Eat Fresh – Amazing Loser Graeme Smith

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Graeme struggled with finding a ‘before’ picture for this week’s Amazing Loser, and isn’t that just something we can all relate to? Being in front of the camera when you’re larger can be excruciating. Well, Graeme no longer needs to worry as he’s now lost over 100lbs – although he’s not done, losing that much weight is no mean feat and something that should definitely be celebrated.

Name: Graeme Smith

Age: 47

Height: 5′ 4″ / 166cm

Location: Salford

Occupation: Trade Unionist

Highest weight: 175.5kg / 27st 8.9 / 386.9lbs

Current weight: 128kg / 20st 2.2 / 282.2lbs

Weight lost: 47.5kg / 7st 6.7 / 104.7lbs

How did you get to the position where you needed to lose weight?

Years of drinking too much beer!

What negative experiences did you have of being overweight?

I couldn’t walk more than a few hundred metres before back pain started. I had to rest during my walk to work which is less than 10 mins away.

Why did you decide to change?

I had wanted to for a long time but knew I would fail unless I was in the correct frame of mind. I had had several bad events in my personal life so went on holiday to sort my head out and came back determined to change.

What did you decide to do to lose weight? How were the first few days and weeks?

Firstly I stopped drinking. Then after about 6 weeks I saw an article about MAN v FAT Football. I had played football when I was younger and missed it. Unfortunately, I got injured straight away. That was tough as I couldn’t play for 2 months but committed myself to getting my diet right and exercising in a swimming pool.

Had you tried to lose weight before?

I had successfully lost weight before but gained it again. I knew I could do it but also knew how much effort was required and simply wanting too wasn’t enough it had to be a real committment.

What did you eat before you lost weight?

If I didn’t go to the pub I ate reasonably well. I cooked but the portions were large. If I did go out then it was kebab and pizza time.

What do you eat now?

Normally I have porridge for breakfast. In the summer I’ll have a large fruit salad at lunch, getting all my 5 portions. In winter I switch to soup as a warm meal is comforting. In the evening I cook a meal.

I am actually quite a good cook and can produce nice Asian and Mediterranean dishes. I try very hard to use as much fresh food as I can.

How has MAN v FAT Football helped you lose weight?

The support of my teammates and coach, but also the focus a weekly weigh in brings and a sense of responsibility not to let your team down.

Why do you think MAN v FAT Football works?

I think it works because it is not prescriptive and lets you find your own way but offers help if you ask. Other weight loss organisations are very much about doing things their way but there is more than one route to success. MAN v FAT Football has been more like a support group for me.

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining MAN v FAT Football?

Do it, but remember just signing up doesn’t lose you any weight! You’ve got to do the work and commit to improving your lifestyle.

What has been the most difficult thing about losing weight?

Even though I have lost a lot of weight I know I still have a lot more to lose. Success will take along time and sometimes you forget how far you’ve come and get down over how far you have to go.

How have you overcome these difficulties?

That is where the support of teammates and coaches helps me. When I have been frustrated, especially at not being able to contribute on the field as much as I would like, my team are quick to point out my efforts on the scales have won us games.

Also my coach at Salford was quick to pick up when I was struggling and sent me messages with offers to talk. That itself was enough to let me know I was not alone.

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

I can walk anywhere I want. My social life has changed and I go out enjoying gigs, sport, theatre and other things when before I would just come home form work and fall asleep. The downside is I have had to spend a lot more on clothes as everything I had is now too big for me.

Time for a shout-out! Who has helped you lose weight, and how have they supported you?

Definitely the Black Forest boys. It would be unfair to name individuals. It would only embarrass them.

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

I wouldn’t go back. I struggled to get a before picture for this as I didn’t take one. I never wanted to see that person again. But he made the right decision to change.

Now that you’ve lost weight, what are your next steps? Do you plan to lose more, or are you planning on maintaining your weight? What are your plans for doing this?

I still have a long way to go so I’ll keep going. The job is only half done. I’ve put in all the right changes in my life so I need to maintain that but as long as my quality of life keeps getting better I’ll want to succeed.

You’re Prime Minister for the day – what would you do to help combat the current obesity crisis?

I’ve given this a lot of thought and I would put more focus on teaching kids to cook at school. Teach them about nutrition. How to choose fresh produce and also that if you know what you’re doing it can be cheaper and doesn’t need to take a long time. I’ve never met a child who didn’t think cooking was fun. There is real satisfaction in making nice food and if it’s fresh it won’t be full of added fat, salt , sugar and other things.

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

  1. Fad diets don’t work.
  2. Eat less and exercise more.
  3. Don’t make food your enemy, enjoy it but eat healthy stuff.

Many thanks to Graeme for sharing his story! If you’re a man who has lost weight and you want to share your story, email to be considered


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