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Nov 15th '16, 11:57 AM  
Neil H
Socially Shy
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 3

Hi Everyone

I wanted to introduce myself first of all.

I'm Neil. I live in the West Midlands, UK. Since 2006 I've been on a health and fitness journey. Many ups and downs in that time. Admittedly since 2009 I haven't done much as I my now wife and I decided to move in together and my health and fitness became less of a priority.

During 2007 I purchased Paul McKenna's book, 'I Can Make You Thin'. I had some amazing but, unfortunately temporary results on this. The concept was brilliant, eat until you're full. Made perfect sense to me and it worked for a few months. I lost 1 stone, went down to 69kg and then hit a wall. Now matter what I did I couldn't get past 69kg. Hats off to Paul McKenna though, it got me quite far and changed my attitude to food and how we should eat.

As I mentioned earlier, since 2009 it's been a steady time for me. I've weighed anything between 78kg and 80kg (BMI 24-25), so the top end of healthy for my height and age. I've been concentrating on running my house and helping run the family business. My father who owns the business had a stroke in early 2014 so I've been running the business since then, although my father has been very lucky and had a great recovery, he is now back to work.

Now, it wasn't until this year I thought enough was enough. My wife and I went away to Majorca in April and indulged quite a bit. The day after we got back I weighed myself and to my frustration my BMI went to 25.2. This was the first time I had been in the overweight category in my life. That was it, I needed to find a way to not only lose weight but, more importantly, keep the weight off. I did my own research and developed everything I've learnt since 2006 into making calorie counting more effective.

On the 18th April 2016 I was 81.7kg, 24% body fat, 25.2 BMI. On the 19th September 2016 I got down to 66.5kg, 8% body fat, 20.5 BMI. Bare in mind, my wife and I went on a 2 week holiday to Vegas and LA in early August. We ate out every night and I only put on 600 grams during our time away. By the 2nd day after returning home I was already below the weight I was immediately before going away.

As I do all the cooking in our house my wife wanted to join me on this journey. In the same time period, she has gone from size 10 to size 6 and lost 2 stone. She is creeping up a little now as we are now expecting our first child, due next year so exciting times ahead.

Now as of this morning, my weight is 69kg, 10% fat and 21.3 BMI. You'll notice my weight has increased but, this is because I'm weight training 3 times per week. I have upped my calories and increasing the weights I lift on a regular basis. My bench press has increased by 10kg in one month. Currently benching 60kg (3 sets of 10 reps) which doesn't seem much, but when you factor in that I weight 69kg, I'm close to bench pressing my own body weight.

Earlier I mentioned I've been trying health and fitness on and off since 2006. This is because I went to the cinema that year to watch Casino Royale. Daniel Craig was and still is my inspiration. He looked phenomenal in this movie. He worked so hard to get into the correct shape for that role and did an amazing job.

My weight loss journey this year has been life changing. So much so, that I have learned how to make food and drink work for me. I have used food to lose weight and I am now using it to put weight on in the form of lean muscle. The best of this is, I haven't had to eat salads every day, or ignore alcohol. I've done this in a way that I can still enjoy the food and drinks that I love. We all have one life and we should enjoy it as much as possible.

The other amazing thing my wife and I have noticed with our transformations is the confidence it gives you. The weight loss is a bonus. The confidence is the best thing you can get from this. The mental health boost you achieve is outstanding. I've never had so many compliments from people about my shape and size ever. For the first time in my life I enjoy clothes shopping, much to my wife's delight. I've gone from medium shirts to extra small and as I mentioned earlier I'm lifting heavy weights for my size so I'm not thin and lanky, I've become lean and muscular. I feel great.

I have helped a couple of family friends lose weight in the same way I have. I have tried to help others but one thing I have discovered is that, unless someone wants to be helped you can't help them. Either that or they prefer the diet plan or slimming club they're using and dismiss any ideas I have straight away. I have noticed people can be a little to proud to accept help from someone, especially if they're a close friend or relative.

