Amazing Loser Andrew Rowley 100lb Weight Loss
We often focus on MAN v FAT Football players in our Amazing Loser series, but what’s so impressive about Andrew Rowley, who is a player at the Newport league is that since an injury stopped him playing he’s mostly lost weight simply through sorting out what he was eating.
Starting weight: 171.7kg (377 lbs)
Current weight: 117kg (258 lbs)
What was life like before you lost the weight?
I was suffering with depression and anxiety, I would eat to feel better and ballooned to the highest weight I’d ever been. I had really bad back problems and struggled to walk upstairs and would be out of breath very easily. On a typical day I’d eat chocolate, crisps, takeaways and all number of fatty and bad foods to comfort myself if I was feeling low. I’d struggled with my weight for a number of years, and every time I dieted, I would fall off the wagon and end up putting more weight on than I started at.
What negative experiences did you have because of your weight?
I remember when people stopped saying I was tall and started saying I was big, they would always make excuses for me and say that I could carry off being bigger as I was tall, but I would see pictures of myself and feel even worse and then go back to comfort eating. My back problems were getting worse and when it would hurt, it was hurting worse and for longer, sometimes needing weeks off work.
What made you decide to change?
I wanted to get back out into the world and do something that I would enjoy. I had been having therapy sessions and discussing my mental health and was encouraged to get out and do something. I knew I had to change for myself and my son, I wanted to enjoy doing things with him and be a good role model for him.
What did you eat before you lost weight? Give us a typical day’s food…
Bacon/breakfast roll for breakfast. Then a large chips, sausage and curry for lunch. Followed by another big meal for tea, possibly two sharing bags of chocolate and a big bag of crisps to keep me going through the day.
What do you eat now?
Bran flakes and a yogurt for breakfast, scrambled egg on toast for lunch/chicken salad pitta and spaghetti bolognese/steak and air fried chips for tea. Fruit as a snack. Drinking plenty of water through the day.
How hard did you ﬁnd it to lose weight?
Strangely, it’s been quite easy and very enjoyable, especially when I look back on my progress photos and see how far I’ve come, it’s such a good feeling of achievement when you hit a target or get a loss on the scales.
What has been the most difﬁcult thing about losing weight for you?
I ruptured my achilles scoring a wonder goal about six weeks into joining the program. I had just hit my 5% that night. So I’ve been unable to run, but pushed through the pain to go for walks (uphill walks work great for cardio), and do small home workouts with kettlebells. Even with the injury, I’ve continued to lose weight, because it can only help with my recovery if I’m lighter! They don’t lie when they say it’s 90% diet as most of my weight has come off due to that.
How has life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I can walk longer distances, I’m not out of breath going upstairs, I’ve dropped a few X’s off my clothes and have gone from 4xl to XL, my waist has gone from 46 inch trousers to 38. I feel so much better about myself. Just as importantly, my mental health is a lot better with the support network from football and I haven’t had back problems since I started losing my weight.
What are your next steps?
My main focus is building my leg back up after I had surgery to repair the tendon, so I can get back to playing football. I’m looking to build muscle and make sure I don’t pick up any other injuries as I look to return to playing, but I will continue to lose weight.
What has it been like playing football at your MAN v FAT Football club?
I’ve not played properly to be fair, when I got injured I was just finding some energy to complete a game and since then I’ve not been able to run and play as I would like. But I love the family at Newport, everyone is there for each other, not just their team, but the whole community. My brother has started coming along and he has the same feeling of community and togetherness there. Since I joined Newport, other MvFF clubs have opened that are nearer my home, but I love the friends I’ve made there and couldn’t think of going anywhere else.
What three things do other fat men need to know about losing weight?
It’s all about a calorie deficit, drinking plenty of water and making sure you stretch properly before you do exercise!
You’re Prime Minister for the day – what do you do to improve the health of the nation?
Reduce the cost of going to the gym or playing sport and improve facilities. Help educate people about the number of calories they should be looking to have against the number they’re actually having.