Amazing Loser Vince H
Following a health crisis back in 2013, Vince has gone on to lose over 15% of his body weight through MAN v FAT Tonbridge. Read on to find out how he used it to spur him on to lose weight, with a little help from his MAN v FAT Football coach and teammates…
Name: Vince H
Location: Tonbridge, Kent
Weight lost: 18.2kg (2st 12.1lbs, 40.1lbs)
What was your life like before you joined MAN v FAT Football?
In 2013, I experienced a health crisis and after about 9 months I was diagnosed with CFS/ME. This left me totally depleted of energy with a whole series of other debilitating symptoms. The overall impact of this on my weight was the lack of mobility; gradually I gained a significant amount of weight. I tried many diets to lose weight and my weight see-sawed as early successes in restrictive diets failed to provide long term weight loss.
What made you decide to change?
The increased weight was exacerbating my back problems and increasing my blood pressure. Doctors were offering surgery and increased medication or suggesting that I take some focused actions myself to reduce my weight.
What has it been like being a part of your MAN v FAT Football club?
It has been great, the positive support provided by Coach Jenni & my teammates brought me down from the plateau that I was unable to do alone. The anticipation of the weekly weigh-in helped keep me on track; I didn’t want to let anyone down – most of all, myself.
What did you eat before you lost weight?
I have always enjoyed my food and drinks. I ate rich highly calorific foods and drinks. Prior to my chronic diagnosis, I had always been able to work off the calories. Post diagnosis, I could not. A significant change was required.
What do you eat now?
For the last 2 years I have followed a very low-carb diet and gradually been increasing my exercise. I didn’t want to shock my system nor my fragile skeletal structure and so introduced gentle walking. This helped preserve my small energy capacity. Though I had to be careful to manage my condition and often ‘crashed’ with energy crises that exacerbated my other chronic symptoms. Managing my condition was a major focus. Gradually, with the low carb/Keto diet and increased mobility my weight started to drop. Towards the end of 2021, my weight had plateaued for five or 6 months. It was then that I discovered MvF which was being launched locally in Tonbridge, Kent.
Joining the Tonbridge MvF league gave me access to the expert knowledge & support of Coach Jenni. Jenni has really good nutritional knowledge and is something of a Keto expert. Coach Jenni looked closely at what I was eating and identified a range of substitutes which I could bring into my diet to start the downward drop from the plateau I had been on. Jenni’s expertise & support combined with the support & camaraderie of my Tonbridge Amples (BLUES) teammates encouraged me towards the BMI goal set by MvF. Every week (except the first week) of the first season I was the League’s Top Scorer losing over 15% of my body weight before the end of the season. I even scored a goal in the end of season cup final.
How has life changed now you’ve lost weight?
I have just taken my first flight and didn’t face the embarrassment of having to request a pregnancy extension for my seatbelt.
I walk most days to try to boost my calorie consumption; always trying to take care not to exacerbate my chronic condition.
The lifestyle changes that I have made are for life; one day at a time. If I slip off program, I quickly forgive myself and then get right back on it.
What three things do other fat men need to know about losing weight?
1. This is a marathon and not a sprint; get slim quick programs are not going to provide sustained success.
2. Losing weight involves a concerted lifestyle change/commitment; consuming better quality calories, consuming fewer calories and increasing mobility.
3. MvF provides a platform for increasing mobility, education regarding calorie consumption and motivation by being part of a large (and increasing) group of likeminded guys
You’re Prime Minister for the day – what do you do to improve the health of the nation?
Lead by example, support healthy lifestyle change programs:
Implement realistic minimum wage & benefits programs
Improve community sports facilities across the country
Protect green spaces and redevelop brown belt land
Implement planning/building regulations that mandate eco friendly construction
Thereby making the UK a better/healthier place to live.