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BECOMING THE
BECOMING THE

BECOMING THE

BECOMING THE
BECOMING THE

Mike Waudby

BECOMING THE

WEIGHT LOSS WARRIOR

The most successful weight loss story

Mike Waudby BECOMING THE WEIGHT LOSS WARRIOR The most successful weight loss story www.theweightlosswarriors.co.uk

www.theweightlosswarriors.co.uk

©Copyright 2014 Mike Waudby

First published in the UK in 2014 by Mike Waudby

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work. All rights reserved.

Mike Waudby

To contact Mike visit:

Contents

Chapter One My history

About me, Mike, and my weight loss story” “My original article” “What were people’s responses?”

Chapter Two Becoming The Weight Loss Warrior

Mind set

Chapter 3 - What diet and exercise was really like

Nutrition is essential” “What did my diet look like?” “How did I feel while I was on my diet?” “What changes would I make to my original diet now, if I could?” “It’s true – diets can be boring

Chapter 4 Get up, get motivated and get honest

How I exercised” “Progressing” “You need to start NOW!

Chapter 5 Can I really do the same?

“That’s easy for you to say…” “Setting your targets

Chapter 6 Challenges you will face (and conquer)

What about putting it back on?” “What about knock-backs?” “Hectic lifestyles and how to keep them balanced” “After I reached my goal (and you reach yours)

Chapter 7 - So, what next?

Fear of loose skin” “Moving upwards: my muscle building phase” “But other people can eat what they want!

Ask yourself: Are you truly happy being overweight?

Chapter 8 Your new mind set: a solid foundation

Fighting talk! (Warning: explicit language)” “Conclusion” “The story of my life so far (in pictures)” “Thank you” “My final word

Chapter one - My history

About me, Mike, and my weight loss story

one - My history About me, Mike, and my weight loss story Hi, my name is

Hi, my name is Mike Waudby. I’m writing this motivational weight loss story based on my own experience because I want to help as many people as possible. Personally, I feel that this is the best way for me to reach everyone who wants to know what I achieved and how. I want to tell you about the emotions and mental struggles I went through, what I ate and how I trained, how I overcame the hurdles and also my knock-backs along the way.

I write this honestly and from my heart. For the first time I’m going to share all of my fears, insecurities and all of the pain (and even joy) I went through, with no holding back. This is real and achieved through hard work, trial and error but most importantly, through having the right mind set.

Apologies for any swear words in my story that you may find offensive. I do not mean them in a malicious manner. It’s just me writing brutally honestly. I wanted to use the first words that

came into my head to express my true feelings and emotions that capture the fighting spirit which I used to overcome my own demons and achieve my goal.

I lost 262 pounds on my own with no help, guidance and without any knowledge on nutrition. I want to prove that no matter what the circumstances are, or how much weight you want to lose, it’s possible and I am the proof.

So how did you hear about me? Well, to cut a long story short, very few people knew of my weight loss. Why? I was simply embarrassed and ashamed of myself, so unless I knew and trusted you, my weight loss and past were absolutely private.

Around two years after losing my weight I was still struggling to accept myself for who I am and wanted to continue improving my body. I spent most of my time making ends meet and slugging weights around in the gym. I was training my balls off and continually striving to put my body right after losing so much weight. At this time, this was my priority in life. It was at this point that I realised I could actually help people who were still in the place where I had been. As a result, I made the decision to qualify as a personal trainer and start advertising my service locally.

One evening I bumped into an old school chum in a local bar while ordering my usual whisky with diet cola with an added “and make sure it’s diet” keeping a close eye on the diet cola

button (You can never trust bar staff to use diet

shocked to see what I looked like. The last time he had heard anything about me was through rumour. People who had known me said that I was in a terrible mess and thought I would have died pretty soon if I’d carried on the way I was going. He just couldn’t believe how I looked and even texted his wife to tell her. We remained in contact, mainly on Facebook. Then one day I

received a text message from him asking if I wanted to write an article about my weight loss for his blog. He thought the whole thing was pretty damn amazing.

I’m

watching you!!) and he was visibly

I had no idea how to respond, but I know I had mixed feelings. I wanted people to know, but I was living in fear of ridicule. I wanted to be proud of myself, but all I could feel for myself was hate. I was ashamed of wasting more than 10 years of my life being a recluse and ruining my body. I wasn’t mentally ready to be judged by others again, especially on the internet. However there was no hassle or rush, so I said that I would let him know. To be honest, I had no intentions of sharing my history publically. I just didn’t have the balls.

After a few weeks had passed I was sitting at my computer one night alone. I was pretty bored (as my random drunk chats to girls on the internet are well and truly over), so instead I was doing my usual search on the internet for new and up-to-date nutrition and supplement advice for weight loss. Suddenly, a thought came to me. I know - I’ll open a blank page on my

computer and start to write about my own weight loss, just to see what it looks like. There’d be no harm in doing so and I was getting bored of reading the same old shit online.

But where should I start? How do you even write an article? My English is poor, and how do I even begin? Well I did start it and 10 minutes into writing it I couldn’t bloody stop! It just flowed out and kept coming. I spoke from my heart. I was honest and wrote without fear. It felt good to let it out. I’d never done it before and after all, I was the only one going to read it…

I later learned that wasn’t the case! I sent it to my friend who promised to review it and wouldn’t put anything up without my say-so. This made me feel more confident as I truly trusted him. His review came back in a text which I had waited for anxiously. It read ‘that’s one of the best pieces of writing I have ever read’.

Wow! Seriously? I was taken aback by it, and to be honest I really thought he was taking the mickey out of me. But I was wrong, and he was very serious. Without taking much time to think about it, I text him saying that he could upload it to his blog, Sitting On The Swings.

Ok, I thought, what have I just done? I was absolutely terrified! I thought I was going to make a mess in my pants (please note: there wasn’t actually any mess in my pants). I was trembling with what I think was fear…fear of what people were going to think about what I’d written and more importantly ME! Will they all mock me and laugh? Will old friends think what a state Mike Waudby got himself into’? Would they mock my attempt at writing? I was a recluse for so long because people had mocked me, and I didn’t want to experience that ever again.

Luckily for me, and to my relief (and underwear) nobody mocked me. In fact, not one person had a bad word to say about my article. It was shared around Facebook numerous times and received positive comments from both people I knew and those I didn’t. People said that they were in awe of what they had just read. For the first time in my life, I genuinely felt proud.

My original article

33 stone…

your best friend is 3000 calories a day worth of alcohol, pretty easy.

how

the hell did that happen? Well, with severe depression, slow metabolism and

I was a ‘geek’ at school, got bullied both at home and in the classroom which really does have a long lasting negative effect in anything you wish to achieve. But this is not an x-factor audition so I won’t start whinging how bad things was and certainly will not call my weight loss a fucking journey!

My alcoholic sister was regularly fighting with my mum, blaring music in her room till 4am (she still does, she is 42 by the way) and generally being an all-round horrible cow. I reached 18 and I could and should have moved out of my parent’s home by now but all I had was a shitty car valetting job and my best grade at school was a D, this plus massive confidence issues I decided to turn to booze. Booze at the time made everything better, my heart didn’t beat as fast when my sister kicked off, I found shit T.V slightly more interesting and being sat on your own wasn’t that bad.

I always wanted to become a wrestler, and despite drinking I was hitting the gym, by the age of 20 I was benching 300 pounds for 10 reps…. and had 20 inch guns (ok, of a lot of that was fat) unfortunately though I took some pretty bad nutrition advice so despite the huge strength gains, I also got huge weight gains. By the age of 21, I was 22 stone, I still went out and socialised and got stupidly drunk, drinking a bottle of whisky before I even went out. I was with Andy “Beast” Hawkins in Sharkey’s when a girl came up to me and said “Excuse me, do you mind leaving?” “Why?” I asked. “Because you’re making me and my friends feel sick.” Wow…….fucking wow, you just destroyed me while the whole pub heard, stared and laughed. That was the last time I went out in public, apart from going to doctor’s for 7 years.

My life now started with alcohol, I needed it, locked in my bedroom away from the chaos. It made……well, made me just less bored. Andy would visit now and then and we would drink and talk shit but other than that, it was just me for 7 years (oh, and whisky, beer and whatever was cheap) I would order my drink online and have it delivered. My God my maths was good; I could calculate in my head quantity, amount of units and compare all the prices within seconds. I got the most for the money!

Apart from watching TV for 7 years, there was the internet….in particular my female friends. I would talk to girls for hours on MSN or MySpace; one is even a page 3 girl now. In all there were 7, I kept them interested with my personality, unfortunately they had no idea I was 33

stone. I know this wasn’t fair on them but I was drunk and lonely. And it’s not like we were in love, we just had a giggle and talked for hours. Obviously they eventually wanted pictures and when I didn’t deliver, I don’t blame them for disappearing.

One night while listening to GNR with my headphones I thought what life is this? I had terrible pains where I put my body as so much weight was on it, even resting my arm on the armrest would result in shooting pains in my fingers, I was too scared to go to a gym as people pointed and laughed at me in the street so I thought fuck it, drunk 2 bottles of whisky (Jackobite….blah) 8 cans of Stella and as many paracetamol and valium tablets I could find. I lost consciousness listening to my fav band GNR. I remember waking up, no headache, no pains just a sickening feeling that I was still here and not dead.

I spent most nights after this continuing to get drunk and crying myself to sleep. I could go a lot deeper into my thoughts at the time but I’ll stop here and tell you what I did to save my life. One night, God knows what you call it but reality set in, I’ve wasted everything and lost everything, the only person that can do something is me. I ordered a cross-trainer off the internet, set it up in my room and gave it a test. Wasn’t bad, seemed to handle my weight. That night I didn’t drink. First time in about 9 years and fuck me it was hard! I woke up about 7 times that night like something was stabbing me in the chest and I couldn’t breathe. Weird shit but morning came and I got through day 1. Cross trainer time! Jumped on and worked a sweat up fast, wow I thought I’m doing ace, getting really out of breath though, and thought “best stop.” Reckoned I was on there for a good 10 mins…… looked down it was 2 min 22 secs. Oh.

Something clicked though, I think the thought of me being locked away and couldn’t escape

to do something about my weight…

fucking damn well did. I built up to three 1-hour sessions a day and didn’t touch a drop of booze! It took about 6 weeks for the stabbing pains/seeing black things move in the corner of my eye to stop but I was away, I was doing something about it. Saying that, it was mentally the hardest thing I’ve endured; why did I let other people affect me to the point that I ended up this bad? Why didn’t I punch that bully in the face? Many more things…. Every session on the cross trainer ended up with me taking my 4XL dripping wet t-shirt off and just looking down at my belly crying. But each time I picked myself up and carried on. My father who I fell out with years ago so admired and was proud of what I was doing he started talking with me again, and thank god he did because without his support I could have cracked up……even

well,

that’s not an issue now, I can do something and I

more! I smashed that cross-trainer’s bearings about 8 times with my weight and power; luckily my dad was an engineer and fixed it instantly as he knew how important it was.

It took 18 months for me to lose 18 stone, the demons in my head along the way were still

there and now I had a major problem. Loose skin. I looked disgusting, everything I did I felt

was a waste, doctor wouldn’t help me, I felt just as disgusting as I did when I was 33 stone. I started to leave the home again, fucking terrified but got back to my old gym and even found

a local pub (Diet Coke.) I needed to do something, and I ended up paying for skin on my

stomach and upper arms to be removed. Recovery was tough living with a mentalist; I couldn’t straighten up for 4 weeks so when I hobbled anywhere my sister used to try and scare me by charging at me. If I did jump up, I would have literally ripped my stomach back open. Anyway, I still wasn’t happy and my father agreed to help me (as I worked for him doing odd jobs) to pay for the 6 hour long op, where I was awake while rods got rammed inside me and burnt my skin from the inside in an attempt to tighten it. What made it worse was I had no body fat left, which made it harder for him to ram his bloody rods through me. Longest op he ever performed, that. He got concerned saying he should stop but I looked him cold in the eye and told him I don’t give a fuck about the pain (believe me, it was torture) get on with it. Worst of all, during the op was his assistant, a pretty little blonde girl pinning me down while I was wearing nothing but see-through paper fucking pants. What had an effect on me though was this was the first girl to see me naked in 10 years, and I overheard her say to the receptionist after the operation “He’s real hot.” Me??? ME???????? Maybe I’m not that disgusting after all then.

Eight weeks later, the operation had been a fail, did naff all and coward here wanted the easy way out again, and did the same thing again only this time I woke up in hospital. Without speaking to anyone I grabbed my jacket and headed to my local (I had a crush on the barmaid) I sat in there and realised I couldn’t keep giving up, I’m stronger than this, so I went home I started researching how to train properly. I hit the gym hard! In fact I crawled out of that place and if I didn’t then I needed to train harder. My diet was terrible, still clean and nothing unhealthy just consuming 450grams of protein a day which I suppose is why I put the muscle on as I now know half of that protein was used as fuel (I don’t recommend this) as well as repairing my muscle as I didn’t eat carbs.

So, I’m a guy with a shitty job, obsessed with training and scared to take his top off. Not that appealing to women but my god I wanted one, 10 years alone took its toll! People would tell me oh, I bet you wanna go out and shag a load of birds eh?

In fact they couldn’t have been more wrong. I spent 10 years alone; I wasn’t after a shag, I was after a friend, someone to share good times with, and someone that would love me for me. I had hot girls paying attention but it just didn’t turn me on, I needed to know them, connect, and feel something and most of all trust them….certainly not these girls. Yeah I put pics on facebook posing but I was covering up all my bad bits, I needed to know if that girl would either think “That’s nowt, no one’s perfect” or “Ewww that’s disgusting.” If it was ewww then I would be back to square one again. So seeing as I had no confidence and I’d lost most of my friends, I didn’t go out round town, I thought why not try a dating site. GOT A DATE!!! She was a very attractive, tattooed girl with same taste in music as me. Told her all about me, she didn’t seem to care and was eager to meet. So off I went to meet her in Dram shop. I was actually shitting myself, I was sweating like a pig but she saw me and she liked it, in fact she was a bit full-on! I didn’t know how to respond. Anyways, we went on a few more dates, ended up at hers to sleep over. Yes I kept my boxers on and my t-shirt!! Ha ha, no hanky-panky! Next night she actually begged me for sex, now remember this is the guy who

got told to go home because I was so fat and ugly…

awesome!!! I turned her down, didn’t feel right. Pissed her off, dumped me the next day!

