbid Obesity” My dad was 30 stone, and a diabetic. He was only 60 years old.

"I had watched him deteriorate over a few years and his whole life had to revolve within 40 yds of his car as that was as far as he could walk."

I had already decided it was time to lose weight but taking account of my dreams and the fact of my father’s death proved the consequences of what could happen if I didn’t, as you can imagine, my initial motivation was pretty strong.

I went to the doctors a few days later and he sent me to “Healthwise Club” a local NHS Weight Watchers from what I could tell. It was an hour session with half an hour theory on food types and measures etc and the rest on physical activity.

The other thing that came out was my high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Which tools and resources do you use regularly on WLR? Which tools do you find invaluable?

Being a bit of a geek part of the new routine was counting calories and so rather than do the hard work myself I searched the Internet and came across WLR.

"I signed up for the free trial and realised it had everything I needed and more. So I joined and here I am."

The immediate difference was I was given a daily allowance on the NHS club that didn’t change or reduce when I lost weight, unlike WLR which, when you think about is pure logic.

I stuck to the WLR way and I was by far the biggest “Loser” at the NHS Healthwise Club, which was a 12-week programme.

Why do you think WLR has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?

From memory my initial allowance was 1900 cals a day and how I struggled for the first few weeks. That showed me just how much I was eating before.

Then came the days where I was working out how much I had and what I could eat to get me right to the full allowance. I could never be under. 

"I soon learned to use the tools on WLR to be able to plan my meals and even to swap foods about to see which had the fewer calories etc. I didn’t do without anything."

I had what I liked as long as I stayed within my calories including beer, McDonalds etc but I did work out that a BigMac and a chicken sandwich was far better than the BigMac meal as the fries are SOO bad.

A small thing as it’s all so-called the ‘wrong stuff’ but it helped me cope. I stuck to my allowance and it worked.

I lost weight, lots at first then nice and steady. Your head does need to be in the right place and the people around you need to support you as well…

Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey??  Experienced a weight loss plateau?? What has kept you motivated?

I have lost my weight over two periods. I lost three stone initially and decided then to live with that for a while.

I knew one day it would be time to start again but wanted to enjoy eating and maintaining weight as opposed to watching everything to lose.

Thing is when I go on holiday, like most people, I just over indulge. In fact, it’s more like self abuse as over a fortnight I could and did put over a stone on and that’s not a fluke. I did it more than once.

"So each time I had to get back on the wagon so to speak. I don’t think I could have done that without the help of the WLR forums and especially the weight loss forum."

My weigh in day was Thursday and along with a dedicated band of Thursdayers we used to challenge and support each other through every week.

There was never a need to hide the not so good weeks as we all have them and there was no embarrassment at telling the people there. In fact I would go as far to say we are more a bunch of good friends now and not just people who posted results.

I could say special thanks to so many but I would always miss someone. But to the Thursday Posse thank you so much for getting me through.  I love you all.

It was another of my big gains over Xmas 2008 that made me kick in to the final stage and I lost the gained weight and an extra stone to get to where I am today.

Since losing weight can you give some examples of how your life has changed??

I can say I have enjoyed being able to wear fashionable clothes again and I have some real confidence as opposed to the hide behind one when I was bigger.

I can now put the table down when on a plane without resting it on my stomach. I run up stairs for fun and have bags more energy. I don’t have to take a breath before I bend down to tie my laces anymore either. 

Exercise routines adopted?

My main exercise during the whole of my weight loss journey…Walking and that’s it.

Yes at some stages I went to the gym but Yvonne and I started to walk 3 to 4 times a week through our local country parks and, more than anything else, that has the feel good factor and you spend quality time with each other. 

I also play a lot of golf so fits right in with the walking too.

What do you love about your body now?

Being reasonably active and a fair sized bloke initially the best thing to me that I saw was starting to get back that definition again actually seeing muscle tone rather than big round arms.

I might be a bit away from being confident enough to walk without my top on down the beach but I tell you what, I’ll get there!!!!

  Before After
Chest 48in 44in
Waist 44" 36"
Blood Pressure 150/95 125/80
Cholesterol 6.4 5.1

Do you want to include anything else that you feel is relevant and supportive and would help others?  Tips to share???

I don’t believe in giving up anything. I had what I wanted and learned to accept portion sizes that my body needed. Giving up stuff leads to cravings.

If you feel the need to be “bad” then plan it and save some allowance and go enjoy being bad. Don’t kick yourself for the bad times either, we all do it but, be sure to get back as soon as you can.  

Use the forums for motivation and if possible join with a group of weighers on a specific day per week. You will be welcomed with open arms. 

Do MONITOR i.e. fill in your food diary - unless you can see what’s happening you can’t react to it or adjust your intake to suit your goals.

I never expected to stay with WLR for longer than 3 months but in the end I am glad I did. Why?? Because it took longer than my initial stage to learn the tools internally so to speak.

I have got to the stage where I now know what I need to do and when I need to do it and don’t need to record and monitor everything.

I needed to re-educate myself and my lifestyle and that took time. WLR was my teacher and the people there my class “Mates”  I say again I could not have done this alone Thank You. :wave:

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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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