Job: Process management expert at a major international Dutch bank
Height: 5’9 (182cm)
Highest weight: 264lbs (120kg)
Lowest weight: 169lbs (77kg)
Plan: Calorie counting and Herbalife
How did you get to the position where you needed to lose that weight?
Just not taking care of myself properly – drinking too much beer, not exercising, only eating takeaway food, skipping breakfast and overeating during the day
“I wasn’t taking care of myself properly”
What negative experiences did you have of being overweight?
I was always out of breath even running 50 metres for a bus, or climbing a set of stairs. I was always suffering from colds and coughs. Mentally I did not have a lot of self confidence and I was always stressed. I was embarrassed by how I looked so I tried to hide myself away.
What made you decide to change?
Lying awake at night I felt a twinge in my chest. For me that was a wake up call – if I didn’t change my lifestyle I was heading towards a heart attack in my 50s. So I had to make the decision to really change this time.
” I have so much more energy it’s amazing – I no longer feel listless and tired all the time.”
What made it different from the times before?
This time there was a clear consequence if I didn’t do anything about it or continued to make excuses about being too busy.
How did you do it?
I took a week off work to really sit down and study. I made myself learn new habits, counting calories and really thinking about what I would eat each day. I planned out my meals and my shopping lists in advance and I made sure I had a proper breakfast.
What did you eat over the course of an average day?
Before I would skip breakfast but then when I got to work I would go and find some croissants or other pastries. I would go out for lunch and have something like 2 very large sandwiches with processed meats and cheese, or a doner kebab (again on the large side).
Coming home I would stop at the supermarket and get all sorts of junk food like pizzas, crisps, bacon. That is if I hadn’t stopped for a lot of beers on the way home and then got another takeaway meal. I drank very little water and too much coffee.
Now I start my day with a meal replacement shake. I’ll have a mid morning snack consisting of chicken, spinach, chickpeas, kidney beans and a small amount of wholegrain rice. Lunchtime I’ll have another shake. Mid afternoon I’ll have some more chicken stirfried with vegetables and beans. After my training I’ll have a protein shake and at the end of the day I’ll have some turkey slices on crispbread.
One of the biggest differences is that I drink much less alcohol and my water intake is now close to 4 litres a day.
How was the journey? Straight-forward or were there a few plateaus along the way?
The first part was straight forward when I was just calorie counting but then I hit a plateau at 95kg (209lbs). That’s when I started Herbalife and started focusing on my macro nutrients as well.
How has life changed now you’ve lost the weight?
My self confidence is way better. And because I do a lot of sports (I run long distance) my health is so much better. I rarely have a cold even if the whole office is down and I rarely take any sick days. I have so much more energy it’s amazing – I no longer feel listless and tired all the time. The downsides to losing weight are that I threw out 8 bags worth of clothes that were too big for me, including a very expensive motorcycle jacket, and until I renewed my passport I got some very long hard stares when trying to get into the UK for family visits.
Who helped you the most and who got in the way?
In terms of teaching me about proper nutrition that would be my Herbalife coach Wayne Bullock. For the sports I’m lucky to have a gym at work where the trainers have spent time helping me with all of my sports training. I think in some ways they are also fascinated by the fact that someone can change their life that much.
Not many people got in my way. I think the worst thing was refusing offers of birthday cakes from colleagues and trying not to offend them.
What surprised you about losing weight?
Really how easy it is – but only if you have the right motivation. In my opinion it’s no good setting a target weight to lose. There’s no reward or consequence if you do or don’t do it. You have to set something with a clear reward. In my case it was “you can go on holiday to Vietnam if you lose at least 20kg” (the consequence if I didn’t was my health) and by doing this it’s much easier to motivate yourself.
If you could go back to the person you were at your heaviest – what would you say to him?
Be honest with yourself that you’re not happy. Don’t put it off any longer – if it is really important to you then you’ll start today.
You’re Prime Minister for the day, what one law do you bring in to help others who are obese?
Ban the energy drinks – those things are full of chemicals and rubbish and they are counteracting the benefits of diet and exercise.
What three things do other fat men need to know about losing weight?
1. Don’t be afraid to go public with your intent to change. You’ll get support off people that will help you on those difficult days.
2. It’s not a temporary 6 week diet – it’s a lifestyle change. If you don’t change your habits (and it takes 3 months to kill off old habits and start new habits) then you’ll be back at square one.
3. It’s 80% good nutrition and 20% exercise.
What else should we know about your weight loss story?
It took about 18 months to drop all of the weight. Slow and steady is the key. It’s a shame it took me so long to start, especially as I missed the prime years for running, but it’s better late than never!
Our thanks to Meirion and don’t forget – as with all our Amazing Losers and their weight loss before and after stories, you can find him on Talk and ask him anything you like!