Now being begged for sex……

I had a couple more dates, really nice girls but didn’t lead to anything then this one came along, arranged our first date at her home, no makeup and in her PJ’s (fanks for making the effort) but as I got to know her better this was just her attitude, take me as I am or fuck off. Fair enough! Morgan, her name was (now my girlfriend of 15 months.) She nicknamed me to her friends as Mr Muscles, which I liked but thought dude; you haven’t seen my loose skin. One evening she mentioned she wasn’t keen on hard muscular blokes…….honey, you’re touching the wrong places!! Anyway, six weeks in and a horse she was riding slipped with her on it and it smashed her ankle to pieces. I practically moved in to look after her. This was a massive sudden jump for me but you know what, to this day she does not even notice my loose skin and tells me my body is perfect as it is. This means more than anything to me, which is why I put up with the bossy cow (ha-ha only playing.) We have our ups and downs but who doesn’t?

Right, I have a woman in my life, next step a proper career. Seeing as I’m gym-mad and had lost 18 stone it made sense to become a personal trainer. So that’s what I did. It’s more than that though, I want to help people with the mental and emotional sides of losing weight, I have the experience why not use it to help others instead of them having gastric bands? (Don’t even get me started on that.)

I’m still body conscious, I’m 6’1 232 pounds and around 15% bodyfat….I should look like a front cover model of men’s fitness magazine but I don’t due to my skin. Yeah, It really pisses me off because I train my ass off for it but then I remember there’s more to life! But one thing I will never stop doing: trying to correct what I put wrong. Yeah I was weak and did cowardly things but now I’m strong, seriously strong and nothing can stop me. I will fight for what I want to achieve in life till the end. And my confidence has increased too, I can walk into any rough pub and say that better be diet coke you put in that drink despite yobbish looking chavs looking at me like I’m some wuss. In fact one guy once said “You puff, can’t you drink?”

Actually yes, I still enjoy a drink and I can still seriously drink, a lot more than you, you Jeremy

Kyle watching…

I won’t mention what else I said but I am now barred from that pub.

Reality is, I do have to watch what I eat/drink but I don’t mind, I have awesome people around me, the guys at workout gym have supported me throughout; my girlfriend; I get loads of support and advice at Beverly Leisure Centre where Morgan had her physio. I have a lot to learn in life still, also in my job. But one thing I do have that other PT’s don’t, and that’s experience in weight loss, something you can’t learn out of a text book!

Sorry I haven’t been as witty and funny as the others that post on here (I do enjoy reading them) but this has been more of a mini life story about something pretty shit. I would like to finish by saying, try not to judge every overweight person as someone who is just weak and greedy. Yeah, you see a couple of big chavvy women gobbing it loudly, they clearly don’t have confidence issues and probably are just plain greedy and lazy but there are those who are shy, nervous and you probably have no idea how scared and uncomfortable they are with their appearance but there is something making them do what they do, and if that something went away, they probably wouldn’t look like that. That’s where I would like to think I can come in and make a change using my own experience. Getting a diet and simple training plan is straightforward, having someone to guide you through the emotional stress and to

genuinely feel your struggle, that’s where I can hold their hand through the worst and eventually, kick some fucking arse in the gym!

What were people’s responses?

Excuse the language, but it was written from the heart. I didn’t edit it in any way, and that’s just how it came out. I’m writing this story of my weight loss in the same way - from an emotional and extremely personal level rather than a professional one. The reason for this is I believe this will have more of an impact on your approach to achieving your goals and changing your mindset to believe in yourself. Much more beneficial to you than me just telling you to eat this and train like that. What would be the point in telling you what to do if you are not mentally ready to commit?

A local newspaper came across my article and asked if they could publish my story in their

paper. Again, shitting myself, I said no, but I eventually came round to the idea. My family and

friends said it would be an ideal opportunity to advertise myself as a personal trainer, as well as

a confidence boost, so I just thought ok. I decided not to think about it too much as I would just start to stress. I knew I just had to get on with it.

They came and took pictures (which I hated), and I really dislike having my picture taken (unless someone makes me laugh). If anyone tells me to smile I seem to form a strange constipated look on my face and end up feeling stupid afterwards. I got through the picture taking (albeit painfully) and in the end they just lightly edited my article (in other words, they cut out the foul language!). The day the article went in the paper was a scary experience and I found I couldn’t sleep at all the night before. I was unbelievably nervous. I woke up early and rushed to the local shop to buy it. I cringed as soon as I saw the picture. They’d written a good piece though, so it wasn’t too bad really. My confidence was still in its rebuilding stage so my heart beat was pretty irregular for the rest of the day. At that point I certainly wasn’t used to any form of positive attention.

After the article, my phone wouldn’t stop ringing. I answered calls from our local news channel who wanted to come round and film an interview with me. As I was feeling very nervous my instant reply was NO (no surprise there), but the guy on the phone was really nice and made me feel good about my achievements and convinced me to go ahead with the interview. Just two hours after receiving a call from them, a reporter was on their way to my home to interview me on camera. Before the reporter arrived I had a quick shower and picked out my favourite jeans and t shirt (I was going to be on TV for the first time ever and I chose jeans and a

rock t shirt

).

The filming was done in my parents’ living room so it wasn’t as bad as going to a TV studio. I opened the door to a really attractive woman (which was a welcome surprise) and she was incredibly nice. This certainly made the experience much easier for me and made me feel at ease.

She asked me about what I had experienced and also took some shots of me training at home. I have to admit (shamefully) that I lifted more weight than I usually would, due to having a one- woman audience. Pretty sure the guys know what I’m talking about!

I’m 31, I should know better than that! We never learn

After she left, that fear was back again! I was going to be on TV that very evening! And yes, there was definitely a mess in my pants now. It was painful watching my interview back. I stumbled on my words and was jittery. Anyone could clearly see how nervous I was, despite the reporter doing a great job. At least I went through with it, and despite looking like the most nervous person ever to be on TV, I came across as honest and genuine and got good feedback from the news reporters, who I trusted.

What I didn’t expect was that the same evening I would go online to find that a well-known national newspaper used my story as their main news story. So much was going on at once, what the hell was happening!?

The attention that my story and interview got was insane. I’m just Mike, a guy from Hull who still lives with his parents and all of a sudden I’m all over the national media!

Unfortunately I found myself reading some of the rather negative comments. People were saying that I was better off dead and looked disgusting under my clothes with all the loose skin they presumed I had. To me, this was basically my biggest fear coming to life. I felt that I was being ridiculed again, but now it was on a national level. Even now I feel ashamed of my skin and it’s a battle I am still fighting to accept (although I’m so much better than I was). These kinds of comments crushed me. I’m not going to lie. I cried that evening. All 230 pounds of me.

At that point, I felt just like I did when I was nearly 500 pounds. I switched off my computer, went to my bed and began to wish that my story had never gone public.

The following day I found out through my Facebook friends that most of England’s national papers had chosen to publish my story and it had gone all around the world. Someone even told me that it was published in the New York Times. Unfortunately for me, I hid from it all. I never bought the papers and didn’t watch the video they made of me. I simply hid.

It was a shame really at the time I had no idea that for each negative comment, there were at least a hundred positive.

In hindsight I regret not buying those papers and letting myself feeling proud. I also regret turning down the chance of going on TV again (I was asked to appear on more national channels). I should have enjoyed it, but I didn’t. Instead of believing the positive messages from the majority of people who heard my story, I let the few negative comments get to me.

But I told myself - I’m stronger than this.

The next day I took part in a 13K assault course and when I had finished (it nearly killed me), Facebook went mental. I had more than 500 notifications in just a few hours. In the next few days I went from having 120 friends to over 2000. People where praising me and asking for help, or they were seeking the secret to my incredible weight loss. I received hundreds of messages every single day all asking me questions. I wanted to answer, but simply didn’t have enough time to respond to them all. I panicked. I didn’t want these people to think I was just ignoring them. I had financial commitments and was still trying to find work, but at the same time I didn’t want to just fob people off, I wanted to respond to each of them individually. I appreciate that it’s far more complicated than a ‘one size fits all’ response to help someone with this kind of thing.

People were posting me links to websites all over the world where they had read my story. I didn’t even know what language some of them were written in, but wow. At the time I was in shock and I wasn’t sure what to think, but now I’m able to look back and reflect, I think it’s amazing. I have such great respect for every person who took the time to message me and make me aware of how much my story was being shared.

Unfortunately, despite all of my support, I found that some people still felt the need to judge me. Two people even accused me of changing now I’m no longer overweight. They had no idea about the confidence issues I had, and still have, or my daily fight to accept myself. When I consider that my goal in life is now to help others, the idea of this really offended me. At least

now I find that I’m learning from these criticisms rather than allowing myself to be pushed down by them, as I had done before.

So what should I do next? I had two pacific agents contact me who I will not mention asking to promote their diets and supplements which I didn’t agree with, as of at this time I had my own views on nutrition and supplements that had worked for me.

As the story spread around the world, more and more people were asking me for help. I began to get pretty stressed and started to feel miserable, which wasn’t how a guy in my position should have been feeling. It felt like the biggest opportunity I’d probably ever have was fading away.

That was, until now.

How do I help all of those people who contacted me? How can I try to help everybody in the world who suffers from obesity, depression and loneliness, just like I had done? I know - I’ll write this book and tell you my own story. I can share my strength.

Take the advice I’m going to give to you: you need to help yourself and try. This is me trying to help you in the best way that I possibly can. I know it will help you because it is real life, it is what I did and the results are real. I tried and did what I could to help myself, regardless of whether it is seen by others to be right or wrong.

This story is how I lost weight and helped myself. No fancy or revolutionary diets, fads or quick fixes. It's true and honest, it is from my experience and is all related to what actually worked for me and changed my life for the better. Plus, it has stayed that way.

This is why I see my book as being a fresh approach. It’s based on a real life experience: MY experience.

Using will power, commitment, motivation, strength, determination and the right mind set, along with the strength I found deep inside to keep me going, I reached my goal. I got where I needed to be in the shortest time possible. Even in the toughest place a person could find themselves in mentally, feeling lost and not knowing where to start, I lost 262 pounds in 18 months. I then went on to rebuild my life, and this is where you can eventually be too.

I want to show you what you are capable of achieving if you push yourself to try and never give up. I will explain what my diet consisted of and how I trained. Most importantly for me, I want to motivate you by sharing how I felt at those times of despair and the fear of what seemed like an impossible task. I want to share how I overcame these hurdles and prove that it’s not

impossible. I will motivate you so you will believe you can do it too: the way I did it changed my mind set.

the

way I

And this is how

Chapter two Becoming The Weight Loss Warrior

Mind set

If you’re reading this, then I’m pretty sure you want to lose weight or maybe just intrigued on

how the hell I managed it. Or maybe you’re stuck on where to start both mentally and nutritionally. Maybe you’ve tried other ways but were unsuccessful, or the weight just piled back on after you finished your diet. Look what I did and see how motivated I was. That motivation is what worked for me and I believe that it will work for you. In fact I know it will.

Weight loss is about will power and the dedication to stick to what you know is right. Look at food as the nutrients your body requires to lose weight rather than something you use to satisfy your hunger. Make sure you have a good balance of nutrients and have a calorie deficit - this is how you lose weight. You need to burn more than what you put in. But this isn’t the only factor. It all depends on your mind set, and as you can see from my story, it is definitely possible to change yours, it’s your choice. You either give in to temptation or you decide to fight back and look towards your end goal. For me, my goal was my desired body weight.

This is exactly what I did.

Your mind set is the battle you need to face first. You need to make decisions and be honest with yourself about the choices that face you. If we want to achieve something, we must be

willing to make the effort, make certain sacrifices along the way and be committed to getting there. If we change our mind set and believe that what we want can be achieved through hard work and dedication, then we will stay hard working and dedicated. Without this mind set, we don’t commit. We don’t achieve and we don’t change our lives. We just spend more time living

a life that we don’t want, or even a life we downright detest.

My most important advice? Get into the right mind set and you can help yourself. That’s what I did when I weighed 462 pounds. What was I even doing weighing that much?? Seriously, I was wasting my life away. I spent each day sat on my own being unhappy, drinking away my problems in fear of what I thought people would think and/or say about me. I hid from the world, and the person I wished I could be was a distant fantasy. It seemed utterly impossible and I felt trapped.

But very suddenly, it hit me like a slap in the face. What exactly was stopping that fantasy from becoming a reality? I had realised that it was me. I was the only thing that was in the way of achieving what I wanted to achieve. I had to believe that I could do it, and that’s when I realised that I could lose weight if I tried.

But how can I make my dream possible? What did I need to get there?

Myself! I was the only person who could get to where I wanted to be, so I made the decision then and there that I was going to do it. I had no friends to help me and my family had their own issues to deal with, so I was the only person left who could take control. That was the choice I made. That was my change in mind set. When I look back, that was the first fight which I won, and it was also the most difficult - the fight in my head. It took far too long for me to realise this and although I wish I’d done it sooner, I did it in the end. If you don’t start, you won’t reach the end. This is exactly what you need to do after reading this. Believe that you can take control and win the first battle. Change your mindset and make the choice to do something about it now!

mindset and make the choice to do something about it now! At 462 pounds, I knew

At 462 pounds, I knew I’d had enough. Time for a change.

Ok, so now what? I took a look at where I was - 462 pounds and afraid to go outside in fear of ridicule. I drank a few bottles of whisky every night to cope with depression and loneliness. How the hell was I going to help myself?

In any way possible! I had no idea what I should be eating or even what exercise I should be doing, but I god damn did something. All those people wanting to know my secret? There you have it. Do something and just try, regardless of whether it is right or wrong. You’re making a start because you understand how this will help you achieve your goal, and mentally thats the most important thing you need to do. Changing your mind set is central to the goal you’ve chosen to achieve, so at this stage you need a strong foundation to build upon with diet and exercise.

Creating a foundation through changing my mind set is exactly what changed my life.

Ok then, so I’ve accepted that the power is in my hands, now I’m going to try and do

something

things I did know about food, as to what was good and what was bad. What did I know was bad? There was no doubt that a huge amount of beer and whisky every night was definitely bad (and believe me, I was sad to see the whisky go). That was pretty obvious, so that was the first choice I made. What next?

Firstly,

I looked at my current diet and made my own decision, based on the basic

I looked at my other habits. Eating a sandwich late at night had to go (obviously) a plate of chips with fish fingers for dinner had to go too (pretty obvious in my opinion); crisps, chocolate, sugary cereal, sausage rolls, takeaways, fizzy drinks, bread, all the processed shit - it had to go. Even without knowing anything about nutrition, I knew that eating a lot of these things every day was bad for me (again, I like to think this was pretty damn obvious). Of course they are! I won’t tell you why because it’s common sense. We all know that eating these foods won’t help us lose weight, and that was what I had decided to do. I made the decision that I would not eat them. It was hard at first, but I realised that if I wanted to lose weight I could choose not eat them.

At this point - don’t panic, I don’t believe that certain foods are always bad, but for the goal of losing weight then unhealthy foods won’t help you to achieve it. And remember, you can eat them again in moderation AFTER you have lost your weight and achieved your goal. So after identifying the foods that I shouldn’t eat, I asked myself another important question: what food should I eat?

