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Mike’s Weight Loss Lifestyle Change

AKA "23niner" lost weight with Weight Loss Resources*

Mike's Details
Age 39
Height 6' 3"
Start Weight 19st 7lbs
Current Weight 13st 10lbs
Goal Weight 14st
Weight Lost 4st 9.5lbs
Working to Rate of Loss 2lbs/week
View Mike's Vital Statistics

Now: 14st

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About Mike

I do quite a sedentary job in Customer Services, sitting at a desk all day.  A job where people tend to gain weight, not lose it. Some shift work but I don't let my job impact my weight loss.

I'm quite busy when I get home – helping look after my two-year old daughter, preparing things for the next day etc. Usually just sit down for an hour or two at 10pm. Look after my daughter at weekends so quite active then.

Dieting History

I lost about 2½ stones five years ago by “cutting down.” This involved my cutting out chocolate and cakes apart from a weekly treat. It felt quite restrictive (I couldn't have these foods at other times) and I hadn't set myself a specific, measurable goal, just “to lose some weight”.

I felt good when I lost the weight but then gradually old eating habits began again and the weight crept back on. I thought it was “job done” after the 2½ stone loss whereas I was still well overweight, just not as much as before.

This time I set myself a specific goal (to reach 14st) and I was determined to get down to a healthy weight, not just be less overweight. I think this has been a big help from the outset. This time I've also looked at my diet as a whole, not just focussing on my biggest problem area (chocolate and cakes) as before.

As above, I have been overweight the vast majority of my adult life and was determined to challenge my negative self-image – that I would always be an overweight person and it was just a question of how overweight I would be. I'm now at a weight and level of fitness that I never imagined and healthier than I've ever been.

How Being Overweight Has Affected You

My partner and I went on a great holiday to Spain six months before my daughter was born and I was longing to take a dip in the pool but have always felt really embarrassed about taking my top off in public. I used to feel very heavy and lethargic, it was always an effort to lift myself out of the bath and my balance was not brilliant when standing up on a moving bus etc. I also had the embarrassment of perspiring heavily very easily and was constantly hiding my weight under big shirts and T-shirts and having to discretely pull up my trousers a lot during the day as they didn't fit properly (I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that!)

What Was Your Main Motivation To Lose Weight?

The main reason is my two-year old daughter. Being an older dad, I wanted to lower my risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes etc and make sure I'm around for her for as many years as possible. I also wanted the energy to be able to do lots with her and make the most of the early years.

I also have my 40th birthday ahead of me and thought it was time to make a change so the next part of my life would be as healthy as possible. I thought how great it would be to be slim and healthy for my 40th and for a holiday in Spain we had booked just after my birthday in the autumn (taking a dip in the pool this time with my daughter). I've also suffered from lower back pain a handful of times in the last ten years and I wanted to reduce the likelihood of this happening again. I had also just grown tired of feeling big and heavy. Enough was enough.

The Best Of WLR

The food diary with its calorie allowance is invaluable. It has taken away the guess work. Before I joined I was guessing how many calories I was consuming in a day, guessing how many calories I needed to consume to lose weight etc – it's a miracle I lost anything before joining WLR.

WLR could be called Healthy Lifestyle Resources as you are empowered to make healthy choices and it is sustainable. I've not been doing anything I think I will have a problem keeping up for the rest of my life, though it will be nice to have the extra calories to play with once I'm maintaining. The nutritional breakdown of food is also helpful and the saved food plans in the diary make it a lot easier to complete the day's entry.

Why Do You Think WLR Has Helped You Lose Weight Where Other Diets Have Failed?

WLR is not a diet, rather it promotes a sustainable, long-term healthy lifestyle – it's at the opposite end of the spectrum to yo-yo dieting and faddish diets. Nothing is prohibited – you just need to fit it in with your daily or weekly calorie allowance. WLR helps you make informed, healthy choices (you almost become a bit of a healthy eating expert!) and I've found it to be an invaluable system for tracking calories expended against an amount of calories needed for my desired weight loss. It is also a great tool for tracking your progress and planning your meals and exercise.

I didn't have the time or inclination to go to a slimming club. Another great thing about WLR is its 24/7 availability.

Have You Struggled at Points in Your Weight Loss Journey? Experienced a Weight Loss Plateau? What Has Kept You Motivated?

