Wellbeing

How Kris overcame his sleep apnea with WW

At 15st Kris developed sleep apnea and had to wear a mask at night. After joining WW and losing almost 3st, he successfully overcame this serious sleep disorder.

Hi, I’m Kris and I’m a WW Coach.

For all my adult life, my weight has fluctuated from anywhere between 12st to over 17st.

My significant weight gains have occurred on 3 separate occasions, one following an illness, one following the very premature birth of my daughter and one that just crept up on me.

At my largest weight I was unhappy, stressed, was suffering from anxiety and mild depression. On the first two occasions I lost 3st and 5st by following other diets. Each time I lost weight but struggled to maintain it and always piled the weight back on.

 

By 2018 I had developed sleep apnea

 

Fast forward to January 2018, and I am slowly but successfully working my way through my anxiety and depression with the help of my wife and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

I was over 15st and had developed sleep apnea, a condition which caused me to stop breathing in my sleep on average every two minutes.

As you can imagine, this was making me extremely tired and lethargic, particularly when it was undiagnosed.

Once I received the diagnosis, I started wearing a mask attached to a machine that would keep my airways open while I slept.

READ: Trouble sleeping? It could be one of these 8 sleep disorders

 

It was time to make a change

 

At that moment, I decided I wanted to lose weight one final time, but with an important change – I wanted to keep it off for life.

The previous year, I’d tried to lose weight by flying solo. I managed to lose 1st but ended up just treading water.

My wife joined WW at the beginning of January 2018 and was loving it. She tried to encourage me to join, and for two weeks I resisted with false preconceived ideas that I would be hungry all the time and that the plan would not work for me. Finally, I gave in and joined thinking, what’s the worst that could happen?

 

I reached my goal weight in 4 months

 

On 19 January 2018 I joined Danielle Stout’s WW Workshop in Willington, County Durham weighing in at 15st 2lbs. Very quickly I realised that the programme was fantastic, and everything I was looking for.

I was never hungry, and I could eat all the foods I love, just in moderation. For me, that was one of the best aspects of the plan – the fact that it teaches portion control – a skill I’ve struggled with in the past.

I’m very lucky that my wife is a fantastic cook and found ways to make SmartPoints®-friendly versions of my favourite sweet and savoury meals and snacks. She made me variations of chilli nachos, chicken parmos and chickpea cakes (that actually taste like real cakes).  

I was loving the plan and was losing weight steadily each week. I’m lucky that I can lose weight quickly (but also put it back on quickly too). By May 2018, I had reached my goal weight of 12st 4lbs!

As I had not been depriving myself along the way, I’ve managed to maintain my weight since then, which for me is an even bigger success than losing it.

 

Losing weight reversed my sleep apnea

 

In August 2018 I asked for an overnight sleep study to be conducted to see whether losing weight had positively impacted on my sleep apnea. Following the study, I keenly awaited the results hoping for some positive news but willing to accept the results either way.

To my surprise it was confirmed that losing weight and increasing my fitness levels had fully reversed my sleep apnea! I no longer had to be plugged into a machine at night and could successfully cuddle my wife in bed without prodding her in the back of the head with my mask. When I took the call, I was out walking to my local village and can remember physically skipping the rest of the way, I was so happy.

REAL LIFE STORY: Sophie lost 7st, started sleeping better and stopped snoring (much to her boyfriend’s delight!)

 

For me, WW is for life

 

My WW journey is lifelong. I will always ensure I have a balanced diet and am constantly looking for ways to improve my physical health.

Just this year I decided I wanted to improve my core strength. As a result, I now go to circuit training once a week, yoga once a week and play 5-a-side football once a week. I also want to get back into running again.

READ: How does exercise help you sleep better?

Step by step I will achieve all my wellness goals – it will come with time. I’m getting fitter, stronger and healthier both physically and mentally, and that’s all down to WW.

I believe in the programme so much that as of November 2018, I became a WW Coach and now run six Workshops. Hopefully in this role I can help and inspire others towards lifelong physical and mental health.

Kris runs WW Workshops at the following locations around Durham:

  • Shildon Methodist Hall, Shildon, Monday 6pm
  • The Miners Institute, Langley Park, Thursday 9.30am
  • Abbey Leisure Centre, Thursday 6pm
  • The Louisa Centre, Stanley, Friday 9.30am
  • Coundon and Leeholme Community Centre, Bishop Auckland, Friday 6pm

Find a Workshop near you.