Chapter three What dieting and exercising was really like

Nutrition is essential

If anyone wants to lose weight they need to burn more calories than they consume. For me this made sense. But I thought: shit, even restricting my calories to around 1200-1500 a day (which is what I did) still leaves me with a hell of a lot of calories to burn off in one day. I would need to do a hell of a lot of cardiovascular training to burn that off. So thats exactly what I did.

Remember, I did what I thought was right at the time because I was trying to be proactive, I was embracing my new mind set and knew that I had to take some kind of action if I was going to reach my goal. It was right for me to start eating healthier and being more active, but at 462 pounds, 1200-1500 calories a day was nothing. In fact, it was pretty much malnutrition. Consuming so few calories and doing three hours of light cardio, it’s no wonder I lost so much weight so quickly. But fear not, you don’t have to go and do 3 hours of cardio every day like I did. I agree, woohoo indeed! Let me explain

Your body needs calories just to stay alive, which is why we eat. We have a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns at rest. So if I put it simply, your BMR is the amount of calories you need in a normal day just to breathe and stay alive. By eating the calories required, according to your personal BMR, you will maintain the weight you are whilst not having to do anything active. There are a few calculations needed to find this estimate which require your age, height, sex and current body weight, but if you have access to the internet then you can access a BMR calculator online. If you use a search engine, such as Google, to search for ‘BMR calculator’ then a huge variety of sites will be listed.

In my case, when I was severely overweight at 462 pounds, I calculated my BMR like so:

(6.23 x my weight in pounds ) + (12.7 x my height in inches) - (6.8 x my age in years) = my BMR

(I know what you’re thinking more easily!)

just

use the online calculator and it will guide you through a lot

According to these calculations, my BMR was 3706 calories a day. Wow! Yep, I was using 3706 calories a day just to stay the same weight. So at this stage in my journey (I know I know, I used the word journey; refer to original article) I’m suddenly only consuming 1200-1500 calories. You can see that there is a huge difference. I could have just reduced my calorie intake to 1200 through my diet alone and I would have started losing weight. I would be burning calories just sat on my arse doing nothing.

I was consuming 1200 calories a day and my BMR was 3706. That means in one day, sat doing

nothing:

I would burn 2506 calories (3706 1200 = 2506) each day, so if we multiply that by seven (for each day of the week that I was dieting)

= 17542 calories (7 x 2506).

But how much body fat was I losing in terms of weight? You can work it out like this:

One pound of body fat = 3500 calories (so to lose 1 pound of body fat you need to burn 3500 calories).

17542 (my weekly calories burned) divided by 3500 (the number of calories in one pound of body fat) = 5 pounds of body fat every week

So this was how much weight I would have lost simply by cutting down the calories in my diet from my BMR. Bear in mind that I grabbed the bull by the horns by also doing 3 hours of light cardio training. I’m not entirely sure exactly how many calories I burned, but you can see how I managed to lose so much so fast.

Not everybody has the same amount of body fat as I did, so it may be that you don’t have such

a dramatic calorie deficit as mine. The bigger you are, the higher your BMR will be, so although

you’re losing lots of weight, you have a hell of a lot of it to lose. So, what if you only need to lose 30 pounds? Well the calorie deficit will not be as high, but the theory still applies. If you drop your calorie intake by 500 calories a day (below whatever your BMR is) then you will be

looking at losing on average one pound of body fat a week. Of course, that’s if you intend to do no exercise, which I would hope is not the case considering you now have a new mind set!

You will be doing some form of exercise or activity. Depending on your activity and health level, as well as your BMR, it’s possible to work out your Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) From this we can add a safe calorie deficit to your daily diet, providing you are being active. To do this you simply take your BMR and multiply it by the estimated activity level. Let me introduce you to this simple guide:

Activity Level

Women

Men

Very light

1.25

1.25

Light

1.3

1.3

Moderate

1.4

1.4

Moderate heavy

1.6

1.7

Heavy

1.8

1.9

For example, if you had a desk job and did not do any kind of exercise, your activity level would be 1.25. If you had an active job and walked the dogs regularly or performed fasted cardio your level would be 1.4

If you then added a proper workout, whilst still remaining active throughout the day, it would be around 1.6. This is just an estimate, but if you think your exercises take you up to a moderate level, than multiply your BMR by 1.4 and you have your EER. We now have a guide, so to speak, of the amount of calories a day we need to be consuming.

When you have worked out your EER you can now choose an appropriate calorie deficit (from our EER, or daily calories we need to consume) and start losing weight. A reasonable calorie deficit would be from 500-750, but in my opinion, and from my own experience, you can safely choose to deficit to your daily calories by up to 1500. However this is only providing you have masses of body fat to lose as the more extra fat you have, the higher your BMR. You have to understand that I had really hit rock bottom, so this drastic approach really was ‘all or nothing’. But my advice to you is to be sensible and, most importantly, stay healthy. I want you to make sure you that you never consume any less than 1200 calories a day if you are female and 1500 if you are male. I cannot stress enough that any less than this is not healthy! Also, if you are going to train balls to the wallthen your EER will be much higher and you will need to consume more calories than you usually would. This will keep burning your body fat.

Gastric band surgery and stomach stapling work using the same principle as being in calorie deficit. The surgery sections off part of your stomach and shrinks it (so to speak). This means you feel full quicker, eat less and in theory, consume fewer calories. A lot of people can only

consume a small amount of calories after this surgery, often as little as 800 a day. By making this physical change to your stomach, in some respects you are fixing your calorie deficit so that it is way under your BMR or EER. Therefore you lose weight without exercise. Not only is this an unhealthy way to lose weight, it could cause all types of health problems, such as hormonal problems and malnutrition. I want to show you that it is possible to lose weight quickly and increase your fitness without putting your health at risk.

So why do I feel that my own approach was different to someone getting a gastric band? Surely if the results are the same and it helps people whose lives are at risk, then why not just have surgery? Well, unless you’re bed-bound and completely unable to move, I believe that it is an inadequate and stupid approach to weight loss. What do I mean by ‘inadequate’? Well, for starters you are only eating less because you have to, not because you choose to. You’re tricking your body into thinking it’s full. You are not changing your mind set. You are not changing the way you think about food and not giving your body time to adapt to the changes it will go through.

You will build strength and will power through dedication and you will also increase your knowledge, not just of how to live healthily, but knowledge of yourself. Oh, and don’t forget that feeling of satisfaction! There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you have achieved something you thought was too hard to accomplish! Imagine if you had gastric band surgery and had your band removed after losing weight (did I mention how dangerous the surgery is?), chances are you will pile the majority of the weight back on. And why is this? Because you never changed your mindset, you never learned along the way what works for you and you simply did it by being lazy, hence you go back to being lazy. My way you stay strong because you want to remain positive and maintain your amazing achievement.

I lost a huge amount of weight naturally and I have every faith that you can achieve this too.

I never even considered looking into BMR or EER when I started losing weight. Hell, I didn’t even know what it meant back then. What I have explained in this last section is just a starting point for you to consider, something you can work out for yourself as a way of getting started. But, as you know, your success depends on your mind set. If you have changed that, and are willing to commit to it, then you’re onto a winner already! Remember that’s all it took for me. I didn’t want to eat or drink rubbish anymore!

So now youve worked out your BMR and EER and changed your diet to meet your daily calorie limit. However, something you should keep in mind is that over time you will have to gradually

lower your daily calories as you lose weight as your lower weight will alter your BMR/EER slightly (unless you started at the minimum like I did, but as you know this is not what I recommend!). This also depends on how much of a calorie deficit you have made. If at first you lowered your intake by 500 calories a day, then a good example would be to then reduce your daily calories by 100 for every 5 pounds you lose. If, like me, your first calorie reduction was more like 1500+ (if you have an extremely large amount of weight to lose) then you can adjust accordingly. The most important thing is to make sure you never go under the minimum calories I mentioned earlier. In fact you may not even have to adjust it if it’s already very low.

Remember - if you consume too little calories your body may go into starvation mode’ and your metabolism may slow down (this is a bit like the body’s survival mode). So if you’re trying to keep your weight loss going, this is the opposite of what you want! Don’t assume that eating less than the calories you’re already cutting out will result in more weight loss!

When you look at some diet fads, they allow you to eat anything you want as long as your maximum daily calorie limit is not surpassed. When it comes to your health, frankly this is stupid. It may work in terms of weight loss but you will be missing out on vital nutrients which are essential for your body to function. Eating 1000 calories a day just in junk food will leave you feeling tired, irritable and malnourished. It will impair your immune system and in extreme cases can be a risk to your life. So, whatever our calorie limit is each day, we need to get a good variation of nutrients to help maintain and support our health during the weight loss period. I cannot stress enough how important this is! Nutrient-dense food is important here, so you need to get as many nutrients and goodness from the amount of calories you are taking in. But just as important: eat what makes you happy! Don’t eat what makes you gain weight, as it is this weight which you are trying to lose. We want to progress in life, not hold it back.

What did my diet look like?

I’ve had thousands of messages asking me to tell them what I ate in order to lose 262 pounds. If I’m honest, it wasn’t exactly exciting. I ate pretty much the same every day, other than alternating my lunch and having a different source of protein for dinner. But to give you an idea, this was basically it:

After a one hour fasted cardio session on the cross-trainer:

0930 An omelette (2 medium sized whole eggs, 4 egg whites, a drop of semi skimmed milk and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese).

After another one hour session on the cross trainer:

1230

An average portion of wheat pasta with one tin of tuna in brine, 1 boiled egg and a side salad (usually grated carrots, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, beetroot and onion).

Or

1230

1 baked potato and a handful of grated cheese along with the side salad listed above.

1530

1 apple and 1 pear.

After one hour on cross trainer/weights session:

1730

A chicken breast/medium sized lean steak/fillet of haddock with broccoli, carrots and peas.

2100

2 wheat crackers with very thinly sliced cheddar cheese.

In addition:

One cup of black coffee twice a day and lots of water.

There you have it.

That’s what I ate every day until I lost most of my weight. Nobody can say that I’m not helping

others by keeping my diet top secret. But I can imagine what you’re thinking

is pretty boring and unimaginative and I completely agree that it’s nothing special! But remember, when I started I had no knowledge. I didn’t know what was right, but despite this I did something. This is what I ate and it worked for me.

It’s shit! Yeah, it

By eating this, my diet was roughly 1250 calories a day (around 1550 on the alternate lunch day/steak for dinner). I was only consuming about 80g of carbohydrates and with all that exercise my body needed energy from somewhere! Because the energy wasn’t coming from my food (in the form of glucose), instead it came from my fat stores. This is called ketosis, and this is important.

Using a diet like the one I used leads to ketosis. This is a condition, or body state, in which the blood has increased levels of ketones (ketone bodies). Basically, the energy from your food is stored as glycogen in your liver, and when these stores run out, ketones are formed. I’m no professional nutritionist, but I can explain what I know about how our bodies use energy, so here goes…

Our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and this is what your body uses as energy (for moving, breathing, exercise or whatever). If we stop giving our body glucose then it is forced to rely on stored energy called glycogen. When this glycogen runs out, that’s when our body is forced to break down stored fat to get the energy it needs. Fat which is being metabolised in turn raises the ketone levels in the blood. This is ketosis, and it is in this state that our body switches from being a carbohydrate-burning organism to a fat-burning one. While your body is in ketosis you usually feel less hungry. I remember that around 6 weeks into my diet my feelings of hunger had certainly faded, not entirely, but a LOT.

However, the most important thing for me was to be committed to the tough path I’d chosen, and without my change in my mind set I couldn’t have stuck to anything. I had made up my mind: nothing was going to stop me! Especially not a bloody burger or a pint of beer! From this point on I was more determined as I felt mentally stronger. I wasn’t feeling as hungry, I felt I was making progress and was also beating my cravings.

This sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well it is, but it’s also important to understand that very high ketone levels can be toxic. They make the blood more acidic, and this can damage organs such as the kidneys and liver. This doesn’t sound quite as good. Without actually knowing, I was in ketosis for just over 2 years, at which point I had a blood test and found this out. My doctor said that my all-round health was excellent, my blood pressure wasn’t high and my kidney levels were within normal limits. It’s true that each person is different, but for all I knew I could have just been very, very lucky. My body can obviously handle a lot of toxins but your body may not be able to.

I didn’t realise at the time, but my diet was already low enough in calories that I would have lost weight without having to cut down on carbohydrates! With this in mind, you can see how it is possible to be in ketosis and use up your fat stores for energy. I believe that if you are calorie deficit then you can still lose weight, carbohydrates or not.

If I could go back in time I would add some carbohydrates to my breakfast. The brain can’t run on body fat, it requires either glucose or ketones for energy, and the brain is probably the most important organ in the body. Now I would give myself a brain boost in the morning with something like a banana, grapefruit or even a bowl of oats (remember, it’s best to find what works for you and what you like). I was lucky that I at least had the baked potato/wheat pasta and vegetables/salad in my original diet. I had no idea at the time, but cutting out all carbohydrates and only eating fat and protein can actually cause diabetes. It lowers your insulin response and causes your body to actually make glucose - a lot of glucose! So if you are on a diet of no carbohydrates then please stop and review your diet.

My diet was also high in protein and fat which can provide energy. You can see that in my diet I had lots of eggs, cheese and steak as my sources of fat and similarly lots of eggs, lean meats and fish as my sources of protein. The eggs and lean steak are ok, but the cheese was not an ideal source of fat. Cheese is high in saturated fat which can raise cholesterol and ultimately, over time, cause coronary heart disease. A far better option would be to include ‘good’ fats in your diet. These are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are found in stuff like soya, oily fish, natural oils (like olive and rapeseed oil) as well as nuts and seeds. These fats help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and provide essential fatty acids.

How did I feel while I was on my diet?

During my weight loss and while I was following this diet I went through many emotional stages. Although I was suffering from depression, this had been the case before I started my diet so I won’t expand upon this right now. At this point I want to focus on how I felt regarding the new food I was eating and how it affected my mood.

Honestly? I actually felt ok. To begin with it was really hard as I stopped drinking alcohol every day, and this was a huge change. My desire for a drink definitely overshadowed any hunger pains and more than food - I just wanted a bloody drink! But not only was the alcohol no longer in my system, neither was all the sugar. I’m not surprised that I felt pretty different.

The only negative things I experienced during my diet was sometimes feeling dizzy when I stood up as well as coming out in lots of spots. After years of heavy drinking and poor nutrition, I’m pretty sure the spots were due to the toxins being released from my body and this is definitely common. I did speak to my doctors about my dizzy spells but they didn’t seem to know either. It would make sense that I could have low blood sugar levels (after it being so high when I was

drinking and eating shit food), so combined with a low carbohydrate diet and long cardio sessions, I was most likely running on fumes so to speak.