Wouldn't say I've struggled at any time. I had three short breaks away from home and though I didn't keep up with jotting all my food down on my WLR jotter and entering it on line when I got home, I did manage to make healthy choices and recorded a weight loss each time. I've had a couple of times when the weight loss has been small. I've dealt with this sometimes by making minor changes to diet and exercise. I've found that the weight loss “catches up” in any case as long as you keep on following the program.

Lifestyle Changes

More energy, sense of achievement, sense of doing right by myself, pleasure/pride in my appearance (not something I had been familiar with before!). I only perspire during exercise, I’m stronger; I’ve travelled a lot in years before my daughter was born – picked up a lot of clothes that never fitted and couldn’t return them, but now I’m getting some wear out of them; feeling of wellness due to the healthy diet. I am learning kettlebell training – as it is quite technical and demanding I would not have embarked on this without having lost a lot of weight.

Exercise Changes

Exercising at home (no time travelling to the gym or expense), always exercising first thing in the morning – that way the day’s exercise is done – no chance of exercise being missed due to commitments or getting side tracked once home from work. I regard the early morning exercise as some “me time” at the start of the day and have found it easy to fit in – I just get up earlier. The body also has the rest of the day to grow and recover. 30 mins exercise bike at least five days out of seven, monitored heart rate and cals burned through the bike's display and increased target HR and calories burned per session as time progressed (burning around 270 to 300 cals a session now). Recently invested in a HRM which seems to be much more accurate and is leading to a greater calorie burn. Used an upper body resistance trainer (Fortex) three or four times a week for increased strength/muscle in upper body. I am currently learning kettlebell training – very high calorie burn rate and great for a lot of different muscle groups.  The latter is also getting me out in the open air for exercise instead of the spare bedroom where my exercise bike is, and should help get me toned up (if not ripped!)

What You Love About Your Body Now

Not much to say for this one apart from the lack of fat!

Your Tips

I’ve regarded my weight loss/lifestyle change as a project/hobby not an obligation. As it has progressed I have found it has great scope to deliver success, achievement and pride. My weight loss has happened quickly but I've always been aware it is a marathon not a sprint. After all it won't matter in two, five or ten year’s time whether the weight was lost in six months or eighteen. I’m very much looking forward to my next project (weight maintenance) and hoping it will last for 40 years plus!

It’s worth bearing in mind that you are looking to establish good habits for life and so adopting a radical diet/fitness regime (e.g. 4 hours exercise and day and giving up all fatty foods) would be tough to maintain over the long term. It’s a good idea to make choices that you feel you can keep up once the weight has been lost.

On days I’ve not felt like exercising it’s helped to think I will just be sitting in an office all day – 30 mins or an hour of exercise is just a small portion of the whole day; I’ve got the rest of the day to rest etc. If I’ve thought my commitment to take the time to exercise, complete the food diary and weigh food etc, is flagging, I've found it helpful to think of the time as time well spent, an investment in the future – every ten mins spent on these activities will be repaid with years of benefits.

I’ve found it useful to try new things, keep making small improvements, different things to keep it interesting. I joined WLR 7 weeks into my weight loss - I thought it would be a good way to stay motivated as I thought the novelty of weight loss might wear off. Getting into the last 15% of my weight loss I’ve just invested in a HRM and started kettlebell training. I’ve also made small changes to my diet and rate and duration of training etc along the way. I switched to eating recommended portion sizes (45g of cereal, 75g or rice etc) early in my weight loss and weigh most of my unpackaged food. I prepare (wash and weigh) the fruit that I have with my breakfast cereal and my lunchbox contents the previous evening. I eat at least nine portions of fruit and veg per day.

Mike's Vital Statistics

  26/2/09 17/4/09
Weight 19st 7lbs 14st
BMI 34.1 25.7
Body Fat 27.9 14.3
Waist 42" 36"

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Like Mike, you can achieve weight loss success by using the tools on Weight Loss Resources. You can set a weight loss goal and see how many calories you need each day to get there. Try it free for 24 hours.

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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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Start a Free Trial Today

Like Mike, you can achieve weight loss success by using the tools on Weight Loss Resources. You can set a weight loss goal and see how many calories you need each day to get there. Try it free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

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