They say abs are made in the kitchen and that doesn’t only apply to Hannibal Lecter – maintaining a healthy weight requires you to change your lifestyle and a great way to keep your mind engaged with what you’re eating is to push yourself to do something a bit more creative with your cooking. Or, you know, compete with your mates to see who’s the best chef…
Name: Craig Baker
Occupation: Retail Manager
Highest weight: 122.7 kg
(19st 4lbs, 270lbs)
Current weight: 99.9 kg
(15st 10lbs, 220lbs)
Weight lost: 22.8kg (3st 8lbs, 50lbs)
What negative experiences did you have of being overweight?
I hated the reflection I saw in the mirror and was concerned with how unfit I was. Even walking up a hill seemed like an impossible task. Finding clothes that would fit me was hard. Some of the high street stores wouldn’t do my size. Also, I was becoming increasingly worried about possible future health problems associated with being obese.
What made you decide to change?
After going on holiday and doing a lot of cycling, I really enjoyed the buzz of exercising. I’ve been going on and off to the gym but always weights but enjoyed doing something different.
What did you do to lose weight?
I’ve used a calorie tracking app before (myfitnesspal) and researched what my calorie intake should be. I also decided to walk more by parking further away from work.
Had you tried to lose weight before?
I’ve tried on and off for years with some success but the weight always came back on. This time was much different. I find the competitiveness keeps me focused and having a team doing the same thing as me helps support and also having team members who have lost weight there for guidance on what they’ve done helps too.
What did you eat before you lost weight?
Breakfast would be a couple of energy drinks. Lunch would be a couple of homemade deep filled rolls with crisps. Dinner would vary. A takeaway 2-3 times a week, a frozen pizza and anything in between. My main problem was snacking and I was a serial secret eater between meals and when everyone went to bed.
What do you eat now?
I usually just have a fruit and grain bar for breakfast and a ham sandwich with a bag of crisps for lunch. Dinner now consists of meat or fish with plenty of veg. Doing MAN v FAT Challenge has opened my eyes to different meals I can make and has given me the chance to broaden my culinary skills.
Why did you join MAN v FAT Challenge?
I started with MAN v FAT Football and lost 7kg doing that, but then another lockdown was put in place and I gained 1kg within a short time, so I made the decision to do Challenge and haven’t looked back, losing 12kg
How has MAN v FAT Challenge helped you lose weight?
There’s such a buzz from like-minded guys who are in the same boat as you. Some heavier, some lighter, but all with the same goal: to lose weight. On my team, The Porky Blinders, we’re all really supportive of each other and our captain Phil has been a great help, because he’s been there and done that and gives me belief that I can keep going to lose more.
Why do you think MAN v FAT Challenge works?
With MAN v FAT Challenge, there’s a scorecard that if completed can score you extra points on top of your weight loss, but will take you the course of the week to complete. I believe this keeps you on track and with weight loss at the front of your mind. The main WhatsApp page goes off all the time with advice, banter and generally what everyone’s been up to.
What would you say to anyone thinking of joining MAN v FAT Challenge?
Do it, you won’t regret it!
What has been the most difficult thing about losing weight?
I now have to buy new clothes as I’ve dropped from a 2XL/3XL down to XL
How have you overcome these difficulties?
eBay* – I’ve sold my old clothes to fund my new ones.
*Other online auction sites are available – Ed
How has life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I’ve got so much more energy now and love my walking. I also go out for bike rides and am even about to start Couch to 5k, which wouldn’t have crossed my mind before MAN v FAT. I’m also doing a challenge where I have to walk so many miles in a month. I’ve chosen 125 miles but actually think I can go higher for this month.
Time for a shout-out! Who has helped you on your weight loss journey?
First and foremost, it’s got to be my wife for all her encouragement and support, especially with the food challenges where I need the guidance on some of my cooking. Then it’s my family and friends who’ve been so positive with my weight loss and my kids for helping with my exercise. Can’t not give a shout out to my team and the rest of the MAN v FAT Challenge guys who help keep me focused.
If you could go back to the person you were at your heaviest, what would you say to him?
I’d say stop eating so much! Either that or sign up to MAN v FAT ASAP.
What are your next steps now that you’ve lost weight?
I want to keep going with my weight loss. I’m the lightest I’ve been in years, so I want to see how much I can lose, even one day be in the healthy BMI bracket, but that’s hopefully for the future. For now I’m going to look to start the couch to 5k and continue with my walking challenge (Race at your pace) as it encourages me more to get off my arse.
You’re Prime Minister for the day – what would you do to help combat the obesity crisis?
More education on weight loss and living a healthier lifestyle is needed. Some of these fad diets, shakes etc need banning as they promote a quick fix that doesn’t work long term. I know, I’ve tried them and I put all the weight back on once I’ve stopped them. Also, there should be more government funded sports and exercise facilities so it’s more accessible for everyone. Exercise I find is great for equally the body and the mind.
What do other fat men need to know about losing weight?
1. Weight loss is not an overnight thing, it takes time to lose.
2. Calculate how many calories you need to be in a deficit and track everything that you eat and drink.
3. Keep moving. Increasing the steps you take daily will help you long term. Find something you enjoy doing that gets you moving.