Neil's Weight Loss Success Story
|Start Weight||17st 3lbs|
|Current Weight||12st 12lbs|
|Weight Lost||4st 5lbs|
|Working to Rate of Loss||1½lbs per week|
|Time Taken||9 months|
I have been overweight / obese for as long as I can remember really – I know at 18 years old I was 12 stone and at my happiest but didn’t exercise and was not at all toned.
Since then I just put on more and more weight and ‘topped out’ at over 17 stone.
When I lived on my own, I inherited my parents’ habit of having sweet things in the flat (cakes, chocolate, that sort of thing) and regularly having desserts.
"When my now-wife moved in with me, we combined our bad food habits and ate a lot of takeaways coupled with the desserts, sweets and cakes, and I put on another 2 stone in our first two years together (as did my wife!)."
Sharing a mutual love of curry and pizza didn’t help and we’d be eating around three takeaways a week.
I used to avoid exercise because I felt I just couldn’t do it – I was too embarrassed to go to the gym and made excuses like ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m too tired’ and motivating myself to go and exercise on my own, e.g. running, was not on my list at all due to never having been able to run for any distance or length of time – my own perception of my fitness was very low.
I used to be terrible for having “snack machine lunches” if I couldn’t get out for lunch due to my job which was mostly technical at the time.
"When I used to work shifts, things were even worse, and I would eat whatever I could grab at really strange times. This usually involved crisps and chocolate."
When I started working in London, I found that business lunches and beers at lunch or after work did nothing to help either – and I loved this new, whizzy kind of lifestyle of being wined and dined regularly.
The other effect was that I was working longer hours, and when neither myself nor my wife (who is a nurse) couldn’t be bothered to cook, we’d just get a takeaway.
What diets (if any) have you tried in the past?
Please comment on your experiences of trying these diets
Slim Fast did work – I went down to about 14.5 stone but piled the weight back on as soon as I stopped drinking the shakes. I think this was because I learned nothing about sensible diet and nutrition!
The Slimming World was OK, but I didn’t like the menu choices and found it was very hard work to lose the weight – it really did FEEL like I was on a diet, and I didn’t like that.
Tell us how your weight has affected you
My confidence went through the floor and things that I wanted to do – like martial arts – I just didn’t want to do.
"I thought that everyone would laugh at me! Even my parents commented on how fat I looked."
I like designer clothes and I couldn’t fit into any of them – my low point came when I had to buy my clothes from a website especially for the ‘larger gentleman’ and I was wearing big jumpers in the height of summer to try and hide my stomach. Even 40” trousers were too tight!
I started hiking but was so unfit; I couldn’t do any more than 3 miles before being exhausted, so some of these lovely 7-mile plus walks were out the window as well.
What has been your main motivation to lose weight?
I just looked at myself and was really unhappy with what I saw, and knew I had to change otherwise I wouldn’t enjoy life, continue to be miserable and possible even eat myself into my grave.
"I don’t have a bad relationship with food – I just had very bad eating habits and that needed to change."
I had a basic understanding of calorie counting and stumbled upon the WLR database through an internet search, signed up for my free membership, tried the food diary and was so impressed I signed up.
Which tools & resources on WLR do you find most valuable?
Logging my food really helped – it was certainly an eye-opener when I logged what used to be a ‘normal’ day’s food.
Try WLR For Yourself
Lots of people have achieved their weight loss success using the tools, information and support that WLR has to offer. But don't take our word for it – take a free trial and see for yourself.
Why do you think WLR has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?
Because the support is there 24/7 when I need it and because I feel I have so much more control in terms of the food diary.
And because WLR does what other diets do not – it teaches you about food, nutrition and exercise, by virtue of the expert-written articles and the member supplied resources.
"Plus, I haven’t felt at any time like I’ve been on a “diet” – I have enjoyed all my favourite foods but in more sensible quantities and armed with the knowledge that I can indeed enjoy them in moderation!"
Finally, it’s worked because it’s so simple – I guess what other diets don’t want you to know is that when you strip it all back, what you are left with is WLR minus the amazing support group and the ability to log quickly and easily what you eat.
I can’t stress enough the fact that through WLR I have been able to educate myself about nutrition and fitness and make sustainable, long-term changes to my life which I feel have really contributed to my success.
Things like introducing running and weight-lifting into my life instead of watching rubbish on TV, tasting new foods and incorporating alternatives to chocolate and cakes, that sort of thing.
Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey? Experienced a weight loss plateau? What has kept you motivated?
I struggled initially because I chose to eliminate a lot of chocolate and sweet things from my diet.
Now I eat these foods but in careful moderation and as rare ‘treats’.
My rate of loss slowed but each time I started to plateau, I changed my routine – eating to maintenance calories helped me – and this got the weight going again.
Since losing weight can you give examples of how you feel your life has changed?
I am now a runner and have taken up Aikido down purely to my new-found confidence.
I enjoy fitness now where I never have in my entire life, and am now looking forward to becoming a black-belt martial artist in the future with my new-found love of fitness.
Exercise routines adopted
I now run, lift weights and practice Aikido.
What do you love about your body now?
The fact that I don’t have a big belly and actually now have discernable biceps and triceps!
"I can run 3 miles comfortably; I look great in my clothes and just feel amazing."
Losing weight has done wonders for me both mentally and physically.
One of my biggest achievements was running a competitive 5k race around the City of London, which I ran in 30.05mins.
This was a great fun event and a massive psychological vindication of everything I had done up until that point.
Neil's tips and hints
- Take full advantage of your membership – use all the tools and read the forums even if you don’t post.
- Dieting can make you feel very isolated and by taking part in the wider community, you’ll see that there are a lot of people all in the same boat, trying to lose weight, who are far from saintly when it comes to their diet at at times!
- Realise that this isn’t a quick-fix, and that you are in this for the long-haul....it’s only by adopting lifestyle changes that will stick and work that you’ll keep the weight off.
- Be honest with yourself and your food diary and remember why you’re here – stick to the plan and it will work.
Like Neil, you can achieve weight loss success by calorie counting 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.
* 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.