But in time, all of these symptoms slowly disappeared. As I adapted to my new diet the hunger wasn’t even an issue and my body got over the worst part of my alcohol withdrawal. I’ve now learned that high protein diets actually reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin which means you feel less hungry, as well as keeping you feeling full for longer. I believe the high protein will have helped a lot with preventing hunger pains. As you can imagine with this physical change plus my new attitude…nothing was going to stop me.

One thing I did feel a lot of was regret over what I had done to my body. This anger towards myself made me even more driven to succeed. I just didn’t want to eat crap anymore. Eating and drinking shit and feeling sorry for myself had ruined my life. I’m now trying to change it. Why ruin that?

So other than hunger, what about my energy levels?

I managed to wake up every morning and do my fasted cardio with plenty of enthusiasm. I had the drive, I changed my mind set and I was going to succeed, no matter what. This drive definitely helped with my energy levels. No matter how comfy I was, it got me out of bed. I just jumped up and got dressed. I wanted to lose the weight so badly! Even if I had to get up early for a job or an appointment or something, well I just got up that extra bit earlier to do my cardio. I was nothing but dedicated.

And that’s what it takes.

Honesty is my thing, you’ve probably come to that conclusion by now, and I’m going to continue being totally honest. I’m not going to say I just sailed through it all smoothly with heaps of drive every second of the day. I’m human, and so are you. Of course I had days when I just felt like giving up. I’m not afraid to admit that I regularly cried at the end of my sessions on the cross trainer, slumping down on my bed, soaked in sweat. I would look at my huge stomach thinking that it would never go away. I even had sore patches between my thighs from them rubbing together during exercise which were agony (my advice would be to get anti-chafing gel, it’s worth it).

At some points I felt so angry at myself that my thoughts were overcast and I felt the urge to punish myself or to hurt myself. I desperately wanted to turn my anger inwards, onto me, but

instead of hitting myself I would hit something else (I always hit walls - my knuckles are ruined).

I needed to feel pain. I blamed myself for self-neglect, for abusing my body and putting myself

in this situation. Depression is often explained as being feelings of anger turned inwards, and although it was incredibly hard, I had to embrace feeling this anger and pain. If I didn’t, then it

would never go away. When I thought about how I truly felt inside I struggled to get my head around why I didn’t do this sooner. Why didn’t I make the effort before? Just look at the state I’m in. That’s when I realised that I was still thinking in the same destructive way.

I don’t want to punish myself. I want to fix myself.

Maybe I wasn’t helping myself before, but I’m certainly doing it now. I had to forgive myself, otherwise the cycle of self-punishment would never end. So I got back on that cross-trainer and

I did what I could. I pleaded to myself not to take any steps backwards, and I made a

commitment that I was only ever going to continue forwards. I used the anger to progress

instead of holding me back.

Every time I felt angry at myself or down I managed to pick myself back up. Ok, I had a little cry and felt sorry for myself, but then I had to get back at it! In the past I’d wasted so long allowing it to be an excuse for turning to food or drink. Well, things in life get bad, but we learn to deal with them and take care of them as best we can. No matter how hard or even impossible you may think it is, you always have the choice to hit back and try your best.

I ended up the way I was by letting other people get the better of me. It wasn’t their fault, and I

realised that part of the responsibility was mine. I decided that now I was going to fix it and my determination to shake off that hatred for myself and use it to fuel my training had kicked in. I

swore from then on that I would never give up. All those temper tantrums, disbelief as to why I didn’t do something sooner, smashing things in rage and hanging my head in shame these were my all motivation to get up and change things. Come on, get back at it Mike. Everything else is in the past and you’re doing something about it now!

It’s ok to feel like this and experience a lot of varied and strong emotions. It’s normal. I felt it many times. Sometimes I could go for weeks full of enthusiasm and drive…then boom. I mentally hit rock bottom again. This is exactly where your strength matters the most. You cannot let this beat you. Yes, it may knock you down, but it won’t ever beat you. Pick yourself back up, get straight back to work and turn to positive thinking. In other words, kick some ass!

Your goal won’t be achieved tomorrow, but it can be achieved in the fastest time possible if you use your strength and will power.

No matter how shit you feel, never resort to food or booze when you feel in despair or negative. Feeling down about yourself won’t push you back as long as you pick yourself back up again. But your demons will push you back, so don’t let them win. But how do you keep your demons at bay? Just use whatever you need to pick yourself back up. Whether it’s for yourself, your family and children or anyone at all who cares about you…just dream of a better life and dream of your goals. These are the things that can become a reality, but only as long as you get back up fighting.

So all in all, once I’d adjusted to this diet it never really caused me any side effects (of which I was aware of). To this day, even now that I’m in my muscle building phase, trying a higher carbohydrate diet (as my personal trainer textbook advised as a way to fuel my active lifestyle) still leaves me feeling bloated and sluggish. Now I stick with a low(ish) carbohydrate diet and rely on only complex carbohydrates in the morning, both before and after I train. The rest of the day I rely on vegetables for my carbohydrates and obviously have much more calories in there from fats and protein. Also over time I have discovered which supplements out there were actually beneficial to my weight loss and health so I keep them as part of my daily routine I still use to this very day.

As you can see, I’ve been through a journey (used that word again, damn you X-Factor) which at the beginning seemed impossible, even more so when I was at my lowest points. But you know what? I was wrong, I fucking did it and it was fucking hard! I won’t hesitate to say it how it is, because you need to hear it like that. It was all worthwhile and something to be damn proud of.

What changes would I make to my original diet now if I could?

With regards to my diet during weight loss, I’ve briefly talked about ketosis, fats and how I felt during and after the diet. But as I said in the beginning, I didn’t have the knowledge or the experience to make informed decisions about my diet and exercise. I just did the best I could. Now that I know a little bit more from experience, let’s see if I could make this diet any better. I’ll go through the diet again meal by meal and see what I would change:

I would like to get breakfast in a lot earlier. More like 0800 - that would mean setting my alarm earlier so I could do my fasted cardio.

Meal 1

0930

50g of oats (made with water, not milk), one of my whey protein shakes added to the pan during cooking (chocolate is my favourite), plus a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Breakdown:

50g oats = 180 kcal, 2 scoops of whey protein = 100 kcal Total = 280 kcal

Now I would add a snack or small meal between breakfast and lunch.

Meal 2

1030

A handful of walnuts (approximately 14 halves)

 

Total = 185 kcal

Meal 3

1230

A 30g serving of long grain brown rice with a tin of tuna and side salad (grated carrot, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, beetroot a good sized large portion)

Breakdown:

30g long grain brown rice = 100 kcal, a tin of tuna in brine = 126 kcal, large side salad = 100 kcal. Total = 326 kcal

Meal 4

1530

1 grapefruit and 1 medium skinless chicken breast (grilled)

Breakdown:

1 grapefruit = 82 kcal, 1 medium skinless chicken breast fillet (approximately 140g) = 162 kcal. Total = 244 kcal

The next meal was pretty spot-on! The only thing I would change is that I’d limit steak to twice a week and add in some salmon as an extra option.

Meal 5

1730

Either 1 chicken breast/1 medium sized lean steak/1 fillet of haddock or salmon with portions of broccoli, carrots and peas.

Breakdown:

1 chicken breast fillet = 170 kcal/1 medium steak = 292 kcal/1 fillet of haddock = 166 kcal/1 small fillet of salmon = 185 kcal, vegetable portions = 110 kcal. Total = 276 402 kcal

Nowadays I like casein protein drinks on the evening as they help me feel full and are a good slow-releasing source of aminos.

Meal 6

2100

1 casein protein drink and 12 almonds

Breakdown:

1 serving of casein protein drink = 170 kcal, 12 almonds = 84 kcal. Total = 254 kcal

In addition:

1 cup of black coffee in the morning, green tea for the rest of the day and lots of water. Oh, and even more water!!

My total calories per day = roughly 1565-1691 kcal

This version has more calories than my original diet, but this is a good thing. As a matter of fact for a guy weighing nearly 500 pounds, this is still pretty low. It has less saturated fat, more ‘good’ fats and a small amount of extra carbohydrates in the morning and less in the evening. Also, I used brown rice as it has a lower GI (glycaemic index). This is a rating out of a 100 given to a carbohydrate source which breaks down during digestion and releases glucose into the bloodstream.

During digestion carbohydrates are broken down which then releases glucose into the bloodstream. The higher the GI rating (like sugar), the faster the glucose is released into the bloodstream. If this energy is not burned off or stored as muscle glycogen then it will get stored as fat. Remember that all carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, so the lower the GI rating the slower the release of energy (glucose). This is more likely to be used as energy over

time as it takes longer to breakdown and therefore is less likely to be stored as fat. This is why we need to avoid high GI foods that release glucose quickly because they are more likely to be stored as fat (unless we’re doing something like running a super-marathon, but that could maybe come later!).

For my carbohydrates I have chosen oats at breakfast and brown rice at lunch time. These both have a low GI rating so their energy (glucose) is released into the bloodstream slowly while it is being digested. Therefore we have a source of energy which is sustained. This not only lowers glucose cravings (or sugar cravings), but also gives you a lower spike in insulin and of course, means you are less likely to store any unused glucose as body fat. The higher the GI, the bigger the spike in insulin, This is followed by a sudden drop in blood sugar levels and causes our brain to cry out for more - in other words, we feel the urge to stuff our faces with more food. In terms of sugar, too much fruit can have just the same effect (as it’s full of natural sugar), hence I limit mine to just a couple of portions a day. I much prefer to snack on vegetables or protein if necessary.

So that’s the changes I would make. Why? Well, this is based solely on my experience. The exact same principles apply as my first approach: a change in mind set and doing whatever it takes, to the best of my knowledge and abilities. So my view is that the changes I made would make it better for me. This is only my opinion, the point is to just bloody make the effort and try no matter what, just like I did the first time around - because it worked!

My diet not only has lots of protein (protein uses up to 30% of its calories to be digested), it also contains a serving of ‘good’ fats and just enough carbohydrates to give my brain some energy. Let’s not forget there are plenty of micro-nutrients in this diet too (vitamins and minerals) from the salad, a small amount of fruit as well as the vegetables. In my opinion, this healthy variety and balance is really important for weight loss when combined with an active lifestyle.

It’s not that difficult really, is it? The hardest part (without doubt) is actually sticking to it! But I know you will at this stage because you want to succeed. No excuses now! You understand what to eat, you just have to commit and stay mentally strong. Don’t stress over foods that you are unsure about. If you stick to keeping sugar, salt and saturated/trans-fat to a minimum, and as long as you don’t go over your calorie limit, you are on track for weight loss!

At this point, I know it feels like you won’t be able to enjoy food or have any fun, but this is absolutely not true. Once you have lost the weight that you planned to, you can still treat yourself whilst keeping it off. I haven’t touched on this yet, but along the way there will be

cheat meals (yes, you did read that correctly) which I will explain more in a short while. For now, you need to focus on eating well, cutting your calories and using your new mind set.

It’s true - diets can be boring

If you’re thinking about how bloody boring this is going to be eating the same things every day, then don’t worry. You can substitute any of the foods I’ve listed for other foods with similar nutritional values. I kept my diet pretty much how I thought was right when I lost my weight as I was happy with this. It was working and this is why I did not want to change it. However, I totally appreciate that we’re all different, so you should do whatever it takes to help you stay motivated. If that means a little more variety, then that’s fantastic. Any choice of vegetable for your evening meal is fine. A teaspoon full of natural peanut butter (a brand without added sugar) instead of nuts every once in a while is fine. Getting bored of an apple? Have a pear instead. Mix it up, change things around, but keep the nutritional values roughly the same. As long as it doesn’t go over your daily calorie limit, then you can keep things varied and interesting.

If you don’t like the kinds of food you’ll have to eat, then liven things up with some dips or sauces (remembering to keep sugar and salt to a minimum). Add spices, low calorie extras, anything you want to keep you on the right path. Just be careful with some pre-packed marinades, dressings and sauces as they often contain large amounts of sugar and salt. If you can make them then that would be a lot better (but if you could let me know how that would be great - I’m a terrible cook). The most important point is stick to it. I couldn’t be more serious when I tell you to get tough, and no matter how hard it gets never give up!!

If you have any questions on how many calories something contains, simply Google them. For example, you could search for ‘how many calories in a whole tomato. I often do this as weighing food is annoying and can get complicated and/or messy. I like to keep things easy and simple. For example, I’d rather know how many calories are in a medium tomato (because I know enough about food to know what’s big, medium and small!) rather than knowing how

many calories are in 100g of tomatoes. You just have to mess about weighing the ones you’re going to eat, dividing the total calories by what you have in your hand. It’s just a pain in the…

Also, you could try alternating weeks or days so that you’re not eating the same foods every day. Just remember to stick to your calorie limit and get your calories from nutrient-dense foods like beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables (a greens supplement would be ideal if you struggle here), onions, mushrooms, berries, oily fish and plenty of lean high protein sources (in fact you can even Google nutrient-dense foods and learn why they are good for you, which is exactly how I learned).

Having cheese with my jacket potato on alternate days and keeping my meat choices varied may have kept my metabolism going. I know that I didn’t have cheat meals and my weight loss was almost consistent throughout. Based on what I know now, instead of having cheese every other day I would recommend a cheat meal once a week (that’s one meal once a week, not a full days worth of cheat food!) to keep your metabolism going. I regret not doing this myself as I know I would have bloody enjoyed it! At the time I was just too determined, so I probably wouldn’t have done it even if I was told to.

Choose whatever you want for your cheat meal (after all, it is a cheat meal and you have damn well earned it for being dedicated throughout the week). Eat what you fancy, but my advice would be to at least pick something which has nutritional value rather than just empty calories (such as something full of sugar). Better options would be pizza with some healthy toppings, your favourite pasta dish or even a roast dinner. The only thing you have to do is stop yourself from going overboard. Nothing is worse than that feeling of guilt when you have gone too far!

So on the day that you have your cheat meal you will be having an extra 500-1000 calories (depending on what you choose to enjoy). This can actually help keep your metabolism going as your body can get used to the same foods, therefore the shockof the extra calories can make your metabolism rise. This prevents our body from going into survival mode (like I mentioned briefly earlier) and stops your metabolism from slowing down, which is not cool! However, speeding it up with a well-deserved cheat meal is, as I’m sure you’ll agree, very cool indeed!

Speaking of survival mode, don’t skip meals thinking less calories means more weight loss. Yes the fewer calories you consume will cause weight loss but we don’t want to starve ourselves. Over time our body can go into starvation/survival mode and hold onto as much fat as possible. This can release the stress hormone cortisol which can increase the chance of belly fat storage (not cool) so stick to your plan and eat your main meals (with a snack in between). This will

keep your metabolism going. Consume too little calories a day and over time, your body will think it won’t be getting the calories it needs. As a result it will hold onto what fat it does have for as long as possible to survive, and then strip you of your muscle mass and slow down your metabolism. Booo!

