This week’s Amazing Loser Andy clears up a common misconception that you have to be good at football to get the most out of MAN v FAT Football. Nuh-uh, in fact, all you need is to show willingness and to rally around your teammates (not literally, as that’s not a great football tactic) and you’ll do just as well as your league’s answer to Pele.
Name: Andy Duff
MAN v FAT Football league: Aldershot
Weight lost: 38kg / 5st 13lbs / 83lbs
Percentage lost: 26.5%
What was your life like before you joined MAN v FAT Football?
I was pretty much in denial that I had a weight issue for quite a few years. I just sort of accepted that I couldn’t walk into town, I had to drive everywhere, I needed to buy my clothes from specialist websites as the usual shops didn’t go big enough, I was out of breath just going upstairs. I had accepted all of that.
Why did you decide to change?
I cannot put my finger on what flipped in my head, but I just had a nagging doubt that what I was seeing as normal really wasn’t. I think it may have been that my hobbies are Rally Marshalling and Bushcraft and finding clothes that were suitable for those was difficult.
Hammock camping and trying to squeeze myself into a sleeping bag slung between 2 trees wasn’t the easiest!
Who do you play for, and what have the games been like?
I play for Athletico JGG (Jolly Green Giants) and I love it. My football ability is limited (bigging myself up there) so I usually go in as the no-nonsense ‘have it’ type defender.
The team spirit in the greens is fantastic. Your team is so important in MAN v FAT Football, without that the whole thing would be harder. The phrase ‘the more you put in the more you get out’ is definitely true.
What’s your team spirit like?
The team spirit is brilliant. We all support each other and have really started to gel quite well. We don’t win every match however there is never any finger pointing, we learn from it and move on to the next match. Every player on our team contributes, whether that be on the pitch playing, on the scales losing or even on the sidelines supporting us when injured.
What differences has losing this weight made in your life?
It has made a huge difference. I used to be a much more miserable person inside.
I’d be like a lot of us and pretend everything was fine, but the reality was different. Now I am in a better place – not saying everything is perfect, but I have a much better outlook on things and a different approach to what is achievable.
As an example, I love walking and being out in nature. I’m never going to be a bloke that goes to the gym, goes jogging or hits the swimming pool every morning. But walking is great for headspace, fresh air and a slow pace of life.
Back when I was 22st, walking 5 minutes to the local shop would never have happened, but the other week I went for a 24km walk and really enjoyed it. It has taken a while to get up to that distance but the feeling once I finished that walk was incredible, I never thought I could ever do it.
What would you say to men who are considering joining MAN v FAT Football?
Do it. That first step of clicking the signup link is a big step, and that 1st week you turn up to the pitch on a match night will be scary. But once you are there and see a bunch of blokes who look like you, wheezing and plodding like you, and dishing out the banter in the way big guys can only do to other big guys, you’ll soon realise you should have done it ages ago.
Another thing to point out is that you shouldn’t be put off by the football part of MAN v FAT Football! I’m rubbish, but what I lack in talent I make up for in enthusiasm. I do my contributing off the pitch, on the scales.
Don’t be daunted by the thought of dieting, healthy eating, or whatever you want to call it. I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy, but I will say that it isn’t that difficult. You’ll find what works for you and that could be totally different from anyone else. In time it will come, and you can and will lose weight.