This week’s Amazing Loser Deke has a great approach to MAN v FAT Football that comes from using his addictive personality for good. He’s thrown himself into the concept and has worked tirelessly to improve his fitness and in turn, his game, and it’s had a fantastic effect on his weight…
Name: Deke Hardman
Location: Sherwood, Nottingham
Highest weight: 143.60kg / 22st 8.6 / 316lbs
Current weight: 119.6kg / 18st 11 / 263lbs
Weight lost to date: 24kg / 3st 10.9 / 52.9lbs
What was your life like before you started losing weight?
In the months before I joined MAN v FAT Football and started losing weight, I was very unfit. The previous summer I had got a plane to Belfast and almost couldn’t fasten the seatbelt! (I would be too embarrassed to mention this if things hadn’t changed)
I had to walk up a steep hill to get home after work, which was getting harder every day and I even struggled to put my socks on. Writing this, it is the first time I have recalled those events and it has made me even more delighted that I have turned my life around.
Why did you decide to change?
In July 2019, I attended a friends wedding and, not for the first time, I was the only single person there. I looked at all of my friends, most of whom are married and have children.
It wasn’t that I was jealous, but that I was so proud of them all. I spent all of the following evening thinking how much I wanted to make myself proud, and what I could do to achieve that.
After much deliberation, I made the decision to give up alcohol, take-aways and gambling for the length of the 2019/20 Football League season, as these were the vices I had relied too heavily (no pun intended) on for the majority of my adult life, during which time I have had to deal with a fair amount of tragedy, most notably the loss of both of my parents.
In doing this, I have raised close to £2000 for the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
Why did you decide to sign up to MAN v FAT Football?
Two months in to the season, I decided that as I had improved my diet, it would be a good idea to start exercising.
I had seen MAN v FAT Football advertised on Facebook and I was intrigued. I love football, but far too often I was basically ‘the big lad’ amongst a host of fitter players, which isn’t great for your self esteem!
I had to wait a few weeks before I could get started, but as soon as I did, I never looked back. As the weight started to fall off, I realised that I had become quite competitive and once I saw I had a chance to finish as my leagues top scorer, that became my aim! I was so thrilled to finish the season in first place, and now my aim is to make it back to back titles.
Who do you play for and what have the games been like? Have you enjoyed getting back into football?
I play for a team called Balotellitubbies, and if I am being completely honest we have struggled to find real consistency thus far, however this is largely down to us having a large turnaround of players. We have had a few really good performances on the pitch, but whatever the result it’s been great getting back in to playing regularly, and they are a really great bunch of lads.
What differences has losing weight made in your life?
The weight loss has made the world of difference! I feel so much fitter, and exercising is easier, and more enjoyable by the day. My teammates have commented that the improved fitness is showing in my performances, which is great to hear after barely being able to run for two minutes not even six months ago.
What would you say to anyone thinking of joining MAN v FAT Football?
Do it! I really do believe that if I can lose weight in this way, then anyone can!
I still have a long way to go, and a lot more weight to lose, but I have a new lease of life and it’s largely thanks to MAN v FAT.
I have an addictive personality, and while I used to be addicted to alcohol, take-aways and gambling I am now addicted to getting a loss on the scales!