Amazing Loser David Wilson
This week’s Amazing Loser David has been pretty laid back with his weight loss, getting his head in the game and just going for it. Even with many a holiday, he’s kept a reasonable mindset that he can lose any weight gained whenever he likes. And such a relaxed approach is not to be sniffed at as he’s now maintaining his whopping 11 stone weight loss.
Name: David Wilson
Location: Stourbridge, West Midlands
Occupation: Managing director of own business bending steel
Height: 6ft 1
Highest weight: 29st 5 (but may have been more!) (that’s 411lbs, or 186.4kg)
Current weight: 17st 8 (246lbs / 111.6kg), but usually around 16st before lockdown
Weight lost: 165lbs / 74.8kg / 11st 11
Weight goal: I’ve been as low as 15st 4, but I’d like to get to 15st.
What led to you becoming overweight?
I was never really bothered too much, and have always been overweight. I go on loads of holidays and cruises, all-inclusive, so every time I went away I gained more and more weight.
What negative experiences did you have of being overweight?
It was something I had been used to for years so the main thing was the worry of health issues, although I never had any health problems before I started to lose weight.
What made you decide that you needed to lose weight?
I was closing in on turning 45 and just decided it was time, or my health would really start to suffer. My wife had lost weight before but I had never really committed, so we both decided to do it together. She went to WW (Weight Watchers) as she had previously but I just used the WW app.
What did you eat before you lost weight?
I always ate decent meals, but always too much. I never said ‘no’ to anything so my problem was more about the amount I was eating. I did like sandwiches though!
I also used to finish the kid’s meals off as well, and going on holiday 3 or 4 times a year and eating anything I liked didn’t help. I never checked my weight when I got back home to see where I was at either.
Had you tried to lose weight before? If yes, what made this time different from the times before?
I had lost 3 stone a few years ago but didn’t go at it fully and didn’t really commit. Once I started focusing on it and losing weight, I was doing about a stone every 3 weeks and seeing that result pushed me on.
I also found it fairly easy which made me feel guilty for not doing it before. I stopped smoking 30 years ago and that was the same. Once my mind was ready I found it easy.
What method did you use to lose weight?
Basically just eating fresh food. My wife was fantastic and still is with cooking. I recorded what I ate on the WW app, so it was points-based but it’s really the same as counting calories which I do with another app now. I try not to eat anything processed and aim to eat fresh. I had a few months off during lockdown but I’m back to it now.
What do you eat now?
Usually a banana and/or an apple for breakfast, wife’s homemade soup with turkey for lunch and then my wife makes chilli, chicken and rice or Cajun chicken and salad for dinner. Basically I eat lots of chicken!
We do go out for meals but the majority of the time we eat healthily. When I was full-on dieting I didn’t really have any treats or extras, which basically cut my calories to fewer than 1500 a day.
Before lockdown, you lost an incredible 13 stone in 16 months. Did you experience any problems with losing so much weight in such a short space of time?
I lost muscle everywhere so I had a bad back for months, and I had problems with diarrhoea and had to keep running to the toilet.
Once, I was on holiday in 95-degree heat and shivering. I had this for months and was eventually diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis) which affects the liver and this ruled my life for about a year.
I did Couch to 5k, which was a struggle as I had to keep stopping as though I needed the toilet. Not very funny at the time. I have had no symptoms for nearly 2 years though which coincided with me eating a more normal diet and joining MAN v FAT Football. But no way could I have played football if I was still ill. I think the illness is all linked to the amount of weight I lost.
What was the hardest thing about losing weight?
I found losing weight easy, but the difficult part was getting my head around being thinner. It took a long time to see myself that way, but now it’s hard to see myself at 29 stone.
How has life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I play a lot of football – too much, my wife says! But I’ve made a lot of new mates. I also now play badminton.
I’ve had to buy 4 new sets of clothes along the way too, but that’s so much easier now that I can buy whatever I want.
Are you managing to maintain your weight loss? How difficult is that?
I haven’t maintained during lockdown, and I treated it as a holiday. But I go on lots of holidays, usually gaining a stone or so after 2 weeks, but I know I can lose it over 4 weeks or so, so I’m not at all concerned.
I’m happy at 16 stone and don’t want to make myself ill anymore trying to get lower – I think that’s my natural weight.
How was lockdown for you?
I didn’t find it hard really. My eldest daughter, who lives and works in Amsterdam, came home for 3 months and we also had our youngest at home. In February, we got 2 miniature dachshund puppies too so our house was really busy!
I’ve definitely eaten and drank too much, I’ve treated it as a holiday but I’ve managed to keep my fitness up so I still feel good. I’ve enjoyed the food and drink I’ve had and I know I’ll lose it again, so I’m not concerned, and now that lockdown has eased I’m back to football 3 times a week and eating healthily.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to lose weight?
I went full-on and saw results quickly which spurred me on. I’m glad I did it and it was right for me but I had other problems because of it. The best advice is to do what you are comfortable with. Every pound is a step in the right direction, so just keep going. Use the support of your family and/or your teammates. You can do it anytime.
What was your MAN v FAT Football experience like?
I’ve loved it all. I’ve been involved for 2 years in October and I’ve made some great mates. I love 11 a side games too. I’m not the best player, but I love the fitness it gives you and I try and make an impact whenever I play.
My teammates have always provided support and motivation and I’ve always wanted to be a benefit for the team in return. Each session is a good laugh and it’s great to get to speak to guys who are all different ages and at different stages of their lives.