Success stories: Mike’s weight loss journey

We caught up with Mike, whose plan to start a family inspired him to try our weight-loss programme. Find out how he changed his lifestyle, transformed his body, and got his confidence back!

Nice to meet you, Mike. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?  

I have a pretty stationary job  – my work involves a lot of sitting around and staring at a screen or being on the phone – so I’m not that active during the day. Outside of work, I try to work out whenever I can, I binge watch TV series, and watch a lot of sport. Oh, and I love going out to restaurants; I love a good steak. 

I used to play basketball but I don’t have much time anymore – the pandemic kind of destroyed that routine for me. So, nowadays I run a lot – I think it’s nice to have that “runner’s high” and it’s a great time for me to just think. 

So, what is motivating you to want to lose weight? 

Beyond wanting to feel better about myself, I’m looking to start a family. I really don’t want to be that dad that chases his kids for 30 seconds and ends up panting. 

And I don’t want to be in a situation where my life’s cut short early because I haven’t taken care of myself. I think if the last couple of years have taught me anything it’s that when you think you’ve spent enough time with family, you haven’t. We lost a few people, and you realise that you need to make the most of the time you have. 

I guess, overall, I want to be the best version of me that I can be. 

I was tucking into one of my favourite pasta dishes and got halfway through and thought, I can’t eat any more.

How does your weight affect you? 

Sometimes you’re unaware of how much you may weigh, or how you look, until you take a picture one day and think ‘Oh gosh, I don’t remember looking like that.’ Or, when you put on a pair of trousers and realise they’re a bit tight around the waist… you think to yourself ‘this isn’t who I am’. 

It may sound silly, but I always feel really self-conscious when Love Island’s on, you know. Your weight can absolutely have an effect on you, mentally – for me, it’s all about how good you feel about yourself. 

So, how have you tried to lose weight in the past? 

My weight has tended to yo-yo a bit over the years. I think I’ve tried it all; supplements such as thermogenics and diuretics, the keto diet, Atkins, low-carb, intermittent fasting. I think the worst one I’ve done is not eat solid foods for 30 days and yes, I shed a ton of weigh… but then I went on holiday after that and I put everything back on and more. 

I really don’t want to be that dad that chases his kids for 30 seconds and ends up panting.

The thing is, you see the results and you fall in love with the results, but you’re just waiting for it to end. You say, okay, I’m going to do this for 12 weeks and it’s going to be great, then before you know it the 12 weeks are over and you’ve lost the weight, but then you just go back to normal. These diets may work, but I can’t maintain them – for me, maintenance is key.

OK, what made you choose this programme?

I chose the Manual weight-loss programme mainly because it’s a different way of thinking about weight loss. The plans are more about lifestyle change than anything; they’re about changing your perception of food and focusing on what it does for you, rather than simply reducing the amount you eat. 

Tell us about your weight-loss coaching experience.

My coach is fantastic! Every time we have a conversation, I come away feeling like I’ve got a few jewels. I think with lifestyle advice in general, sometimes it can sound a bit scripted. With some PTs and coaches it’s like a cookie-cutter method for everything, whereas I genuinely feel like when I speak to my coach, it’s more about ‘what works for you? How are we going to get you to your destination?’. 

I think the biggest difference compared to other programmes I’ve tried, is that I’m able to talk to someone about my struggles with weight loss, and I can be completely open and honest. You get to hear a different viewpoint and they can shape your thinking – it’s been really beneficial.

I’ve seen my body change and I’ve lost some of the weight – now I feel I have a bit more of a presence and have that confidence.

What kind of changes have you noticed in yourself?

I definitely feel fuller a lot sooner when eating. There was a moment in the first week when I was tucking into one of my favourite pasta dishes and got halfway through and thought, I can’t eat any more. That was when I realised, ‘this is actually working’. 

I initially lost a significant amount of weight; I think I lost two and a half kilograms (5-6lbs). I already feel a lot better about myself, my belly doesn’t kind of stick out as much as it used to and I’ve got better posture too. Overall, I have a bit more confidence. That’s the biggest thing for me and it’s encouraged me to stick at it.

Your weight can absolutely have an effect on you mentally – I feel like it’s all about how good you feel about yourself.