Samuel Chadwick, a 25-year-old software engineer from Manchester, did a bit of training at school, but that was almost a decade ago. In the time since, he'd fallen into a sedentary lifestyle to the point where walking to the pub was all the exercise he got. Lockdown was the final straw, and on the other side of restrictions, he knew he had to make a change. With the help of his trainer, Kylie Doherty, his weight fell from 127.8kg to 73.2kg, a total loss of 54.6kg. He's now, happier and healthier, and enjoys an active lifestyle that wasn't possible before. Here, in his own words, he explains how he did it.
Since leaving school at 17, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I'd exercised. Everything was a struggle. I wasn't happy with myself and found I never wanted to apply myself to things, whether it be work or hobbies. I was in a state where I would want to hide away and not do anything, and I'd consider a walk to the pub as exercise.
But I came out of lockdown and realised my lifestyle had completely spiralled out of control. I constantly felt exhausted and ashamed of who I was.
The first problem I had to overcome was I was clueless on the reality of losing weight. Together with my trainer, Kylie, we built a diet that was sustainable and could be prepared every couple of days, so I was easily able to stick to it. We also established a workout routine and regularly updated the exercises I did so I could learn different moves. By doing that, I've gained the confidence to train on my own without feeling lost.
Diet wise, the focus was on changing from binge eating and takeaways to healthy meals. Previously, breakfast would be whatever pastries were on offer at the office, with lunch being a takeout with colleagues and a frozen ready meal for dinner, usually with a beer or two. This was totally overhauled during the transformation. Each meal is designed to make sure I'm consuming enough protein and not having too many carbs, with healthier snacks like berries, yoghurt and protein shakes instead of chocolates and sweets.
I was training at Ultimate Performance Manchester three times a week, with the focus on resistance training. I also did an additional three training sessions a week on my own, starting with cardio and eventually adding in resistance training once I felt more comfortable. I also started to make sure I was getting at least 10k steps a day, a big change from not really moving and sitting behind a desk most days.
Over the course of nine months, I lost 54.6kg, going from 127.8kg to 73.2kg. My initial goal was to get below 100kg, but once that milestone was hit there was no stopping me.
Every aspect of my life has improved because of my weight loss. I'm back to being active, regularly going to the gym and bouldering with friends and colleagues. Mentally, I feel far more confident, and I'm no longer exhausted at the end of every workday.
I've also had to buy an entire new wardrobe. Before, I'd have to make an effort to order clothes to get stuff that fit me well, whereas now it's easy because stores already have my size in stock.
In the coming months, I want to make sure I maintain my weight loss, so I'm focusing on bouldering and trying to achieve harder routes, while still making sure I keep an eye on what I eat.
To other people I'd say, it's frightening and scary getting started, especially when all the information online is so daunting. If you really want to make a change you just have to make a start and do it, and I wish I'd done it sooner. The key is consistency. Keeping at it each day and not slacking after a few good days. It's hard and it takes time, but the result is 100% worth it.
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