Fit Not Fat: Amazing Loser Colin
Although the idea seems to defy logic, it is possible to be fit but fat. Even when he was at his heaviest, Amazing Loser Colin took part in fitness events most of us could only dream of doing. He was in denial about his need to lose weight because of his fitness ability, and a stressful and demanding job meant that he found himself eating constantly. Colin soon realised that he needed to change when old injuries brought new problems – and the realisation that eating and health go hand in hand…
- Name: Colin McMillan (ask him anything on Talk)
- Job: Prison officer
- Location: Hull
- Height: 5’11” (180cm)
- Age: 40
- Highest weight: 234lbs (106.4kg)
- Lowest weight: 185lbs (84kg)
How did you get to the position where you needed to lose weight?
My job can be stressful at times and I work long hours which makes eating the right, healthy food a bit difficult. I have always been fit (a typical fit fat bloke) and in my time off I like to compete in obstacle course racing and I do extreme endurance events such as climbing the national 3 peaks and 5 peaks. For me, being fat was never about the fitness side of things it was all to do with my food habits, such as coming home and vegetating in front of the TV with all sorts of sweets and fizzy drinks!
I like to do things which are considered outside the norm so for me the thing that worked, exercise-wise, was running. By the end of the programme it was normal for me to be running upwards of 80 miles a week, and training 2 or 3 times a day. I would often change my routine or exercise plan just so my body didn’t become used to it, which helped prevent me from hitting any plateau and I lost a steady amount each week. Even though I enjoy running it was sometimes a battle with myself to get up (especially at 4 in the morning) and go for a run or go to the gym. I also joined my local MAN v FAT Football league.
MAN v FAT Football I believe a crucial difference because my team were my motivation. I don’t know if it stems from my military background or not but I felt I couldn’t let my team down.
After a few weeks at MAN v FAT Football when I was starting to lose the weight I then challenged myself. I set my target of 84kg (185lbs) and dared myself to get to it. I didn’t think I would do it in one season but I knew I would achieve my aim at some point. What also helped was the fact that I had a reason to train as I had agreed to do a charity bike ride at the end of the season too.
What did you eat before and after you lost weight?
Before I started my journey, on a normal day I would normally eat snack type foods such as sandwiches and rather than sitting down to eat a meal I would eat throughout the day. The downside to this was that I was never full so would eat more than I needed to but that also meant I couldn’t track how much I was eating in terms of calories and carbs etc. because I was constantly eating.
Now I try to eat three meals a day (which isn’t always possible due to work) and try not to snack. I cut my carb intake down so I tend to eat porridge for breakfast with a little bit of fruit such as berries. Then I will have some sort of salad for lunch and then chicken or fish (I don’t like red meat) with fresh veggies for dinner. I try to limit the amount of fruit I eat due to the sugar content but if I want something sweet I tend to have some fresh fruit and yoghurt.
1. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.
2. It won’t be straightforward, but don’t beat yourself up if you gain weight, just examine why it’s happened and try not to let it happen again.
3. Don’t feel embarrassed about trying to lose weight, I get more inspiration from seeing overweight people try to lose weight than the ones that have been training for years.