We like this week’s Amazing Loser’s approach to weight loss – no fads, no gimmicks, just a dedication to the cause. He’s tried hard to make it more of a lifestyle change than a diet and it’s definitely paying off, with huge improvements to his health…

Name: Ian Gilbert
Age:  43
Height: 185cm (6ft 1)
Location: Weston-super-Mare
Occupation: Business stream manager
Highest weight: 133.4kg (21st / 294lbs)
Lowest weight: 90.7kg (14st 4lbs / 200lbs)
Weight lost: 42.7kg (6st 10lbs / 94.1lbs)

Why did you need to lose weight?

I had acute hypertension (extremely high blood pressure) and was taking 5 tablets a day. I always felt uncomfortable and was always out of breath.

 

What negative experiences did you have of being overweight?

 

Not that many really, I was always just big Ian to everyone

What made you decide to change?

 

In a word, health. My doctor had told me that my high blood pressure was a real problem and that if I didn’t take my tablets every day that there was a very real and severe risk of having a stroke. I also always felt tired and lacked the motivation to do anything. 

How did you do it?

I followed Roger’s advice. He’s the coach at MAN v FAT Football Weston-super-Mare, and his advice at our registration session was that the simple way to do it is to consume fewer calories than your body burns, which I have done to this day.

I started going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and the motivation and support from my MAN v FAT Football team really helped. I eat whatever I want as long as its within my calorie target and this has given me the flexibility to succeed, as nothing is off menu.

 

What made losing weight this time different from the times before?

I feel like I have tried my whole life to lose weight. I have lost a bit here and there but always put it back on quickly. But this time I don’t feel like I’m on a diet, it’s a lifestyle change and calorie counting makes me accountable for what I eat.

How has joining MAN v FAT Football helped you to lose weight?

I really couldn’t have done it, or in fact, wouldn’t have done it without MAN v FAT Football. The weigh-in every week with your team is the key and it’s unmeasurable in how it helps with your will to lose weight every week. It works because it brings a lot of people in the same situation together and helps them succeed through team spirit and having fun. I have made some great mates and if you’re thinking of joining then just do it today, you will love it.

What did you eat before you lost weight?

Everything! Staying in hotels and working late meant I would usually eat on the go in the car and would then eat pub food and beer in the evening. There was a lot of takeaway and fast food.

What do you eat now?

I love chicken and eat lots of it. Generally, I eat a really varied diet and most days have a cooked breakfast but with lean bacon, poached eggs and fruit. I have tried to limit my bread intake and don’t eat any bread after lunch as I find it bloats me.

What was the most difficult thing about losing weight?

I hate to say it, but nothing really. I have actually enjoyed the process and I think that is the key. If I go over my calories I just reduce the next few days to compensate for it, this has been how I’ve kept it enjoyable.

 

How did you overcome any difficulties?

The WhatsApp group our team has is brilliant. If anyone is struggling someone on there will always support you and be there to give advice or to just banter with you. It really helps. I was so fortunate to be teamed with such a great bunch of guys.

How has life changed now that you’ve lost weight?

My blood pressure is almost back to normal, my sleep apnea has gone and I feel great. I have so much energy, what seemed like a problem before I just take in my stride now.

If you could go back to the person you were at your heaviest, what would you say to him?

Nothing – he wouldn’t have listened. I knew what I was doing. Sometimes things are easier to achieve as a team than on your own, which is why the team element of MAN v FAT Football has worked really well for me.

What three things do other fat men need to know about losing weight?

  1. You can do it!
  2. Don’t beat yourself up when you have a bad day, just keep at it.
  3. Don’t think of it as a diet – it’s a new way of life.

Many thanks to Ian for sharing his story. If you’re intrigued by MAN v FAT Football, you can find out everything you need to know (including how to sign up) over on the MAN v FAT Football website.