Scott's lost an incredible 16st!
Scott, Lost 16st 12lb*
*People following the WW programme can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week.
"I didn't know what life could be like at a healthy weight!"
New York, New York…
It was a trip of a lifetime to New York that where the problems started when it came to booking my plane ticket. I knew there was no way my 62-inch waist would fit in a regular-size seat, and especially not for an uncomfortable eight-hour flight. So I had to fork out for the cost of two seats, just so I could fit on the plane.
Once I arrived in Manhattan, it was a struggle to walk around the places I’d been longing to see. Walking was difficult for me at the best of times, but in the 30-degree heat, it was almost impossible. I only took two photos of myself on that holiday – both selfies reveal just my head; I cropped out my body completely.
New York was as amazing as I’d hoped, but visiting that city was the tipping point. I knew I had to make a brand new start of it…
I come from an overweight family and had been big all my life. It was just me, my mum and sister at home. Meals were whatever was quick and easy to put on a plate. Often we ate fried food while sitting in front of the television. My expanding size meant I struggled to take part in sport at school, and by the time I was 14, I weighed 22st. Things didn’t improve when I left home, as by then my unhealthy habits had become ingrained. I lived on instant noodles and takeaways while studying chemistry at university, washed down with pints of cider in the students’ union bar. Of course, my weight just kept increasing.
By the time I joined WW in the summer of 2016, just before that trip to NYC, my health was suffering. I had high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnoea
– a condition related to being overweight, where the walls of the throat become narrow during sleep, restricting breathing; most sufferers need to wear a special mask in bed at night. It was embarrassing.
I was a lad in my 20s, but my health problems made me feel like an old man! Every time I went to the doctor with a new problem, it always linked back to my weight. I’d dabbled with diets, but I could never stick to them, and when you’re morbidly obese, it feels like too much of a mountain to climb. You end up thinking, ‘What’s the point?’ I’d been that size for so long, I didn’t know what life could be like if I was a healthy weight. The thought of losing that comfort blanket of fat actually terrifi ed me.
I’d never been a member of WW so, prompted by my upcoming trip to the US, I decided to give it a go. Looking at the number on the scales at my first Workshop,
I choked back tears. But my WW Coach was really encouraging and I left feeling determined to see that number go down so I could live a healthier, happier life.
I found the programme easy to follow – especially using the WW app – and in the first week I lost 11lb.
At first my SmartPoints Budget was so generous that I struggled to use it all. I threw myself into the programme and began eating lots of interesting salads, and making Mexican-inspired dishes like fajita bowls. I also swapped my usual packed lunch of white-bread ham sandwiches with crisps and a chocolate bar for homemade soups, salad pittas or a WW wrap filled with grilled chicken.
I realised the best way for me was to plan one big shop once a week, and stock up on a range of ZeroPoint™ foods like fruit, vegetables and chicken breast. Then I’d have ingredients on hand to make things like chicken and vegetables with couscous.
My mum, Amanda, was really supportive of my efforts to lose weight, and amazed to see the transformation in me week after week. She told me she was so proud to see me becoming more confident. And it was true – I started to feel a mental, as well as a physical weight lifting off my shoulders.
I cooked WW meals when Mum visited, and encouraged her to cook them for herself. About halfway through my journey, she was inspired to join a Workshop too, and it was my turn to feel proud! She’s lost 4st 7lb, and like me, she’s got a new lease of life.
As I lost weight, moving around became easier and I joined a gym. It was hard at first, but I’ve grown to enjoy it. I do a bit of cardio, then strength training like squats and lunges. Recently I started a spin class. The old me would have worried that people would stare at me, but I don’t feel that way anymore.
Before I joined WW, I took part in a 5k charity walk to raise money for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. I was so knackered that I was barely able to walk, and suffered for days afterwards. Now, after following the Couch to 5K plan, I can jog that distance in just 30 minutes!
I’d always wanted a dog, but before I joined WW, I worried I wouldn’t be fit enough to give a dog the amount of exercise it needed. It wouldn’t have been fair. But about a year into my journey, I got Gizmo, a Labrador-malamute cross. He’s a big dog, and needs a lot of exercise, so I take him out for a walk every evening
around the local village or park. Gizmo is a great incentive to add more activity into my day. Even if I don’t feel like a gym workout, Gizmo always needs a walk, so he spurs me on to get out and get moving.
My friend Rich, is really into cycling. I used to go out for drinks with him, but as I’ve become fitter I decided to try cycling myself. We go out on Sunday mornings to a local country park. At first, Rich had to slow down to match my pace, but over time I’ve been able to cycle a lot faster. Because we spend so much time together, I don’t think he noticed how much I was changing physically after I first joined WW. But in February 2018, a year and a half into my journey, he was asked by someone at school who the new science teacher was. It took him a moment to realise they were talking about me, because I looked like a completely different person!
We had a good laugh about it when he told me. Friends and family who don’t see me as often as Rich noticed the difference immediately. Like my friend Lesley – she was my mentor when I started training as a teacher and we get on really well. We stayed in touch when I moved schools and it was encouraging to hear her say how different I looked when we’d meet up every few months.
As for my students, I think they were nervous about saying anything about my weight loss, in case they got into trouble. But it became the elephant that left the
room! I no longer looked anything like the man on my school ID badge. It was really heart-warming when my class pointed out I needed to get a new picture taken. And they’re right – even I sometimes fail to recognise myself.
I’ve been on a few holidays since losing weight. It’s been liberating, and while I have a bit of loose skin, which I’m not entirely comfortable with, I still got in the pool – something I never dreamed of doing at 31st. Last summer, Lesley invited me to join her on a trip to Spain. We did a lot of walking around the city sights and climbing stairs in cathedrals. Afterwards, Lesley told me how great it was to share the experience with me, as I’d never been fit enough to enjoy those activities before.
I’m now planning another trip to New York – just one seat required! I want to revisit all the tourist spots, but this time I’m going to take selfies everywhere. It’s going to be a totally different experience. WW has changed my life completely. I’m a new person living a healthier, fuller life, and loving every bit of it.