As I stood in Mum’s living room, she looked me up and down, and I knew what was coming. ‘Please consider doing something about your weight, David,’ she said. ‘Don’t let your health suffer.’ It wasn’t the first time Mum had shared her concerns with me. I’d started getting bigger following an injury in my teens. Now in my early 30s, weighing over 26st, my life felt like it was spiralling out of control. I took medication for depression, and while I ate to make myself feel better, it just brought me down even further. I’d joined Slimming World when I was 20 and lost 2st, but I’d only gone to stop people badgering me about my weight and I soon lost motivation.
Then in 2015, Mum, who had type 2 diabetes, was diagnosed with kidney failure.
I was terrified I might lose her – and scared about what might be in store for me in the future.
Long hours running my wedding catering business left me with throbbing feet, sore knees and aching legs every night. What if my health got worse? So, when I decided to rejoin group in 2016, the big difference was that it was for my own reasons.
For an hour every Thursday, I’d turn off my phone and plan my week’s meals. I’d use my Syns for things like adding cashew nuts to a stir-fry, and I found the weight came off slowly and steadily. In time, Mum was able to come home from hospital. Looking at me again, she said: ‘I can’t believe you’ve stuck with it, David. You need to keep it off now.’ Typical Mum, but I was determined to show her!
My 2019 New Year’s resolution was to walk four miles every morning for a year – I was soon wishing I’d said for a month! I stuck with it, though, and as it started to get easier, I noticed my mind was feeling lighter, too. I joined a friend’s walking group, and by May I’d climbed Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons. Then, in October, two months after hitting my first weight loss target of 10st, I set off for Ben Nevis with a group of friends. It was a lovely day when we started our climb – then part way up it started to snow! Gradually the sky cleared and as I stood on the summit, I felt incredible.
Walking has become part of my life and now it’s helped my overall health
Today, I’m no longer on medication for depression and, having lost another 2st, I’m so much more confident. Now, I’ve set my sights on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro when things get back to normal. Life just keeps on moving up!
*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.