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  • Writer's pictureJames Martin

It's time to lose the weight...

After much deliberation and many failed attempts of weight loss, I have decided that I will blog my attempt at losing the desired weight. Hopefully, this will keep me focused on my goal.

Over the past 10 years I have struggled with my weight, often in denial I have told myself that I can easily lose it if I try or the classic "I have a big frame from all the sport I have played" and the other "I exercise a lot so I can eat what I want". This last one may have been true when I was still playing rugby twice a week and regularly going to the gym. However, like many people, when I started working full time I struggled with my work-life balance (I will go into more depth here in a later post). I neglected the amount of exercise I needed to do to stay in shape as well as not eating correctly lead me to jump from 96kg (15.1 St) to a giant 108 kg (17 St). To put that into perspective I am 183cm (6 ft) tall and so my BMI went from 28.6 (overweight) to 32.2 (obese).

This is where my denial first started. I was already classed as "overweight" according to the BMI, but I would tell myself "this was fine because the BMI was just a guide" or "the BMI doesn't account for muscle, think of those body builders and pro-rugby players". I was neither a body builder or a pro rugby player (as much as I wished) and so this justification was pretty ridiculous. Its only now that I have decided I was lying to myself all these years, and with that I am taking action!

So what I have tried so far...

Meal prep - this does work, but is time consuming and takes an iron will to stick to.

Slimming world - I tried using the online membership, but I just couldn't get myself to regularly update the app, and I found the concept of eating as much "free food" mind blowing. I know many people who have had great success with slimming world and it has really worked well for them. I however, could not get it to work for me.

Calorie counting - I like calorie counting. I find it satisfying seeing the numbers add up and then when you stay under you calorie goals is a great feeling. Although satisfying, counting calories is time consuming and it is essential you record literally everything you consume, from that chocolate sweet in the tea room at work right through to every beer you consume at the weekend (this can be very depressing...)

Huel - Ok, so using Huel I found revolutionary. I was able to have it for breakfast at around 8 o'clock at work and This kept me full until about half 12 in time for lunch. I initially started off using Huel as a total meal replacement during work, so I would eat (drink it?) for lunch as well. I have never tried a liquid diet before and I found myself really determined to follow it through but I found myself seriously missing that good old "mouth feel" of food. My foray into Huel was short lived anyway. We recently started an ear wax removal service at work and the contents of the microsuction container looked pretty similar to my Huel shaker. As you can imagine I quickly stopped the Huel.

When it comes to exercise I am always willing to try new things. I started skipping in lockdown and to my surprise absolutely fell in love with it. It is a serious cardio workout! My partner took a ridiculously embarrassing video of me that I'm sure I will share one day.

Ok so all these things sound great! But why haven't I lost any weight? Why has it increased? Sadly, there is an easy answer but it has difficult connotations. I'm weak willed. All of the things I have mentioned above I have tried for a few weeks on and off and then given up, not because I've made an active decision to stop doing them (with the exception of the Huel) but because they just fall off my list of priorities and I get focused on something else. I need to ask myself why have I lost focus? Why do I not see losing weight as a priority? After some serious reflection I have come to the conclusion that I need something to work for, a goal to achieve. A Deadline. I am getting married in late November and I jokingly said to my fiancée that I would have a six pack when we say our I do's. Now, that may seem pretty far fetched to go from having a BMI over 32 and being classified as obese to losing enough weight that I would be able to have a six-pack but that's a goal with a pretty solid deadline.

NHS Weight Loss App

In order to take on this challenge, I am going to use the new NHS 12 week weight loss app. It is completely free to use and provides a huge variety of healthy guidance, has links to some great recipes as well as having an inbuilt calorie counter.

My current weight is 106.5kg with a current BMI of 31.8. The app says that on average you can look to lose 5% of your current weight during this 12 week plan - this would be 5.3 kg and leave standing at 101.2 kg and a BMI of 30.1. This is still classed as obese, my aim is to lose 12.5% which would take me to 93.2 Kg. This is a serious challenge and I will need to master my diet, as well as increase the amount of exercise I am currently doing. I will complete a greater in-depth review of the NHS weight loss app in a few months time once I have really gotten into the swing of things.


Due to my ingrained denial about BMI not being a good indicator of health, and the "muscle weights more than fat" saying I will also use digital scales to tell me statistics. I will be using Renpho digital scales which I have been using now for the last 4 years. They seem relatively accurate, and correlate with biometric scales found in gyms. The Renpho app gives a really handy oversight that can be used in conjunction with the NHS app. In the coming weeks I will give detailed review of all the Renpho features. From previous experience it really is a great inexpensive way to track your weight loss (or gain).

The Conqueror Virtual Challenges

Finally in order to keep my eye on the prize when it comes to exercise, I have also enrolled in the conqueror virtual challenges. If you haven't seen already, there is a whole range of different virtual races that you can compete in, from crossing the English Channel (21 miles), following the Inca trail (26.2 miles) or traversing Hadrian's Wall (90 miles). There are some seriously long challenges on their as well such as 828 miles of Iceland's ring roads, and the mega Pacific Crest Trail (2485 miles) and many more. So far this weekend I have managed to complete 6 miles of the Marathon to Athens.

When signing up to the challenge you decide on the time frame you would like to complete it in, from 1 day all the way to 18 months. Once finished they will send you out a medal which look absolutely amazing. I have decided I would like to complete the Marathon to Athens in 4 weeks. That's roughly 6.5 miles a week, and very achievable providing I stick to my regular exercising routine.

I'm starting small, my goal is to complete the Marathon to Athens challenge and then set a new one and keep building from there. Hopefully come 27th of November I will be pleased with my results (and so will my partner!)

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