They are many diets out there with proven results, like intermittent fasting for example. Very popular and no doubt would work. I recently had a go at this to try it out and found that for me, I ended up being so hungry I just gorged on food (too much food) when it was time for a meal at the end of my fast. I ended up feeling pretty ill and regretful. I’m not saying it won’t work, just that it’s not for me. I always find regular meals of smaller portions work best for my body leading me to feel better and look better.

My key point is that hunger is actually a need for nutrition. We can choose to feed our bodies with nutrient-dense food and get the most out of these calories which will help us lose weight and tone up. In other words, more of the right food is what we want to keep us burning fat, toning muscle and improving our health and wellbeing. A hundred calories from some almonds,

which are full of nutrients our body needs, will be more beneficial than a hundred calories from

a sugary snack which is just full of

together, make sure you choose what makes you feel good and helps you see results. Don’t

question it, stick to it! Consistency works.

well,

simple sugar. Whatever healthy foods you put

I want you to keep it simple, because simple works. You don’t need the most advanced nutritional knowledge to lose weight as losing weight is not complicated nutrition wise. If it was I wouldn’t have been able to lose my weight!

If your goal is to vastly increase your cardiovascular health, build huge muscles or prep for a competition then yeah, nutrition needs to be a lot more advanced, but to lose weight to a healthy level, don’t worry about it. Simplicity works.

Concentrate on your mind set, sticking to healthy eating and getting active. Progression will naturally follow once you have reached your weight loss target.

Chapter four Get up, get motivated and get honest

How I exercised

What about exercise, youre thinking? Well, what I did to lose 262 pounds was as straight forward as you can get! I did three one hour sessions on a cross trainer at home (I gradually built it up to one hour) spaced throughout the day. I did one hour before breakfast, one hour before lunch and one hour before dinner. All three sessions were kept in the fat burning zones - in other words, I was making enough effort to raise my heart rate and start sweating, but not so much that it caused exhaustion/fatigue. As I progressed I replaced my third session with weight training. At the time I was unsure how to train at home, I thought I needed to visit a gym to start losing weight, but lacked the confidence to go outside, let alone visit a gym full of people in good physical shape. I felt utterly trapped and it was killing me. I wanted to do something, but how? The opportunity arose for me to buy a cross trainer online and have it delivered to my home. I no longer had an excuse to avoid working out, I have something in my own room I can use whenever I want in my head I can now start doing something!

I want – in my head I can now start doing something! The cross trainer: battered

The cross trainer: battered and bruised but still in action

Buying my cross trainer helped immensely in the change of my mind set. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go out and buy one like I did. Anything which is progressively active will help you to lose weight. You can start off going for walks or light jogs. You can even use the bottom step of your

stairs to do step-ups. There is so much around us if we just get up off our arse and make the effort. I know it sounds tough, but that’s what it takes to make a start towards achieving your goals.

So why three bloody boring hours a day? I just did what I thought was right at the time. I built it up to that amount of time and stuck to it. I thought taking it steady for longer was better for fat burning. I thought doing it before meals meant I had less food energy to burn and would attack my fat stores straight away. So that’s what I did. And it worked!

Although it was pretty mind-numbingly boring exercising on a cross trainer for so long with nothing but your thoughts driving you crazy. I must say, it was a very good job I had my Guns NRoses CD collection (I’m a bit outdated with technology, no fancy ‘iPlodor whatever you call them).

Things like your favourite music are important to keep you focussed. Try and take your mind away from what you are doing in any way that works listen to music, put your favourite radio station on, watch a DVD. You can even dream about being the new you and the things you want to do. There is no point torturing yourself about your weight and situation. I certainly did this sometimes, but I found that my favourite music, as well as a bit of daydreaming about my new life, made the time fly by.

With my new mind set I found I was so driven. I welcomed the opportunity to do something proactive and make a change in my life. Nothing was going to stop me. I used everything I could to motivate myself on the cross trainer. I pictured myself reaching my goal and showing everyone the proud new me. I thought about the people who mocked me while I put my head down in shame. Well this was my fight back. No more putting my head down, no more crying into a bottle of whisky and no more suffering from being overweight.

In the first 8 weeks that cross trainer took an absolute battering from me. I went from doing just two minutes to smashing out 30 minutes, then eventually 60 minutes! After the first 10-15 minutes of exercise the feeling of my god, this is boringdisappeared. Your favourite songs are playing and you drift into a fantasy world. I imagined how happy and confident I was going to feel. Role play goes through your mind without you realising as you imagine scenes of things you’ll be doing that you would never have done before. The time not only flies by, but you end up increasing your intensity without even realising. (I even imagined standing up to those

bullies

it

felt good. Use it to keep you driven)

The weak, broken and suicidal man I used to be is now smashing this piece of equipment to pieces using nothing but passion and mental strength. That mind set was all I needed.

What I thought was right at the time worked. I made it happen. My change of mind set, my new determination, my will power and my commitment to try is what kicked that 262 pounds of body fat straight in the balls and told it to fuck off. After losing around 4 stone (56 pounds) and currently weighing 400 pounds, I saw a local classified ad for some cast iron weights and a bench. I asked my father to take me, and this trip would be the first time I had left the house properly in over six years.

To say I was scared was an understatement, but I had to do it. I needed these weights because I felt like I needed to start weight training and getting some muscle back (which felt like the right thing to do). After a lot of discussion about how I was actually going to collect them, my father managed to borrow a car from one of my 4 sisters (only male and 4 sisters!!) and off we went. It was a workout in itself getting those weights in the car, but I did it! Not only did I then have some weights to start muscle building with, I actually went outside without any comments or stares from people. This was a big deal for me at the time and was yet another boost for me to succeed. When I got home and set the weights up I found there was a lot less iron than the seller had told me. I phoned him up and all I got was tough shit, you should have counted themfollowed by laughter. I was too nervous to reply and he just hung up.

In hindsight, I like to think I’ve had the last laugh here (smug wink).

My weights in the spare room. The old mats are there to cover the (ahem)

My weights in the spare room. The old mats are there to cover the (ahem) minor holes in the floor boards. Note: these where not caused by me…

Before I started gaining weight I had always lifted, so throwing weights around wasn’t totally new to me, I was just out of practice. I started lifting what I could manage. I would do bench presses, shoulder presses, raises and curls on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I performed 2 or 3 exercises per body part in sets of 4. I would usually begin with a warm up set, start on 16 reps, then 12 reps, then finally 10 reps to failure. I would increase the weight as I lowered the reps (so I was lifting less weight on the 16 reps, slightly more on the 12 reps and the highest weight on the 10 reps). I had no idea, but I was strong! I was benching 300 pounds for 8 -10 clean reps. My strength was mainly due to the huge mass of body fat I had so I trained heavy to begin with, but for every 10 pounds of fat I lost, my strength went down considerably. Even now, despite being more muscular, I can only manage two reps with 300 pounds on the bench press. Any more would crush me.

I was in such a calorie deficit and doing so much exercise that I’m surprised I managed to build any muscle mass, although it wasn’t that noticeable. Lifting weights is a good fat burner too, so this will have contributed to my weight loss. It strengthened my weak muscles in preparation for properly building muscle after my weight loss. More muscle increases metabolism, so this will be very beneficial. Remember, we won’t build huge muscles, but we will rebuild weakened muscles. A simple circuit at home of push ups, pull ups, squats, sit ups (or any exercise that uses your body weight) would be a good starting point. If in doubt, simply Google body weight

circuitsand choose the ones YOU will enjoy and find easiest to stick to. Remember this will contribute to helping with your weight loss too!

Now that you know what I did for exercise during my weight loss, are you wondering whether I would do anything differently? Well, yes and no. I wouldn’t recommend anyone training so much per day to lose weight. I would stick with a 60 min cardio session first thing in the morning (which I would still build up to gradually). This is because personally, I love fasted cardio for weight loss as it just feels right for me. I would also add in a 40 minute intense weight training session later on in the day (alternatively I would do any cardio exercise, just more intense so that I was working beyond the fat burning zone).

What I originally did worked well for me, very well in fact, so I can’t slate it. However I’m pretty sure that one hour of fasted cardio before breakfast 5-6 times a week, plus four weight training/intense CV sessions a week, would have had the same effect as the 3 hour long sessions I did each day. As for intense cardio, do what is intense for you and when it becomes a bit easy, increase the intensity to ensure you progress.

For the intense exercise, stick to the 40 mins max as the research I have read indicates that any longer at such a high intensity can raise our stress hormone cortisol. This is not what we want!

After any period of exercise, we have a window (so to speak) where our body will use carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores without storing them as fat. Try consuming carbohydrates after you exercise (in moderation of course, don’t go crazy and start gorging). The fasted cardio is fine because the breakfast I have outlined, which would now include oats, provides these carbohydrates. I would perform the weights/extra cardio before lunch so that my body could use the carbohydrates from the long grain brown rice and salad. If I trained at any other time of the day I would have a banana afterwards (ideally with a protein-rich snack) along with my favourite supplements.

Progressing

As you progress and start feeling more confident, try and get to a gym if possible. Go swimming, go for bike rides or take long scenic walks - remember that any form of exercise that raises your heart rate will burn calories and lead to more fat loss. Activities like these are not only healthy, but enjoyable! Gather up a group of friends, go on an adventure and have fun.

Let me tell you about the gym I first went to (when I got my weight down to the point at which I felt confident enough to do so). It was a backstreet local gym called Workout Gym in Hull. It was hardcore. No fancy showers or cafe area, it was just full of people who go there to train and get on with it. Daunting wasn’t even the word! Setting foot in a place like that when you’re terrified of ridicule took some mighty balls! I weighed 310 pounds on the day I walked into that gym. The owner Tony gave me a warm welcome and after this I kept my head down, didn’t really look at anyone and got to work.

I still did my fasted cardio at home but instead did my weights at the gym. Straight after my

weights I did my second hour on the cross trainer in the gym (facing a blank wall in the corner).

As for the things that went through my head while I was facing that wall autobiography, but I certainly had a lot going on in my mind at that point

progressed, people started to notice, including the people I assumed would make fun of my size. They not only noticed my progress but also how hard I trained and the effort I put in. You’ve lost loads of weight mate’, ‘you train your arse off, don’t you’, ‘wish I trained as hard as that’…

well, thatll be for my

a hell of a lot! As I

This meant the world to me, so much so that I had the confidence to tell them that I had actually been heavier. I told them how I’d already lost 154 pounds before I even stepped foot in the gym. Their eyes lit up, and some of them refused to believe me until I showed them my pictures. These people were competitive bodybuilders, doormen and committed trainers (put it this way, some were guys you would not want to mess with). And do you know what these comments did? They made me feel fucking awesome!! People were shaking my hand and giving me praise.

They made the effort to give me a lift when I looked like I was feeling down, they respected me because I was making the effort, and they respected that I was doing something and sticking to it. If I was looking in the mirror, maybe prodding my fat or looking negative, they were in there straight away telling me to stop being hard on myself. They wanted to help me snap out of it,

and what a difference their support made. It’s something that will stay with me forever. The hatred and anger had I felt towards society for judging me, and that helped turn me into a recluse, was slowly disappearing, and that was thanks to the people I had met at the gym (the one place I had been terrified of going!). I’m damn sure that at any gym you go to you will get the same respect for making the effort.

I will always consider this gym my second home. It played a part in changing my life along with the people who train there and I’ve made some true, lifelong friends. People don’t mock those who try, they respect and encourage. Bear this in mind if you are worried as to what people may think at the gym. In fact, bear this in mind for anything you do in life. Every successful person had to try, no matter how many times they thought they had failed.

You never fail. You simply learn from it and become stronger.

Always look for the opportunity to progress. The more active you become, the more intense the activity needs to be as you get down the line. You need to either speed up, have shorter rest periods or a longer activity. Its all progressing. We are destined to progress in life, the same principle applies here too. If whatever you are doing is working, then bloody stick to it!! Fasted cardio worked for me so I stuck to that, but I built up from three minutes to 60 minutes over time, and that was how I progressed. I still stick to this rule to ensure I keep the weight off, although I don’t do 60 minute sessions every day. Instead, I perform three 40 minute sessions a week which is enough for me to keep any extra weight off.

You need to start NOW!

A lot of personal trainers who are trying to help people lose weight will ask for a food diary. They may ask the person to write down everything they’ve eaten for the last 7 days and go through it with them to make small changes here and there. As they make these changes gradually, over time, most of the person’s unhealthy food is eventually cut from their diet.

This is fine, but it doesn’t have that immediate impact to your mindset. I believe you have the ability and the mental strength to do this yourself. It’s not essential to pay a personal trainer to help you do this over time. I believe you can alter your mind set and you can do it right now - not tomorrow or the start of next week, but now. Do it now or you will be putting it off for the rest of your life. Your diet will be clean from now on and you are going to start losing weight

from this point. I have helped you start and given you a shove in the right direction. Now grab that fat by the balls and show it who’s in charge!

I stopped eating rubbish and drinking alcohol all on the same day. You don’t have to cut back here and there. You can cut out all the shit and junk right now because you are strong enough to do this. The morning of my first day I was out of bed and straight on the cross trainer. I only managed 3 mins, but it was a start. After that I didn’t want to eat anything unhealthy as I’d just got my 462 pound arse out of bed and done some exercise. Why on earth would I want to spoil that? Why ruin the immense effort I had just made? That’s what it took to set me on the path to reach my dream goal. I got out of bed and tried! Trust me, as hard as it will be at first, get past the first 4-6 weeks and you will be thanking me. You will feel like a new you.

If you find you’re not losing weight, the first thing is to be brutally honest about what you eat. You need to write down everything you eat and drink for seven days and then see if there’s an obvious cause/problem. Make sure you check the nutrition labels of food you are buying that you may assume are healthy. Keep an eye on sugar and salt content. Some foods advertised as low in fat may well be low in fat but could be full of sugar and salts or other hidden nasties these will prevent you from losing weight. Avoiding processed food is a good place to start until you gain experience in checking the food labels and what to look for.

If you think eating healthy is too expensive for you then remember you’re eating far less now you’ve made your calorie deficit. Your food will go a lot further, for example a bunch of broccoli could last up to 4 meals. Also shopping around or buying in bulk can help save some pennies (I actually buy my chicken breasts in bulk and freeze them for when I need them).

What if you are a heavy drinker or smoker? Cutting out these can save you a fortune, not to mention making your exercise more productive. I saved hundreds of pounds by cutting out the booze. And if you really, really cannot stop indulging and giving in to your temptations, you need to at least make the effort to cut back here and there until you feel you are ready to tell those unhealthy foods to fuck off. It still works and you are moving forward - just try and say that big fuck off right now! Get tough and make this happen!

Chapter five Can I really do the same?

