Posted on 22 Dec 2016 Views 30644
So suddenly I’m a middle aged man with a beer belly, high blood pressure and a blood sugar level that’s climbing every year. My doctor would issue dire warnings and even got me on a weight-loss programme. The thing is, I knew I was overweight and was trying to do something about it. I was 90% vegetarian, exercised (black belt in kickboxing, lots of long walks and time in the gym). So why was the weight going up? Stress.
I was a teacher and coped with alcohol and comfort eating. I also suffer from bouts of depression which leave me unmotivated to do any exercise but very motivated to eat a family sized bag of Doritos and drink a bottle of wine. Also, all my mates are bikers. With the odd exception they are all big, overweight blokes who like a drink. Think Hairy Bikers before the diet book! Being overweight was ok. But I was losing weight. I’d changed jobs, was a lot happier, less comfort eating and getting more exercise, but last year I was in a near fatal bike crash. I was off work, and pretty much off my feet for ten months. At first I lost a lot of weight. A nurse told me I was burning a marathon's worth of calories a day on healing. In my drug induced euphoria I thought great! Losing weight at last! I joked it was a crash diet.
Eventually I was back home and housebound. Feeling low, bored etc. You can guess the rest. By the time I got back to work I was heavier than ever. My uniform didn’t fit and I had to go up a few sizes. I’m a security officer and the extra weight made it hard to keep up with the physical side of things, not to mention trying to recover from my injuries. I would get out of breath and dizzy. Then I got diagnosed with a heart valve narrowing! A few of the lads at work were type 2 diabetes. The signs were all around me! I had to take action. Fast. I read Michael Mosley's Blood Sugar book and thought this would be good for me. Looking for meal replacement companies I found Slim and Save. I tried a few sample packs and started on the Simplicity plan. August 2nd, 2016. That day my life changed.
In the first week I lost 3.9Kg (that’s about 8.5lb). I know a lot of it was water etc but I was stunned. The weight kept falling away. On average I lost 1.5Kg (about 3.3lb) a week. And one of the best things was after the first week I didn't feel hungry. I did get the munchies when I was bored, or stressed, but I recognised that for what it was and found ways past it. My clothes got looser. I had to get holes added to my belt. Then I bought a new belt. Then more holes, and another belt. I started getting into trousers I’d last worn years before. The clock was going backward. My shirt collars were too big. My face got thinner. All my size XL stuff just hung off me. I kept one pair of “fat jeans” for reference purposes. The rest went to the charity shop. They love me there! My friends and work colleagues were noticing and making (mostly) positive comments. More important than this is my health and fitness. I don’t get breathless. I don’t get dizzy. My back doesn’t ache. (I definitely feel empathy for pregnant women now). I haven’t had my blood test yet but I’m sure the sugar and cholesterol must be down. I realised I’d got to where I wanted to be when a few weeks ago in the shower I looked down and said “Hello, haven't seen you for a while!”.
It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve learned a lot about my relationship to food. I feel better about myself. I’m back in the gym. I’ve ordered new uniform and am waiting for the sales to get some new clothes. I even got rid of my big beard (to the horror of my mates!). They have noticed the changes and are now calling me New Rob. And that’s how I feel. New Rob. There will be challenges ahead. There’s still a bit of belly I’d like to see gone but I now know that I can be in control of my weight. I’m using Fitbit and Myfitnesspal to keep on track, and have an arsenal of calorie counted meals and menus at the ready. I now know I don’t have to put my health at risk to enjoy myself. Well, apart from motorbikes. New Rob needs a New Bike in the New Year!
Best Wishes to you all and your weight loss journey.Rob Easthope
August 2, 2016. 96.3Kg. BMI 35.4
December 6, 2016. 67.6Kg. BMI 24.8