As you might have heard, we’re celebrating this week as MAN v FAT Football has hit the massive milestone of helping players around the country lose a total of 30 tons. So who better for this week’s Amazing Loser than the man who holds the record for most weight lost in a single season? Ben lost almost 100lbs – yes you heard, ONE HUNDRED POUNDS – in just one season playing with his MAN v FAT team FC Twentie Stone after weight loss clicked and everything fell into place…
Plan: I made my own diet as none of the conventional ones suited me
How did you get to the position where you needed to lose weight?
I always knew that I needed to drop some weight but like most people will agree, life gets in the way. I swear to God, when my partner was pregnant with our first baby she didn’t gain any weight except the baby but I gained a lot!
What negative experiences did you have of being overweight?
As the fat kid in school, you take a lot of crap from people. That was definitely a negative experience for me, but luckily it wasn’t nearly as bad compared to what some people go through.
What made you decide to change?
To start off with I just wanted to get back into playing football, with losing weight a bonus. I just wanted to drop a couple of pounds but along the way I got hooked.
What made it different from the times before?
The team aspect of MAN v FAT Football – you get points for weight loss which count towards the match score and you don’t want to let your teammates down so you’re dropping the weight for them as well as yourself.
How did you do it?
I cut everything out, and I mean everything. No fizzy drinks, just squash or tea and coffee with no sugar. I lived on salad, wraps and porridge which with my work as a chef is quite a sustainable diet. It was all about the grilled chicken for me, it was pretty much the only meat I ate.
Once I’d started eating better I upped the amount of exercise I did. I went from just walking to the shops to buy sweets to walking fast to and from work, which then turned into running to and from work. I did sit ups, press ups, squats, dips, crunches at home – I’m tight fisted and didn’t want to pay for the gym straight away. I also wanted to be in the comfort of my own home so that I didn’t worry about people looking at me, that would have really demotivated me.
Now I do 3 laps of Colchester stadium for fun before an hour of football on top of my weekly MAN v FAT match.
PHOTO: Gregg Brown
What did you eat to lose weight?
On average I have a small bowl of porridge for breakfast, as early as possible, then chicken and veg for lunch, fruit for dinner and fruit for snacks too. I’ve followed this basic approach to help drop the weight but I’ve started to venture out by seeing what I can have as a treat, like pizza, but I’m working it so that I can maintain my weight and if I lose weight now it’s a bonus.
Does being a chef help when it comes to weight loss?
No! Being a chef is the hardest part about losing weight, especially as I work in a BBQ restaurant so the food is all comfort food. It’s hard, because how do you say no to this? *WARNING – graphic food porn ahead*
How was the journey?
My journey was easy – honestly, I’m not being big-headed but it really is as easy as they say it is. It’s all in your head and if you don’t want to lose weight you won’t, but if you do you will.
I gained weight once during the MAN v FAT Football season and some people will look at that as a bad thing, but for me, I just thought it was such a small amount to put on in the grand scheme of things and the motivation I got from it was clearly a good push.
How has MAN v FAT Football helped you lose weight?
It’s helped on a mental level and I’ve given my all on the pitch which has helped too.
How has life changed now you’ve lost weight?
Life has changed massively. My favourite part of it is that I’m less grumpy and less tired – even if I have a bad night’s sleep I still have energy. Other than that not much else has changed, but it is cool when people you haven’t seen for a while are in awe of the shell of a man they’re used to!
“Now even if I’ve had a bad night’s sleep I still have energy”
Who helped you the most and who got in the way?
Thankfully nobody really got in the way. There were a few people who helped the most – everyone who takes part in MAN v FAT Football Colchester, we all have such a strong bond now and we all support each other.
And a shoutout to Simon who was competing with me for the top loser position, if it wasn’t for the competition with him I might have lost interest or not done as well as I have!
If you could go back to the person you were at your heaviest – what would you say to him?
What surprised me about losing weight is just how easy it was for me, so I would say to him – this is easy and you love football, so just do it!
You’re Prime Minister for the day, what one law do you bring in to help others who are obese?
I would bring in a law to limit people to one takeaway a week! If you’re having 3 or 4 in a week you won’t be dropping that weight any time soon.
“Losing weight is as easy as you make it”
What do other fat men need to know about losing weight?
It’s as easy as you make it, but you have to commit. Find what works for you – take bits from other diets and make your own rules. Cut out fizzy drinks and crap food you’d have on a daily basis as a so-called ‘treat’. Make it a real treat and have something every other week instead of every day.
What’s the plan now that you’ve lost the weight?
My plan is to just maintain and maybe improve, but mainly to just maintain as my given as I have a 2-year-old and my fiancé is due to give birth next week it might be hard to get to the gym!