That’s easy for you to say

I know that some of you might be thinking that all this is easier said than done. Well I’m not a

model’ personal trainer. I haven’t got sculpted abs (though the guns are coming on a treat) and I’m not a fitness model born with perfect genetics. I haven’t been on a reality TV show and I haven’t had help from nutritionists or personal trainers to push me and guide me what to do or eat. I’m not preaching what others have showed me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people like this can’t help you, I’m sure they can, but I believe that finding your own drive and mental

strength is even more important for your weight loss and wellbeing. I have been in a place where I was mentally very weak. I was alone. My experience of my life was that I didn’t want to live it anymore. I was disgusted by my own reflection, mocked by other people and felt trapped.

I had no idea about what the hell to do and had nobody to help me. It was only when I realised that I didn’t need somebody to help me that I set out and made the choice to do something about it myself. I did it on my own with nothing but will power and the drive just to make a start. That’s what you need!

Take it from someone who hasn’t just read it from a text book, someone who has actually been where you are now.

All we can do is try and make a start. Believe me on this, I promise you it is very productive and it actually works.

It worked for me and it will work for you because you are the one that is going to make it happen.

Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try”

I am so proud that my drive and mind set has also inspired one of my sisters, Leanne, who has

lost 115 pounds so far and is still fighting, progressing and feeling amazing. When she feels ready she has promised I can post pictures of her progress on my website, so I would welcome you to use this for inspiration too. Similarly, a great guy I know from Workout Gym, Lee Jordan,

is one of the few people who saw me at my heaviest and knew what a dark place I was in mentally at that time. He saw me lose 262 pounds and was inspired by my mind set and the passion to help myself. He tells me he has made the same change in mind set as I did and has lost 100 pounds so far. I now consider Lee a very close and supportive friend and I am so incredibly touched that he was inspired by my own struggle. I recently asked him if it was ok to mention him in this book and he gave me the thumbs up. He messaged me via Facebook and I just had to share his response as it sums up my guide pretty damn well:

share his response as it sums up my guide pretty damn well: And I added it

And I added it to my guide as I mentioned.

That train ride is what I want you to be on after reading this. My story, my emotions and actions are a ride you can follow to reach your destination, to reach your end goal. You can ride right alongside me.

My first ever client, Steve Capes, has lost 47 pounds in 14 weeks. The first time we met we spent over an hour just talking about motivation. I told him about what I went through, how I changed my mind set and what he needs to do to his own mind set, and this was before we

even mentioned nutrition or training. After that important hour I helped him change the way he thinks, and since that day he says he has never looked back or felt so good. I am so very proud of Steve. I saw him just once a week (where he performed circuit training in his parentsfront room). The rest was all down to his dedication and change in mind set. Without that first talk I don’t believe he would have stuck to it. I look at this guide in just the same way: as my motivational talk to each of you, sharing what I did to help encourage you. I want to help you achieve your goals by believing in yourself, trying hard and never giving up.

believing in yourself , trying hard and never giving up. Steve Capes 14 weeks after our

Steve Capes 14 weeks after our chat

A new life is waiting. You just have to go fight for it.

Setting your targets

Ironically, when I started my weight loss the reason I wasn’t bed bound or struggling to walk (well, shuffle) was because I went up and down my stairs up to 24 times every night. I was upstairs in my bedroom all night and the fridge, where I kept my beer and diet pop (to mix with my whisky), was all the way downstairs. So if I wasn’t downing bottles of whisky. I was usually working my way through a crate of beer (24 cans). Getting my enormous weight up and down the stairs was no easy task though (especially when I was drunk) and was very exhausting, not to mention painful. Shamefully though, I wanted that drink enough to do it. And I would go

through this for what, exactly? Just to sit there in pain and feel sorry for myself? Fuck that. Luckily for me I said goodbye to booze and hello to motivation, which suits my style a lot better!

All the shit I ate and drank was gone. As extra motivation I decided to set mini goals between my bigger weight loss goals. I got weighed once a fortnight, so I would try and predict what my weight loss would be. That helped me to fight like hell to get there by the date I wanted to, and seeing each gradual step towards my goal was another boost for my motivation.

step towards my goal was another boost for my motivation. My weight receipts from getting weighed

My weight receipts from getting weighed every 2 weeks.

My heaviest weight of 462 pounds was recorded at the doctors. I lost 43 pounds before I could bring myself to leave the house and get weighed, which is why the first ticket shows my weight after this. Eventually I started using the scales at the gym as I could have it done for free, although in a way I wish I didn’t so that I had a record of all the weight I’ve lost! However I do have a ticket for every fortnight between the weight of 419 and 217 pounds.

An example of one of my mini goals would be aiming to lose weight for my sister’s birthday party. This was going to be my first social outing in eight years. I guessed that at the rate I was going I could drop down to 350 pounds by her party if I kept it up and trained a little harder. So, did I reach that target? Damn right I did! And some! I felt confident and for the first time in over 10 years I actually enjoyed myself.

I made it down to 335 pounds for my sister ’ s birthday party. Did

I made it down to 335 pounds for my sisters birthday party.

Did anybody mock me this time? Nope! All I got was compliments on how well I was doing, and this type of support is worth so much. Never forget the people who praise you along the way, and don’t waste time thinking of those who tried to knock you down. After the party I was straight back to work! This had really helped with my motivation and I was desperate to set my next new mini goal, which was to drop down to 280 pounds by Christmas. And yes, I smashed that one too.

which was to drop down to 280 pounds by Christmas. And yes, I smashed that one

265 pounds reached at Christmas. Yes!

These mini goals really kept my fighting spirit up so that I never slacked. I kept progressing until

I reached my final main goal of dropping down to 200 pounds (which was the right weight for me as I’m not only tall but broad too)

right weight for me as I’m not only tall but broad too ) 200 pounds!! Shamefully

200 pounds!! Shamefully posing in sun shades! I lost 262 pounds, I deserve to!

Try setting mini goals between your main goals, it really does help to motivate you and keep your spirits high. We all need something to fight for!

I not only used my weight as a target, but I also used the cross trainer set up as targets too. The maximum weight limit (of the person using it) was 146kg. When I started, I weighed 210kg! Right, my first mini goal was to get down to the maximum user weight limit. When I got there, 120kg sounded like a good number, so that became my next mini target. And I bloody got

there! Yes! Ok, so my first big target

The day that happened was a good day, one I will never forget. I trained my balls off and went through hell, but I got there, and I was proud.

to

get my weight under three digits (so less than 100kg).

To motivate myself I used to imagine that amazing feeling when your pants keep slipping down and you have to keep pulling them up (awesome sign of progress) That happiness when you lose excess weight and your clothes start to hang off you (which really does feel good) that joy of fitting back into your favourite pair of jeans. Let’s not forget going up that extra notch on your belt, too. What about all those nice clothes you see in the shops, or see other people wearing that you thought would never suit your body shape/size? Well if your pants are slipping down, keep going because soon you will be able to buy the pair and style you always wanted.

Chapter six Challenges you will face (and conquer)

What about putting it back on?

I feel it’s necessary to mention the so called ‘yoyo effect. A lot of people who lose weight end up putting it all back on again, and I’m sure we’ve all known people who have experienced this. Will this happen to you? Well that’s up to you. If you go back to eating junk and lay off your exercise routine then yeah, the weight will come back, but you will be different. You are a new person now. You did this with your determination and strength. You may have lost weight, but your change in mind set will stay with you. Trust me, you are not going to want to put it all back on again and this will help you stick with it!

In most cases though, what I have witnessed of those people who put weight back on is that they were usually on a new marketed diet fad. Some of these diets miss out on the essential nutrients our body needs to maintain good health, and some diets can be downright dangerous. With these types of fad diets your appetite and cravings for food will not only greatly increase, but you will suffer from lack of enthusiasm, have no energy and feel weak. I have heard this from many clients who have tried these kinds of diets. Some have even suffered from serious stomach pains. I suffered none of this on my diet because I was eating real food! I may have been under-eating, but most importantly I kept the weight off as I trained my body. Even more importantly I trained my mind to accept my new lifestyle, and that change in mind set is what will prevent me from ever going back. If you go on a silly marketed ‘new’ diet then as soon as you eat proper food again you can say hello to weight gain.

The same goes for diets that work on the principle of eating well below your BMR but eating any type of food you want (as long as it’s within your target daily calories). Eating 800 calories worth of crisps a day and nothing else may help you lose weight, but everything is going to be in bad condition: your hair, your skin, your enthusiasm, etc. etc. I like to think this is an obvious diet to avoid, but some people will always look for ways to eat what they want and satisfy their cravings. Even if it is only one meal a day! A good example is any diet that uses a points system. A friend of mine who was following this kind of diet told me that she would sometimes use all her day’s points on one meal. This consisted of fish and chips (an undoubtedly good old English classic) and vodka. I’ll say no more…

Eating like this won’t change your mind set and won’t change the way you think about food. There is a high chance that the weight will just pile back on, unless you want to remain in calorie deficit for the rest of your life, always looking at food as points instead of nutrition. I hope not. Not to mention that a diet of fish and chips with vodka isn’t exactly a healthy diet. After I lost my weight I never put any body fat back on, and I believe that this was because I changed the way I thought about food, I learned along the way what works/agrees with my own body and what doesn’t. My new mind set was the foundation, and this is why the diet and exercise really worked.

What about knock-backs?

There were weeks, despite maintaining my diet and training program, that I didn’t lose weight. At the time, this really broke my spirit. It was all I could think about, to the point of making me feel ill. Everything went through my head as to what might be the reason. I panicked and freaked out, but instead of giving up I made myself train a little bit harder, and sure as hell, I had lost double the next time I got weighed. Some weeks it’s just a reality that you may not lose weight. If this happens, then please don’t panic and give up. Please don’t stress about it like I did. It won’t do anything to help you, and I want you to maintain both your enthusiasm and wellbeing! You’re still in control, and you can choose to make it right again. It may be that it’s time to reduce your daily calories slightly if you haven’t reached your minimum yet. Or it could even be that you’re eating too little and your body has gone into starvation mode (and is holding onto your body fat, as I mentioned previously).

Just take it on the chin. It happens! Try increasing your intensity a little, maybe change your exercises around or even have a cheat meal if you haven’t yet. Think of it as a reward for reaching a certain point (this is a good idea to keep you motivated). Not only will it count as a well earned treat, it will boost your metabolism and be a shock to your system as it will be getting used to its low calorie diet of clean food. So think of your cheat meal as a kick up the arse to your metabolism. Then it can take care of the extra junk calories and hopefully keep it going until your next cheat meal.

Also, remember that a stall in your weight loss may happen for many reasons. You may be holding more waste (in other words, you may need a big poo) or even have increased muscle tone because you’re training so hard. Whatever the reason, get back on it and carry on.

At this stage any plateau into my weight loss not only motivated me to try harder (which is the best method) but I must have also tried every so called weight loss aid on the market out of desperation. In the end I ended up putting my own formulas together that I knew worked for me after wasting a fortune on worthless shit.

Also, be aware that distractions come in many forms! It could be your mobile, work, family or just people in general. If you have commitments that stop you from keeping your mind strong, at least stick to your diet and try to put away some time for exercises. Don’t let them stop you mentally. No matter who knocks you down, fight back by sticking to your program and win the battle by achieving your goal. Show them how strong you are! An example for me would be other people mocking me. I let them beat me into being a recluse. Well, I fucking showed them! Excuse the language, but seriously, show those arseholes how strong you are by achieving your goals. As they old saying goes, success is the best form of revenge.

One of my own knock-backs was my problem sister. Sometimes she wouldn’t let me shower after I had exercised, or she would just be out right horrible and try to wear away my confidence (as she had always done). This time round, I fought back by trying harder and sticking to what I set out to do. I was winning! Not by being aggressive in any kind of way, but by sticking to reaching my goal and making progress. For me. It felt awesome.

Remember not to let them win, Get exercising, eat right and smile while you are doing it because you are the one who is truly winning. Take control now.

Hectic Lifestyles and how to keep them balanced

I understand that a lot of you may have children to look after, a home to run, a job to rush about to and other things like bills, periods of illness, etc. Finding time to eat the right foods is difficult, and that’s when simple processed shit (sometimes referred to as ‘food) is cheap, quick and tastes ok. I understand that this is sometimes more convenient for you. However, having to

do all this rushing around can actually make sticking to your diet easier, rather than making you feel you don’t have the time. What do I mean exactly?

Sitting around being bored makes you tempted, and those of us who are more prone to this need to occupy our minds with a distraction. For anyone who is always rushing around with kids and work, you need to plan ahead. Plan as far ahead as you need to. There are lots of different ways of doing so. You can make a whole week’s worth of food then just put it together the night before. Are you busy in the evenings? Then get up in the morning an extra 20 minutes early to prep your meals and take them with you. If even this is a struggle then you can spend one free day cooking large batches and freezing them in portions which you can just defrost the night before and in theory this could last you a good few weeks.

Make your own lunch and take it out with you in a lunch box. If you have your meals ready and with you, why eat something else? The temptation is taken away, plus the thought of having to spend even more money when you have other bills to pay doesn’t really make sense now does it? Plan ahead! No excuses to skip meals either! Get up 15 minutes early if you don’t have time to make breakfast. You will if you want to lose weight, and there is no other way. Planning ahead worked for me. What if you’re too busy to exercise? Well, even 30 minutes a day is enough, alongside your diet, for you to lose weight. Again, plan your routines ahead so you can guarantee a time slot which you can use for exercise. Make sure you do what is convenient for you at the time. If you don’t have time to drive to the gym, do your workout at home! Do step- ups on the bottom step of your stairs for 30 minutes. You will soon feel the good effects of that. Why not complete a circuit at home using body weighted exercises? Just make a start with anything, because that start leads to more progression and motivation. It is possible for people with even most hectic lifestyles to stick to a routine as long as they plan ahead.

After I reached my goal (and after you reach yours)

After you reach your goal and your ideal weight through healthy eating and hard work, you need to set a new goal. This new one will involve making sure you keep at your desired weight. You don’t have to be so hard on yourself with this bit. Nobody likes the thought of being on a diet forever (especially me!) but you have to let your body adapt to the new you. Your weight could easy creep back up as your body is still used to being bigger and wants to go back there, but you are not going to let it! My advice from my experience is to plan. If you want to treat

yourself at the weekend then go ahead (you bloody deserve a treat), but work for it! Keep your diet clean all week and keep up your training.

Trust me, when you have your treat, whether it is a take away, a cheeseburger, cake, ice-cream or even a few beers, it tastes so much better when you have earned it. You seem to enjoy it more and value it more. You don’t want to go to the opposite extreme and gorge either. I enjoy a few beers or a few whiskeys now and then, but that’s it, just a few! I don’t have to get drunk, go to the extreme and suffer the consequences (not only on my weight, but also my hangover). I’m extremely happy enjoying those few drinks, and why not? One or two won’t hurt, as it is with most things in moderation. If it relaxes you and you don’t become dependent on it then go for it. Your wellbeing is important, not just your physical health. If it makes you feel happy then why not? You made this incredible achievement because you wanted to be happier, so don’t be miserable (but please drink responsibly)!