I'm eager to help others who want to be helped which is why I'm taking my wisdom to the internet. Please get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.

I hope you've enjoyed my story and if you have any comments I'd love to hear them.

Nov 15th '16, 13:36 PM  
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Manchester
Posts: 3,865

Hi Neil
Welcome to Social Slimmers

Well done your weight loss and maintain your losses!
Nov 15th '16, 13:44 PM  
Neil H
Socially Shy
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 3

Thanks Sarah. Much appreciated.
Nov 15th '16, 17:36 PM  
SoSlim Rising Star
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Sudbury, Suffolk
Posts: 778

Hi Neil, welcome to the forum and well done on your journey!

So... what are your secrets?
Nov 15th '16, 20:42 PM  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 7,876

Hi Neil and welcome to Social Slimmers

Well done on your weight loss!
Nov 16th '16, 15:40 PM  
Neil H
Socially Shy
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 3

Thank you ladies. Really appreciate the feedback.

Regarding my secrets. I went down the counting calories route as I wanted full control over what I choose to eat. A couple of family members rely on slimming world but they themselves complain about the restrictions on what they can and can't eat.

I began with finding as much about me as possible. I bought a set of scales which gave me my weight, body fat %, internal fat and BMI. I then looked into the calories I need on a daily basis. My job is fairly office based so I don't do much physical movement Mon-Fri unless I exercise. I then calculated my BMR and it came out roughly 1700 calories per day. My BMR was the key to my success. I had done calories counting before but not truly knowing what I needed to survive each day. This BMR result changed everything for me.

From here I set my self a calorie intake limit of 1200 calories a day, knowing fully well that I would be in a deficit of at least 500 calories. As there are approx. 3500 calories in 1lb of fat I figured I could lose 1lb of body fat each week.

Don't get me wrong, the first 2 days were strange. I felt a little hungry before going to bed, but after that I suppose my body got used to making up the 500 calorie deficit by taking from my fat stores.

I weigh myself everyday. I know a lot of people think this is huge no no but, if I can see good results on a daily basis it is only going to spur me on, and it did.

Roughly 2 years a go I got down to 17% body fat. I had to exercise like crazy to do this. However, this year, counting my calories and consuming well below my BMR, I smashed this easily. The best of it was, I hardly had to exercise. In fact exercise became a means to become stronger and fitter rather than thinner.

I stuck to real foods as much as I could. By 'real' foods I mean chicken and turkey breast, cod loin, peas and carrots, sweet potato wedges, wholemeal bread and pasta. I found these foods kept me fuller for longer. However, at the weekend I would enjoy a glass or 2 of whiskey at approx. 250 calories per glass. My wife and I love Dominos pizzas, so before ordering I would check the calories of the various choices using the internet. It's a great way of eating what you want. If we were planning to eat out I'd use my free weights for an hour earlier that day and burn a few calories. This would give me a bit of freedom to choose something tasty from the menu. Going back to using free weights, nothing got my heart racing more than dumbbell squats, my good god they're hard to do and you burn loads of calories doing them.

I suppose I looked at this as a game of maths. Calories in vs Calories out. As long as those calories in aren't as much out then you're laughing. When it came to buying the weekly big shop, I looked for lower calorie alternatives to what I already enjoy. This was a big thing. So, instead of pork sausages at 180 calories each, I found chicken sausages at 80 calories each. Less calories and more nutrition. Low calorie pasta sauce instead of regular. Low calorie butter etc... Eating the lower calorie alternatives gave me even more of a calorie deficit. I discovered that there is usually a lower calorie alternative to what you enjoy.

I stayed well away from processed and ready made meals. They're just empty calories and very little nutrition. They won't keep your hunger satisfied for very long.

If you have any other questions please ask. I've tried to cover as much as possible. Hope you enjoy reading.

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