Ten months ago, my entire life changed – and not for the best.
I found myself homeless, newly single, and with no idea where to go or what to do next – both literally and metaphorically. I had no house, no girlfriend, no nothing. I quickly managed to set up camp in a friend’s spare room, and then after a few evenings of doing nothing but crying and eating grapes, I decided to get my life sorted out.
The first thing I decided to pay attention to was my weight. I was, to be honest, very nearly morbidly obese; my BMI was in the high thirties, I did no exercise, and could polish off a tube of Pringle’s without even trying. So, what did I do? I went on a diet.
It wasn’t a particularly complicated one, I’ll be honest – I didn’t want to get trapped in some gimmicky diet that I’d rely on for the rest of my life, so instead I decided to go for more of a lifestyle change instead of a crash diet: Eating lots of lean meat, vegetables and fruit, ditching dairy almost completely, and keeping my fibre and calcium intake nice and high (Both of these things help your body digest and process the food you put in it). I coupled this with an initially punishing exercise regime (Two hours a week on an exercise bike, quite a lot for a man who would have driven to the toilet if he could have done.
Anyway, I joined a slimming group, and was overjoyed when in my first week I hopped on the scales to discover I’d lost 5 pounds – that’s almost a pound a day! This really spurred me on and encouraged me: When I started the diet I weighed 299 lbs, and just seven days later I weighed 294; all of a sudden this whole weight loss thing seemed a little bit more possible.
The great thing about dieting like this is this: You can still have the occasional treat and not have to worry. I would grab sausage and bacon for my breakfast once a week, and a trip to the Chinese takeaway wouldn’t impede my weight loss provided I didn’t go overboard. I even began to enjoy the exercise; When the thought of exercising in public didn’t terrify me anymore I picked up a mountain bike and would go riding around my local area all the time – there’s nothing to encourage you to go on a five-mile bike ride like being five miles away from home with a bike, and then in the winter months I retired inside with a set of weights.
I kept this plan up for six months, from May to November – and came out the other side over 100 lbs lighter! I went from weighing 299 lbs to around 195 – which may still seem quite a lot, but I’m 6’2″ and quite big built-in the first place. My BMI is down to the mid twenties (25) and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I used to suffer quite badly from insomnia, and whilst that hasn’t completely ceased losing weight has definitely helped, and my confidence levels have come on in leaps and bounds (Also helped by finding myself a new girlfriend, it should be noted).
I couldn’t be happier with my new life, I’m just kicking myself for leaving it for so long before doing something about it. If your New Year’s resolution was to lose some weight but you’re not really feeling it at the moment, do yourself a favour and keep it up. My life completely reversed last year, and losing weight has been a huge part of that.
Chris is a personal finance writer, working for MoneySupermarket.com. He spent years telling people how to get cheaper life insurance quotes before deciding to actually take his own advice and shed a few pounds.