When you are done, go back to eating healthy and look forward to the next treat. Maybe you want a night out with your friends? Or maybe you want to go for a fancy meal with your partner? All this is great as long as you stick to your healthy eating and exercise for the rest of the time. You want to maintain the healthier, fitter (and of course, slimmer) you, but you want to maintain your smile too. You know what works best for you, and this is what you should use to guide you.

You lost weight on your own and don’t want to put it back on. If you are tempted to slip back into old habits, just think of all the hard work you put in. You’re trying to maintain that change in mind set, and I know you will because it never leaves you. It’s never left me!

At a Halloween par ty after losing all my weight (I’ve c learly not had

At a Halloween party after losing all my weight (I’ve clearly not had a single drink here

ok maybe one or two but I earned it) and despite looking drunk, I was drinking responsibly and simply enjoying myself. And after the party I went straight back to training the next week. You

can too.

ahem

This is how I live my life now I’ve lost weight. I earn my treats (usually a few beers with the old man), plus I’m onto my next stage of building muscle. But first, there is another aspect of my weight loss which I know some of you may be wondering about, and for me it was central to me accepting myself and drowning out those negative thoughts in my head. I felt so much more positive, but I was left with something that I didn’t have before. That’s right: excess skin.

Chapter seven So, what next?

Fear of loose skin

If you are concerned about loose skin, please try not to be. After losing so much weight I felt like I had achieved nothing. I still felt ugly. In fact, it got so bad that I tried to take my life for a second time. I hated rubbing moisturizer on my dry and loose skin. I hated the way my body felt. I loathed it so much I wouldn’t even look in the mirror. I avoided sitting down because I could feel my loose skin roll up and thought people could see it. I forgot what my body had felt like before I had gained weight, when I was a healthy size. It was like I now expected my body to be rock solid all the time, and if it felt loose then I couldn’t mentally cope. I forgot what normal felt like. Is it supposed to feel like that? Or is it like that because I lost 262 pounds? All these thoughts were distracting my mind from the main picture and the incredible thing I had achieved.

Nobody else could even tell (or believed) that I had lost 262 pounds. Some people even judged me as a poser as I had the broad chest and vascular arms sticking out of my sleeves. They had no idea how much I was the opposite of this. I wore those clothes to distract attention away from my stomach, not to pose, and this wasn’t how I had wanted to feel after I reached my goal. But that’s the thing, nobody could see it other than me. Nobody else actually cared and to this day, anybody worthwhile won’t even notice. I was torturing myself for what I see now was nothing at all.

It took me a long time to realise that losing the weight, loose skin or not, was far more beneficial to my health and wellbeing than still being that lonely recluse. I was living life again, a life I wanted to live. For me, and for anyone, this is so much more important. As I mentioned at the start of my guide, the people who mocked me about my skin in the press were incredibly cruel. It had hurt so much because it was so personal, just as I started to accept my new body for what it was, my fear of being ridiculed about my skin was now happening. I’m not ashamed to say that a few comments did in fact bring me to tears, but I had come too far now to let them grind me down any more. Yeah I cried, but time for that mind set to kick in. I’m far too strong now to let some small minded people break me.

Nobody has seen these pictures other than the surgeon who performed the operation. The first picture was taken by the surgeon just before cutting away the loose skin around my stomach. The second picture is around 12 weeks after the surgery which I took of myself in the mirror:

after the surgery which I took of myself in the mirror: Excuse the messy bed in

Excuse the messy bed in the second picture! I’ll let you judge how disgusting my saggy skin is now. Regardless of positive or negative views, believe me when I say it looks far better than what it looked like at nearly 500 pounds! If sharing what I find to be the most embarrassing thing about myself will help and motivate you, then I will. That’s the mind set kicking in that I have been talking about throughout. That’s me accepting my body for what it is and finally being damn proud! I was so obsessed with correcting what I did wrong and was so concerned with what people might think that I forgot what I had already achieved. In a way this was actually beneficial to me, as I wanted to continue bettering myself.

I had a fear of putting the weight back on so I kept training hard. In fact the only reason I started to build my muscles was because of my loose skin and my desire to solve this problem is what motivated me to train like an animal. I had the same mind set as when I was losing weight, only this time I was aiming towards muscle building. This is why I can say to you now that in theory, losing weight is easy compared to gaining weight in the form of lean muscle. Bear in mind that when I say easy I mean in theory, not mentally! As you know, that part is tough as hell, but I’m with you on this all the way. I know you can mentally achieve just the same as I did after reading this book.

One thing I have learned from being around great and supportive people is that nobody cares about things like loose skin anyway. You will gain huge respect from your friends. People will

admire you and be begging YOU for your secrets. You will be able to do all the things you dreamed of doing as you now have the extra confidence with your new body. A lot of people worry about things like meeting new friends, and in particular if they want to meet a new potential partner. If you imagine that you were looking for a partner, would you be put off by somebody with loose skin? Exactly. You wouldn’t because the majority of people are not shallow and they would love you for whatever you are (my girlfriend doesn’t even notice my loose skin, but I reckon that must be because of the guns, ha-ha).

So for those who mocked my skin, yeah you broke me

back stronger, so cheers for that

arseholes.

but

only for a few hours. I then came

At one time, after my surgery, my girlfriend needed to go swimming regularly to help heal her ankle which had been crushed in a horse riding accident. She really wanted me there to give her confidence and help walk her to the pool. Other than the surgeon, his assistant and my girlfriend, nobody had ever seen me topless, and despite being scared I wanted to do it for my girlfriend. I wouldn’t have chosen to go of my own accord, but I thought let’s do this, why not face my fear.

The walk from the changing rooms to the swimming pool was utterly terrifying for me. I felt all eyes were on me, god knows what people were thinking. Are they looking at my skin thinking eww? Why are they looking? Stop bloody staring I thought! At the end of the session the female instructor who had been assisting my girlfriend said ‘Mike, you have nothing to worry about your body, trust me’, and even the lifeguards apparently asked who that dude with the big chestwas (this was incredible to hear!). I’d been worried about nothing. Not one mention of loose skin.

Wasn’t so bad after all then eh!

If you don’t have as much weight to lose as I did then this might not be an issue for you anyway. As long as you do something about your weight now, before there is chance for it to get any worse, loose skin and other health problems will be avoided. And take it from me, you will thank yourself. If you think you may end up with loose skin, then so what! The worst can be cut away and in return you have a new life! Well worth it in my opinion.

Moving upwards: my muscle building phase

When people look at the pictures of me that were shared online, a lot of them presumed the muscles were there as I lost the weight. I wish! I had to lose the weight first. Yes, I lifted weights while losing body fat which was beneficial for strengthening my muscles after not using them for so long. It was also an excellent fat burner and contributed towards good health. Ok, that and also that I really wanted big guns!

Because of how I felt about my loose skin, I took the same approach to building muscle as I did to losing weight. I did whatever I could! This is not me recommending you do the same, but if you are interested in what kind of training got me in shape for the more muscular pictures, it’s worth me outlining it as part of my story.

How did I do it? I simply trained my arse off (using my new and improved mind set which had already got me a hell of a long way)! I trained each body part once a week: chest on Mondays, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, shoulders on Thursday, arms on Friday and finally core work and an extra cardio session on Saturday. I performed 4 sets of each exercise for that chosen body part and did 4 different exercises (16 sets in total). My first set was always a warm up. Then I would perform my heaviest set for 10 reps to failure. For the other two sets I would lower the weight so I could perform another 10 reps to failure. I would mix in drop sets, super sets and anything that destroyed me even more. I never walked out of that gym - I always crawled out!

During this phase I focused on eating a very similar diet to what I had during my weight loss, just pumped with a shit load more protein (I consumed around 400g worth a day, 250g coming from protein drinks) I also added in pacific supplements I found where extremely helpful in recovery and helping with those free radicals caused from the stress of training.

I mixed up the training now and then, like doing pyramid sets and even trying one set to failure like professional bodybuilder (and legend) Dorian Yates. As for what I did in my training, it killed me. I was completely exhausted for the rest of the day and I’m not surprised if I was going to failure on every bloody set! Your central nervous system just cannot recover from that type of training easily, but in my mind I was ‘beasting it’. At that point I thought that was the right thing to do, but I was still learning as I went along. To be honest I did love it at the time. I also find I’m more driven now and want to push myself to the extreme. Although that’s what I did training wise, I don’t recommend it. The ‘beasting itattitude and mental approach I took I definitely recommend, though! AKA Beast Mode!

In the middle of Beast Mode! Now I train much better. I mix it up

In the middle of Beast Mode!

Now I train much better. I mix it up regularly and at the most only go to failure on the last set. I get my weights done within 40 minutes, not going to failure on every set, but still in Beast Mode (grrrrrr!). I also consume plenty of amino acids and have lowered my protein to 250g a day (this is mostly derived from proper food but I still have the odd protein shake if time/convenience is an issue). To this day I maintain my fasted cardio in the mornings but cut down to 40 minutes in length. I do this around 3-4 times a week (depending on whether I’ve been out and had some beers/junk food) to help keep lean. I also find it mentally satisfying and actually feel good about doing it. And I always drink plenty of water! I must go to toilet at least 10 times a day. My girlfriend calls me urine boy (she’s just jealous because I look younger than

her

she

will kill me for that!).

You just need to remember, tackle one job at a time! Do some weights at the gym or body weighted exercises at home while losing weight (if not that’s fine too, just keep yourself active) so that once you have lost the weight you can look into further enhancing your body (if that’s what you want to do). You’ll be healthier, your body will be ready for the tougher workouts and most of all you will be confident and roaring to go.

The eyes of a man who changed his mind set and is never giving up!

The eyes of a man who changed his mind set and is never giving up!

But other people can eat what they want!

We all know at least a couple of people like this, and they are what I call lucky bastardswho can eat crap everyday and never put weight on (bastards). However we have to accept that our bodies are different, both hormonally and shape wise, and we can’t live the life they do unless we earn it back with diet and exercise. It’s not all bad though. Remember that all this healthy eating isn’t just for weight control, it benefits your health! It keeps us looking and feeling younger for longer. In time when the ‘lucky bastards’ get older and their metabolism slows down, you will be the healthier, younger looking lucky bastard’!

Occasionally the people around you may encourage you to eat or drink crap (for one reason or another), so don’t be scared to stand your ground. On several occasions I gave in to people like this and it only led me to feel rubbish the next day. Why? Because I want to eat when and what I bloody want, not what you tell me to! Yeah, I’ll enjoy some cheat food and maybe a drink or two…but when I want to, when I feel like I deserve it, not when you tell me to. When you think

about it, they should respect you for staying strong and thinking of your health. If not, then that’s their problem. You don’t care what they eat, so why should they care about what you eat? Is it because they are jealous of your will power? Or are they thinking you are being too hard on yourself? Only you know how hard you are being, so make the right choice for you, the choice that will make you happy rather than pleasing somebody else.

Ask yourself: Are you truly happy being overweight?

Some people say they are happy being overweight. Maybe they are, but that’s usually because they have never experienced what it is like to be at a healthy weight. We need to fight it. Being overweight can cause many health problems including things such as heart disease and diabetes, but it also causes mental health problems that a lot of people do not understand. Usually it’s those who have actually been there who understand the most. These things include depression, alcoholism and drug use, anxiety, being antisocial or socially isolated and low self- esteem. I know this because I have been there and I don’t want you to have to go there too. If you are already there now, then I want to help you get out, right now. Some people begin to lose weight but don’t go all the way because they feel happy at the weight they are. Well thats cool with me, and as long as they are healthy and happy that’s fine. But I think it’s possible that they could be even happier if they went all the way to their ideal weight like I did, and I believe they can feel even better than they did before.

Going all the way and achieving my final goal made me feel even more awesome.

Chapter eight Your new mind set: a solid foundation

Fighting talk! (Warning: explicit language

again!)

I want you to read my story and know exactly what you need to do to enhance your life. First

with your mind set, then your diet and finally exercise. You will be able to put balanced meals together which have low/moderate levels of carbohydrates, are high in protein, good fats and also include plenty of micronutrients. I want you to be able to work out how many calories you need to consume each day and what type of exercise you can do (anything that will raise your heartrate). You will be able to set up your own food and exercise plan, adjust calories when you need to and progress within your training regime.

Through the duration of my weight loss, I actually hated myself and all I wanted was to put myself right again. That’s how I kept going. I was desperate to fix myself, to make myself happy again. I realised that I had to be strong and work hard to get where I wanted. Diet and training is the simple part, the mental challenges along the way are the real fight.

I fuelled my motivation by imagining I was fighting back against anyone who had verbally

attacked me because of how I looked. I fought against all those strangers who had judged me and made me feel worthless, my doctor whose only solution was to offer me antidepressants. But most of all, I fought myself and my own negative thoughts. I realised that despite others making me resort to locking myself away, ultimately it was me that did this and I’m the only one who could fix it. I had to accept that because it was true, and accepting it is what set me free from all these things, both physical and mental.

Don’t let negative people or use things around us as an excuse to resort to self punishment. Instead use it to fuel and fight back to do something proactive and positive for your health, well-being and Future.

You need to fight for a reason, whether it is to make yourself happy or for the ones you love.

Look where I came from: I was a recluse who was scared to leave my home, I was scared to show my face to anybody and ashamed about who I was. No matter how bad you think your situation is, remember my journey and see that it is possible. No matter how big the odds that are stacked against you, you can and will fix this. The pair of balls I had to grow just to go back out in public, go on a night out for the first time since that not so nice girl (that’s my attempt at being professional) made those comments about me. I did all this on my own, and now I can walk into a bar and feel confident because I did something and made the effort to turn my life around. Going into a bar on my own was really hard at first, but wow, what a feeling when you do!

It all comes back to mind set - going out there and doing it.

Will power is up to you. I cannot give you will power, and I can’t share mine. You need your own. If you don’t believe you have enough then you’d better start believing because you have more than you think. We are all capable if we try. I didn’t think I had any, and look what I did once I believed. You are going to need it if you want to reach your goals. A diet fad won’t help you in the long run and same goes for stomach reducing surgery. Only YOU can help yourself.

Do not take a step back towards being negative. Do not tell yourself ‘well Mike Waudby had will power, I don’t have any’. Yes you fucking do! I had will power when I decided to challenge my own mental demons, alcohol and food all on the same day! I thought that my life wasn’t even worth living, and I truly felt that. If I can believe and make the start, achieve my goal and turn my life around using nothing but will power and hard work, this is proof to everyone that it is possible. You can achieve the same too, and I believe that this applies to absolutely everyone. The first 4-6 weeks are going to be the hardest; our body is used to what we have been feeding it and more than likely will be craving sugar and other foods which you won’t be eating on your new diet. This is your first and most important test. If you give up here and say you can’t, then you won’t achieve anything.

