Paul's Weight Loss Success Story
|Working to Rate of Loss||2lbs per week|
|Time Taken||4½ months|
I’m married with children aged 11 and 14 years. I used to snack quite a bit when preparing food for the children after school, but knowing that I have to record this in the food diary and it all adds up has certainly reduced this grazing.
I’m a GP and tend to be very sedentary during the day, apart from getting up to call patients in!
However I use my bike for work, and the local hills have got a lot easier as I’ve lost weight.
I don’t bother to log these miles on the bike as I think I’d be tempted to eat the ‘exercise calories’ and this would undo any good that was done, and anyway the distances aren’t great.
What diets (if any) have you tried in the past?
Before my eldest was born 14 years ago, with the help of my big appetite that doesn’t have a ‘full’ setting, I had crept up to 16st.
"With a child on the way I thought an effort was required to get my weight down to be able to play with him rather than huffing and puffing around."
By altering my eating habits I lost 4st during my wife’s pregnancy, and kept up eating healthily over the years.
We changed to skimmed milk, ate much more fruit and veg, and generally I’d try to eat healthy options, and have never been that keen on puddings.
Once I got my weight down I started running and really got into exercise, running several marathons and becoming a decent club runner.
"As I ran 30-50 miles a week I could more or less eat what I wanted quantity-wise."
2.5 years ago though I developed a heart problem that meant I couldn’t run any more.
With the stress of all this going on and my healthy diet slipping, and with many fewer calories being burnt each week, my weight increased from where it had been at 12st for more than a decade up to 14st.
After getting stuck at 14st over the last couple of years I felt pretty despondent.
WLR was recommended to me through one of my heart condition forums as having worked for others, and it seemed ideal for the sort of overhaul in lifestyle I needed.
Please comment on your experiences of trying these diets
The diets I’d previously tried had been an attempt at self monitoring what I was eating, but without actually systematically recording the amounts and calories.
Without knowing how this balanced against what I should be eating to lose weight these inevitably didn’t work.
Tell us how your weight has affected you
Moving away from having a healthy BMI definitely made me feel uncomfortable and lowered my self esteem.
I would have negative thoughts about my weight several times a day, with a wish to do something about it but a feeling of helplessness given the plateauing at 2st over what I should be.
What has been your main motivation to lose weight?
Basically I had become fed up at being overweight.
"Wanting to get back to my running weight has been a big motivator, just to remember what it feels like to not carry all that extra weight around."
Due to my weight gain I could no longer squeeze into my dinner jacket, and preferred not to go out to black tie events rather than buy a new outfit that would be an admission of defeat.
When I started with WLR we accepted an invite to a ball, so I knew I had to lose the weight or I’d have nothing to wear.
Which tools & resources on WLR do you find most valuable?
The food diary is definitely what has helped me lose weight with WLR. Being able to quickly record what I have eaten from the database makes the site user friendly.
It’s a simple process to find and record each item of food, and the subsequent logging in the favourites list then makes this process easier.
"Over the weeks I have a got a good feel of what foods won’t break the calorie bank, and what should be avoided that I would have eaten previously."
Also I have definitely noticed that my appetite has fallen as time has gone on, and good habits that were impossible to keep to before have now stuck.
I tend to weigh myself every day to get an overall feel of where my weight is, and enjoy seeing what my weight graph is doing.
This has become part of my routine every morning and I find it very motivational to look at the slow downward trend.
"It’s reassuring to see that if I do log all my food and stick to the daily calorie target that it does actually work!"
As I got closer to my goal weight, the anticipation of what the site would come up with when the graph line met the target kept me going.
I also like the weight report that I look at daily after inputting my weight. It’s quite motivational when I’ve lost some weight, and never judgemental when it goes up.
Even though it’s automated it seems a personal response to how I’ve done over the preceding day and makes me smile.
"The ease of how the site calculates the daily calories allowed depending on my height, current weight, goal weight and rate of weight loss planned is great."
It took me a while to realise that as time went on and I lost weight that WLR also allowed for this, and subtly recalculated the daily calorie total to adjust for the reduced energy needs due to the weight loss that had occurred. This is a very clever feature.
This has helped stop the plateauing that would occur if I had the same calorie input despite an initially falling weight.
WLR has also been useful when planning a supermarket shop, as the favourite food report lists those things most frequently eaten.
This really helps when I put together the items on my shopping list, as it’s a reminder of the foods that help on my diet that I need to stock up on.
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Why do you think WLR has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?
I know from my work that keeping a food diary to record everything you eat is an effective way to help weight loss.
I’d just never been able to find the time or aptitude to do it properly with a pen and paper!
"As my computer is on most of the day at work or home, it’s easy to keep the WLR food diary up to date and accurate."
This, together with the site’s calculations it automatically completes for me so I don’t have to worry about how much I should eat during the day to reach my goal, has been the essence of why it has worked for me.
Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey? Experienced a weight loss plateau? What has kept you motivated?
I’ve had two holidays during the time I lost weight, and these correspond quite nicely with a couple of blips on my generally downward weight graph.
When away from home I don’t bother recording food intake but try to keep the same good habits going.
What interested me was that on a walking trip my friends ate and drank more than me, but when we got home I’d gained the most weight!
However I didn’t become despondent at all, and going back to the same weight and calorie goals after the holiday as I had before it, my weight soon came off, whereas my non WLR-using friends struggled to shift what they had put on.
Since losing weight can you give examples of how you feel your life has changed?
I’ve definitely had more energy to do things, and feel more positive and comfortable about myself in general, both physically and mentally.
Exercise routines adopted
Cycling up those hills has got a whole lot easier. Checking in for a flight with a bag weighing as much as the weight I have lost has definitely concentrated my mind at what I was lugging around before.
What do you love about your body now?
I can now fit back into my dinner jacket and had a great time at the ball rather than party-pooping at home.
Paul's tips and hints
Once you get into the habit of logging what you eat, you’ll find your food habits will change for the better.
"You get to learn about the calorie content of what you are eating and how this relates to your goals."
As time goes on these good habits will become ingrained making the whole process easier to stick to, and this in itself will help with you lose weight.
It’s a great site and definitely has been the reason behind my weight loss.
Like Paul, 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.
* 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.