If I can lose weight, anyone can

Last updated 05:00 13/03/2014

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Fighting fat in New Zealand

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I used to be large. By the time I was 22, I was 1.8m tall and weighed just under 100kg.

I spent four years at university and was never the healthiest eater - I drank gallons of Coke and ate what I wanted, when I wanted. A summer spent with my grandparents who indulged me with lovely treats didn't help either.

Five years later I was much the same. Working in an office job in Auckland, still large.

Then in a short period of time, two things happened which made me change my ways. 

I had a short term skin irritation on my neck, which I eventually realised was caused by sweat build-up between my chins and my chest when I lay down.

I also saw an extremely unflattering image of myself, which was hideous.

That was the final straw and I was determined to do something about my size.

I cut down the takeaways and started drinking bottled water instead of Coke.

I also bought a bike and started going for rides after work. The riding was very hard work for the first few weeks, then it became easier and a lot more fun instead of being just exercise. 

Nothing really happened with my weight for a month or so, however, and I was becoming a bit dispirited. But then the weight began to fall off.

I got to the point where I was riding 20km in an hour around Western Springs and along the Western cycleway, and after four months of riding four to six times a week, I had lost 15kg. 

Seeing the weight go down when I weighed myself every morning and noticing how much better I felt really motivated me to keep going, and finding all my clothes becoming loose also helped.

After a year or so, I had lost 25kg. 

The hard part after that was maintaining the weight loss, but I managed to do that by just being sensible about food.

I've even managed to live in the UK for the past seven years and not suffer the typical 'Heathrow Injection' - in fact I'm now down to 71kg, which puts me right in the middle of the normal BMI zone.

Most of that was a determination that I would not go back to how I was - it was bloody hard work to lose the weight, and I never wanted to go through it again. And I feel so much better now.

Sometimes I wonder how I did it - I generally have very poor willpower, and have a horribly sweet tooth. However, that just shows that if I can do it, anyone can.

For me it was simple - a mildly sensible diet and a bit of exercise was all it took.

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