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The Reality of Weight Loss – A members story

I joined Fortitude in September 2018 with the aim of getting fit and healthy; starting at 108.4kg, weight loss was part of the plan. I’d tried several diets over the years, but kept putting the weight back on.

 

In the last 8 months I’ve managed to lose nearly 20kg; I feel amazing and really pleased to be within touching distance of my goal weight…..

1 more week to go!

I won’t pretend its been easy, but it is achievable as long as you are prepared to focus on it. The things that worked for me may not work for you, but the general principles will.

I joined Fortitude in September 2018 with the aim of getting fit and healthy; starting at 108.4kg, weight loss was part of the plan. I’d tried several diets over the years, but kept putting the weight back on.

This time I was serious!

Two months later, having trained 3 times a week (and rewarded myself with food!) I’d reached my heaviest ever; 109.8kg. Damn!

I heard Tina, one of Fortitude’s coaches, was running an 8 week fat loss group and signed up. I’d already missed the first 2 weeks so had to play catchup.

simonG3

The first month I was super keen and did really well. I was surprised by the amount of protein i had to eat to protect my muscle mass, but got stuck in nonetheless. The support from Tina, Josh, Isaac and Rachel was fantastic. It was amazing to have someone to keep me accountable for my own actions and suggest ways around any issues without judgement.

 

Approaching Christmas, I was worried about how to handle a change of routine with less training and plenty of opportunities for overeating….a diet break – what a great idea!

I decided to give up alcohol after New Year to try and cut down on unnecessary calories. Things carried on swimmingly until the end of February when I hit a wall at 98kg. I lost my mojo a bit, felt down, and started sneaking foods, not recording stuff and basically cheating myself.

We planned a diet break for a month…..and I carried it on unplanned for another month as well! After Easter, and a prompt from Tina, I decided to get back on it.

As a little bit of encouragement to myself, I bagged up all the clothes that no longer fitted me and took them to the charity shop #nogoingback.

I did well in May, dropping another 3kg, but hit another speed bump in June at 95kg. This called for more drastic action. Knowing that I liked to understand the science behind stuff, Tina recommended that I read a book called ‘The Hungry Brain’, by Stephan J. Guyenet; it explains how the body and brain work together to control your eating.

The main issue I had not resolved yet was snacking in the evening….the solution…. cut out evenings! I’m a morning person anyway, so getting up at 5am and pottering around until the kids get up is really good ‘me time’. Once the kids go to bed in the evening, so do I, at around 9pm. By shifting my day 2 hours earlier, I’d removed all the eating opportunities in the evening. For good measure I dropped sweets, chocolate, cakes, breads and pastries, all highly palatable foods, from my diet too. I’m afraid 1 Jaffa cake turns into 10 all too easily for me!

With those tweaks I was able to get back on track again in June and am now 90kg, 1kg short of my target….that’s just 1 more week of calorie deficit.

It’s not been easy, but I have done it with the support of the staff at Fortitude and all the amazing people in the fitness community there.

The graph below tells the story:

Simongair

 

Better than the graph of my weekly check in weights though, are my progress photo’s. These really show the impact this weight loss programme has had on my body over time. Progress photos massively helped me with motivation when I was feeling down. I could see how far I’d come and resolve not to go back there again.

simong2

 

The numbers tell a story too. My waist has shrunk by 7” and I am now a Medium! Never thought I’d say that.

 

As I’ve got slimmer, I’ve had to buy new clothes…twice. Charity shops are a great source of clothes for when you want to dress in your new size but don’t want to spend too much as you hope they won’t fit for long.

From a health and performance perspective things have improved massively.

When I started this weight loss kick I decided to try running a few times a month to help burn a few calories. The combination of strength & conditioning training and weight loss has resulted in me steadily improving my speed and endurance to a level I did not think I’d reach.

A combination of the healthy eating and living has also contributed to me not really getting ill for the last 8 months; no colds over the winter or anything. I can’t remember the last period in my life where I felt so healthy.

 

Before

After

Weight

110kg

90kg

Waist

43”

36”

BMI

32.9

26.9

Waist/height ratio

0.6

0.5

Shirt collar

17.5”

16”

Trouser Size

40” waist

34” waist

T-Shirt Size

XL

M

5km run

23m15s

10km run

51m15s

 

The biggest thing that surprised me about this process was how much of it is mental. I knew what I had to do in terms of nutrition, through Tina’s coaching and reading around the subject, but I’d still eat in a way that I knew was essentially hurting my body and making me feel bad. Having the support of a great coach paid huge dividends here.

Your friends and family won’t necessarily hold you accountable for your eating choices in the same way. The reality of weight loss is that it isn’t easy.

You’ll have your ups and downs and it’s all too simple to let it slip and undo the good work you’ve done. With the help of a really supportive community of people and a healthy measure of self-discipline, it’s possible to overcome most obstacles and make sustainable changes to your body.

So, what’s next? I’ve had another Nutrition Consultation with Tina to plan the next phase…..getting stronger. The eating challenges will be different; the plan is to try and stick around 89kg and build more muscle to help with strength training.

This should have the added bonus of reducing my body fat a bit more, which can’t hurt.

Im excited to get stuck in!

2 thoughts on “The Reality of Weight Loss – A members story

  1. After chatting to you a couple of times over the last few weeks you have given me some great ideas and you’ve inspired me to get on with it and stop messing around, I am now going to bed earlier and getting up earlier as I don’t eat in the mornings but snack at night, so will save a shed load of calories there, and I’ve changed up my training to include barbell as well as S & C, so here’s hoping !!!
    You’ve worked really hard and it’s paid off, well done x

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