As many of you know I am a massive loser. Between the start of February 2017 and the end of January 2018 I shed 27% of my body weight - the equivalent on my 9 year old son.
I've been overweight most of my adult life and had been gradually expanding for the last 25 years. I’d become used to being 19 to 20 stone and felt that was ok, being a tall guy I could carry it off (so I thought).
Back in February 2017 I decided to step into the scales after injury forced me off the bike for three months. I was not expecting the result: 21 stone 13lb! I was absolutely stunned. That afternoon I signed up to WeightWatchers.
Not to teach you to suck eggs but the best way to lose weight without surgery is to have smaller portions, eat healthier foods and exercise. Easy as that! (Not)
I found I needed the structure of a tracking app as I honestly had no idea how much I was eating and how bad it was; even a lot of the stuff I thought was good, was actually bad. There are lots of apps out there and I think they all do the same thing; allow you to make informed and reasoned decisions about what to eat. I was stunned by the rubbish I was eating, if it wasn't for the cycling I imagine I would have been a lot larger.
The first few weeks were easy to maintain, I was enthused and weight was coming off. Then I would have a crappy day at work, or the kids would be playing up and all I’d want is take away. My usual go to of Domino's was the answer…. That was until I realised my usual order was more than my entire daily calorie allowance in one meal. Eek! Rather than suck all the joy out of my life (I do love pizza), I changed it to the smaller size, thinner crust and lower fat cheese - still calorie heavy but not a heart attack in a box. A man cannot survive on salad alone.
In the summer of 2017 I decided to come off the “diet”. I wanted to enjoy the good weather and be able to eat and drink what I wanted. The key with this is that I forced myself to start the calorie control again once autumn arrived.
Without my wife Patricia’s support there is no way I could have achieved the loss. The encouragement not to go for takeaway by reflex and her meal planning were fundamental. Substitutions made a massive impact (ditching pasta for alternatives like courgette and butternut squash, Warburtons thin bagels (other brands are available), cauliflower rice, squaffles, latte to americano). All very tasty and filling but not as fattening. I also changed my approach to in ride nutrition; rather than sucking down a gel an hour, plus cake at the stop, plus energy bar etc etc I now think about how many calories I’ll burn on a ride and measure my intake to suit.
There are lots of changes caused by losing weight, some obvious (see the photo below) and others hit out of the blue. A few biggies though
Going faster on the bike (1mph per stone so far). Gone from a solid C+ rider to B+ pace - and I have been broken by the A boys once
I snore a lot less. This reduces the chance of mariticide dramatically
I can look down and see my toes… and other things
Going to shops and buying off the peg clothes. I’ve gone from 50” chest to 44”, waist 46” to 36”, so its cost a blooming fortune.
Being able to run - ran my first half marathon distance in December.
The biggest change is looking in the mirror, or old photos, and not recognising myself. I’ve grown my beard back because I couldn't get used to the stranger who was looking back in the mirror.
To infinity and beyond
I hit my target weight on 16st back in December 2017 and have managed to maintain over Christmas, January and February. I’ve also set a new, more modest, target.
I now primarily use myfitnesspal to log and monitor my weight and consumption, although I’m back on WeightWatchers for the start of 2018. I’ve been struggling to get enthused into a diet that works for me early 2018, although staying positive because I have got into the habit of questioning choices, and ultimately have changed my habits and diet. When I eat a donut I now know exactly how bad it is and think twice before I stuff my face.
One thing that I won't allow to happen is for the old me, the BFB (big fat bastard), to come back.
It could be you!
If I can do it then anyone can, you just need to decide you actually deep down want to make a change. I’m happy to chat through with anyone in the club, just drop me a note on facebook messenger. I also recommend joining the BCG Shifters 👍 on our Community groups, the page has been set up as a support group for supporter members of BCG who want to lose weight.