Find out how our inspirational weight-loss star lost over five stone…
My diet wake-up call
This will sound crazy, but at over 20st I was so desperate for a permanent weight-loss solution that I was gorging myself on 4,000 calories a day! Let me explain…
Having tried every diet going without success, I’d lost my job as a bus driver because my weight was causing health problems, so I’d convinced myself a gastric band operation was the answer. Trouble was, my local health authority said my BMI still wasn’t high enough to justify the expense, so I just had to put more weight on before I could take it off!
My plight was reported in a local paper, but before I knew it, my ugly mug was plastered all over the national press, too. That’s when I got a phone call from the founder of a company called Thinking Slimmer. She said they had a new technique called Slimpod, which is a short recording you listen to once a day. It retrains your brain to want to eat less, exercise more and make healthier choices – and it’s supported by NHS Change 4 Life.
What worked for me
To be honest, it sounded daft, but I had nothing to lose. I had a 48in waist, I had type 2 diabetes and I couldn’t walk down the street without getting out of breath. So I started listening at bedtime every night. I kept a daily log of changes I was noticing and after three weeks I suddenly realised I’d stopped eating sweets, chocolate and crisps and wasn’t drinking cola any more. To my amazement, I didn’t miss them.
Then one day I had the urge to buy an Xbox, which came with fitness games. Before I knew it I was prancing around in front of the TV and really enjoying it. As the pounds dropped off, my energy and confidence increased. Eight months after starting to losing weight, I completed the 10K Great South Run. I can’t tell you how proud I was that day.
My new routine
That was five years ago. Today, I’ve lost a total of 79lb and I’ve kept it off. I’ve run the London Marathon, completed a duathlon (running and cycling event) in the company of Olympic star Dame Kelly Holmes, and cycled 200 miles across Cuba. I no longer need diabetes medication and I feel happier and at peace with the way my life is changing for the better. I can’t remember the last time I felt this good about myself and so positive about my life. I feel as if I want to burst with excitement.
The change was quite simple. Before Slimpod I used to eat non-stop. My main meals consisted of lots of takeaways, and even when I cooked meals – sometimes healthy ones – the portion sizes were too big. I used to drink 2 litres of cola a day (minimum) and eat crisps and chocolate, etc. I was always snacking on bread. At work, I’d go out to the shops multiple times a day to buy food. I’d eat pies, sandwiches, fish and chips, burgers and sweets.
Now I eat to fuel my body. I control food; food doesn’t control me. I can eat what I choose, guilt free, because my body tells me when I need to eat and, more importantly, when I’ve had enough. I exercise because it makes me feel good and I love it. I’ve met so many positive people through running.
Before, I was the typical couch potato whose idea of exercise was changing the channels with the remote. Now I can proudly say I’m an athlete and a cyclist, and I can’t wait to get out of bed every morning and continue living life to the full. I’m also thrilled that my enormous weight loss and the health benefits that go with it mean I’ve recently got my bus driver’s licence back. But I tell you what, I’ll be travelling by bike as much as I can.
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