Get past the first 6 weeks, stay true and honest to yourself and your progress will reward you with self satisfaction, accomplishment and a sense of wellbeing. You will have earned this and fully deserve it.

Your achievements will elevate your mood and push you to achieve more. They will help you fight the feelings of giving in, feeling scared or any other negative thoughts because you are going to make it. You will finish what you started. You have got past the first hurdle, that

feeling of knowing you’re on the right path, the path towards your goal is awesome. You are now going to cruise and adapt to your new lifestyle improving your health and wellbeing.

If you don’t like the way I did it and you think you know a better way, by all means do so, because it’s all about what is best for you. I’m sharing what I did and what actually worked for me. I lost 262 pounds in 18 months, so I want to use my story to inspire you so you can go out and create your own success story. Follow my mind set.

Your fight is a mental one. Win this and win the whole battle.

Remember that nobody is handed down success and you can’t buy it. You have to earn it like every other successful person. Whether it is losing weight, starting a business or even winning a boxing title, all these accomplishments are earned through hard work and believing that you have the ability to succeed. Your weight loss will be your success and you are going to fight for it.

As I write this guide I’m constantly thinking back to how I felt so I can describe my experiences as honestly as possible. As I’m writing this book, I’m back in the bedroom I spent all those years locked away in. I lie on the same bed, I sit in front of the same computer and imagine I’m back where I was four years ago when I weighed over 260 pounds more. As I type this, that same room is now clean, fresh and bright. Back then it was very different, and I imagine what it was like waking up in my bed all that time ago

There were empty whisky bottles around my bed and the smell of stale beer in the air. My immense weight would make my fingers and toes hurt constantly and any pressure on my body caused shooting pains and pins and needles. Breathing was a chore, I had pains in my sides and agonisingly sore patches between my legs. There were shouts and loud bangs coming from elsewhere in the house. This physical pain was bad, but the worst pain was in my head. I didn’t want to get out of that bed. I couldn’t live another day like that. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do, but I desperately wanted it to go away. I wished I was dead, but looking back, that would have been giving up easily.

Today is a very different experience for me. I want to get out of bed and want to do something productive. I want to better myself and I want to help others. I want to have fun and do things outside. I am committed to having a successful career.

I can do this now because I made the choice to DO something. That’s all we can do and that’s all we need to do. Making that effort to do something made me happy again.

I remember all those mornings waking up before everyone else to go on the cross trainer. I remember lifting my old weights, the surroundings in the small room, the routines I followed. I can even remember the endless thoughts running through my head along with endlessly pushing myself to the limit to get to where I wanted to be. And it got me there.

Do I still have problems? Of course, life isn’t plain sailing and hurdles will always pop up in some shape or form. Some mornings I think about my new problems and issues, and yes some of them even relate to the weight I lost. I have at least four nightmares a week, in my nightmares I wake up with a huge stomach again. It’s horrible. Sometimes I get scared and I feel negative, but then I remember what I did. I remember my story and how far I’ve come from that old bedroom. No matter how shit and tired I felt, I got out of bed and did something about it. Excuse my crudeness, but I genuinely thought fuck this, fuck the issues and fuck anyone who tries to hold me back. And you know what? Fuck myself too for being a coward. I'm not laying here anymore wasting my life.

a coward. I'm not laying here anymore wasting my life. A hole in my bedroom wall

A hole in my bedroom wall I made with my fist. I was told to give up trying by doctors. I was told I cannot correct what I did to myself. Well fuck you, I refuse to accept that. I’ll fight till the end.

This isn’t a bullshit weight loss story promoting a stupid new diet fad. Its personal, it is real and I went through my own fucking hell to get here. I’m writing this to help you, to contribute towards tackling obesity and not only make lives better, but to save them too. That change in my mind set I had 4 years ago is still with me now and I’ll never stop. I’ll never give up fighting because that’s the way I like it. I’m always striving to improve my wellbeing and health. My achievements made me like this and I love it.

No magic pills, no surgery. Get real and do this yourself because it’s not only the best and most productive way, its the only way!

I got out of bed and I tried. I fought back. That's what I did.

And look where it got me.

back. That's what I did. And look where it got me . Fighting back and never

Fighting back and never giving up.

Gain enough confidence to head down to a gym, or the sweat shop as I like to call it. If you’re not sweating then you’re either playing on your phone, talking or just being plain lazy.

If so, get outta my way! I’m here to sweat! Be confident, you’re there for a reason, you’re there to achieve. Sweat your ass off and bloody achieve it.

Works surprisingly well

and did for me!

Conclusion

I don’t have a ghost writer or anyone saying ‘ooh you can’t use the word fuck, it’s not

professional’. I am the person who lost 262 pounds all on his own with no help or guidance and

I wanted to tell this story in my own words, and why is that so important to me? Because it was my own experience, and I want to tell it to you in the same way that I would tell someone who was right there in front of me. The way I would have wanted to hear it: genuine and honest from somebody with experience that was in the same position who can relate and emphasize with a real passion and certainly no phoney bullshit.

I hope that by sharing my experiences, my honesty, my fears, my embarrassments and everything I have learned and achieved I can inspire you to achieve your own goals in life. No matter how big or small your goals are you are now ready to make the change and fight for what you want.

Losing weight is not just about appearance, it is about health and wellbeing. Giving you the mental enthusiasm you need to enjoy your life to the maximum.

Consistency is the key, keep at it no matter what, like I did, and you will see the results, just like

I did.

The passion I had, that fuck everything, do this for me and the ones I loveattitude is what I needed to keep on battling the fight inside my head. That fight to reach my goal and that same

attitude is what I now use to keep the weight off.

I’m not writing this on a professional level, it is on a personal level. Now look down and say ‘fuck you fat, I’m gonna kick your ass’! This is how you’re going to roll from now on.

Nobody is perfect, but what we can be is the best version of ourselves. We are unique, original and there is nobody else out there the same as us. Be proud of what you have, don’t worry about being rich, popular, being better than somebody. Be real, be honest, and be your unique happy self. The best version you can be. Start feeling proud right now.

Not everyone you meet will understand what you have gone through, but so what? After all the support I have had on Facebook from people all over the world, for every one negative there have been a thousand positive. I have met great new friends from sharing my story. When I read a message from a person saying I have inspired them, that overwhelming feeling, which is difficult to explain, is incredible. It changed my view and made me feel not only proud, but to

know that I have inspired somebody my heart all worth it.

just,

wow. It makes sharing my experience, my fears and

No matter how bad your life was or how ashamed you were, what matters is what you did to improve your life and where you are going to go with it.

to improve your life and where you are going to go with it. A screen shot

A screen shot of a recent message on Facebook. It really did make my day.

Be successful, inspire others with your own achievements, share and use your own struggle to help others. The feeling is overwhelming and amazing. I just wish I was able to do some justice to describing it! People will return the favour. I know this because I have experienced it from others, and this restored my faith in society. This is why I know I will always remain the same genuine person that I always was.

Not sure who said this but I now understand deeply what it means:

To be inspired is great, but to inspire is an honour.

Losing weight and feeling more confident within your body and mind will change your life. Look how it changed mine. It made me incredibly happy again

The story of my life so far (in pictures)

The story of my life so far (in pictures) Starting school as a young lad, I

Starting school as a young lad, I had my picture taken just after I won an award for ‘most polite boy in school(I know what you’re thinking – where did it all go wrong? Ha-ha). The second picture is me at 12 years of age when I started Ju-Jitsu (I had been inspired by watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies). Wang Tang Ju-Jitsu taught me a lot and my sensei in life will always be Soke George T Ross. Finally, in the third picture (taken by my first ever girlfriend and one of only three in my whole life) I was just 16 years of age, posing in my pants sporting a naff haircut. Oh dear!

Unfortunately personal problems took their toll on me and I started drinking

problems took their toll on me and I started drinking The first picture is actually at

The first picture is actually at a friend’s house before going to the pub. This was the night I was asked to leave by that girl who said I made her feel sick. That was also the last night I

went out. Seven years passed as a recluse living in fear of what people thought of me and my weight gradually went up to 462 pounds. In the next 2 pictures I weighed a whopping 33 stone. In the picture where I’m sat down I was drunk, and as for the photo where I’m standing, they are the eyes of a man who had given up and wanted to end it all.

But something happened, I decided to fight back!

end it all. But something happened, I decided to fight back! The first picture was taken

The first picture was taken after losing 70 pounds. I weighed 392 pounds (28 stone) here. Determined as ever, I carried on and by picture 2 I weighed in at 335 pounds (24 stone). From this point on I was driven to succeed and went down to 265 pounds (19 stone). I was feeling awesome, why stop here? I just kept going

I was feeling awesome, why stop here? I just kept going In this picture I’m down

In this picture I’m down to 238 pounds (17 stone) and in the next, well as you know, I made it! 200 pounds, wahoo! But under that t-shirt I had my loose skin and it ruined me as I

previously mentioned. So I tried to do something about it and started muscle building to try and fill out the skin. This is where my muscle building journey began…

the skin. This is where my muscle building journey began… Starting to take shape now, my

Starting to take shape now, my diet is still clean, I perform fasted cardio but I’m now hammering the weights like a beast and using supplements wisely. My back is starting to take shape (making one of my many protein shakes in picture two) and in picture three you can see my chest is shaping up too. Still hating my loose skin, I continue with my progress in attempt to correct what I put wrong

with my progress in attempt to correct what I put wrong Around one year into my

Around one year into my muscle building phase, my body is really taking shape now. My steady gains have come to a halt and I made the tough decision to risk putting on a small amount of body fat (this thought was just insane to me). I could then go on a lean bulk to add

some more mass to my frame. Despite being scared and terrified of putting fat back on, I upped my calories with more carbohydrates (only slightly) and carried on training like a beast. I’m still not finished yet!

on training like a beast. I’m still not finished yet! This is me pumping iron at

This is me pumping iron at Workout Gym in Hull and as you can see I have gained a little thickness and looking pretty damn pumped!

Am I finished now? Hell no! I don’t want to be body builder huge but my drive to correct my body is still there despite accepting my skin I just cannot help myself. My passion is too strong.

Something you don’t see much is progressive pictures from behind. Well guess what, I just found mine and will share them with you. The last picture I took was for the rear cover of this book and inspired me to find the back pictures as to be honest, I never really took notice of myself from the rear view so this was a bit of a shock to me too! The last picture especially.

never really took notice of myself from the rear view so this was a bit of

To this day I’m busting my balls at the gym, maintaining my health, looking the part I preach and you know what? I love it! Time at the gym is my time. It’s a place where I can forget about everything else and just train my ass off because it makes me feel good. I call it my sweat shop!

It all came from my change in mind set. That’s how powerful that change can be. Whether it’s appearance, confidence or a new career…just fucking get out there and try. Never stop believing and never give up. That’s my secret. That’s how Mike Waudby lost 262 pounds.

. That’s my secret. That’s how Mike Waudby lost 262 pounds. Picture taken on April 15

Picture taken on April 15 th 2014 at Bodyworld Gym

Thank you

Thank you for buying my book about my personal story. I’m taking my own advice and using it to start a proper career which is now my company The Weight Loss Warriors. I’m no expert at the moment, but I’m trying to increase my knowledge and I have learnt so much from my own experience. All I am sure of is that I never want to give up. I have so much more to tell you about my personal life and mental struggles and am passionate about helping others by sharing, so I’m planning to work on my autobiography soon. Then I will be able to talk more about my life and my experience, rather than just explain what I did and how. Once again, apologies for the odd swear word (odd? ok a lot then! my mum will kill me) It’s just my passion and enthusiasm to help you in my way without holding back.

Despite the ups and downs, I want to thank my family, girlfriend and the people closest to me. You know who you are.

I would like to thank all the new friends I have made, especially those at the gym and my new

friends from all over the world who contacted me through Facebook. I also want to thank Mark Selvarajah for designing my personal logo and for his help during the design process. He’s an amazing guy currently fighting his own weight loss battle. Also Kenny Crow for formatting my book ready for Ebook conversion and Lewis Francis for designing my front cover. Amazing job!

Mike Pratt I look at Mike as my mentor and someone I have the highest amount of respect and admiration. I would like to thank him for the knowledge, experience and support he has given me after losing my weight which has made a huge impact on my self confidence and belief in myself and help me realise that what I have achieved on my own is amazing and see the potential I have to achieve more in other aspects of my life. Mike Pratt’s achievements over two decades in health and fitness speak for themselves, covering areas such as weight loss, muscle gain, sports performance and general health and wellness, along with working and advising some of the world’s top sport stars.

I am so pleased and excited to announce that Mike and I have launched an online members only community called The Weight Loss Warriors.

The no nonsense WLW community forum will be updated with exclusive, unique and extremely powerful content from The Weight loss Warrior Mike Waudby and world renowned coach and WLW guru Mike Pratt who both share incredible experiences from both ends of the spectrum with a shared passion to not only deliver our hearts, passion and experience but provide the

world with real, no nonsense advice and truths about training, nutrition, supplements and all the social stigmas associated with weight gain/weight loss so we have the ability to guide you on not just losing weight, but transforming your lives.

As well as having access to our unique content, you have access to other warriors from around the world who share the same goals, the same fears and all with their own unique stories to share that makes the weight loss warrior forum a place to communicate and share views on not only our content and my journey but your own to making new friends, special bonds and feeling a part of a true family, and a place that will always be there for you when you need it most. A place I wish I had when I started hence we feel so honoured to offer this place for you.

Finally, I want to dedicate this book, with a huge thank you, to my father, the old man. As you read in my article, I started speaking with him again when I started to lose weight and he has now become my best friend. I couldn’t be more proud to call him that. He helped me pay for my personal trainer course and at the time of writing this, I’m currently using his little car to go to work in as I can’t afford petrol in my own car. Every time I go and have a drink with the old man, he always buys the beers.

Contemplating my new dream on how to further help others and pursue my new career.

Contemplating my new dream on how to further help others and pursue my new career.

Please do it. Lets fight obesity, save lives and stand proud and tall. I want to see thousands of people who have reached their goals: happy, healthy and driven because they tried and believed in themselves.

You believe, you change your mindset, you try no matter what, and you succeed. The end result is the best and happy version of yourself! So why not become a Weight Loss Warrior?!

I wish you the very best in health and happiness.

Mike Waudby

Oh, and the day I can take my father to the pub and buy his beers happier.

that

will make me even

My final word

You made an incredible achievement to make a start.

Now fucking finish it!

Unfinished business, I will finish it! Please note, I have shared with you what worked

Unfinished business, I will finish it!

Please note, I have shared with you what worked for me but we are all different. I will not be held responsible for any health problems or injuries caused by others following what I did and what I ate.

Thank you again for reading my book I hope you have enjoyed reading it and found it helpful. If you would like to find out more and are seeking help in your weight loss journey you can become a weight loss warrior just like me by subscribing to the Weight Loss Warrior community at

www.theweightlosswarriors.co.uk