Verso’s Weight Loss

I was christened Jamie, but I’ve been called many different things over the years. Most have been non complimentary, and the majority have had some version of the word FAT in them or a synonym of some kind. Fatty, porky, chunky, lardy, chubby, blubber guts, flabby, beefy, plump, hefty, dumpy, rotund and round are just a few.

Along with those they’d be stretched out with expletives which I won’t mention but will leave to your imagination. Not nice reading those words and associating them with someone is it? But I had years of it. Why? Well one reason is because fat shaming and associated name calling seems to be socially accepted towards a larger person. It’s not racism or sexism or homophobia. It’s just abusing a fatty. That’s alright. Fat people are “bubbly” and like a joke. They all laugh when being called TUBS. Well they don’t.

It’s bullying. Plain and simple. Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online. The four key elements to this definition are:- Hurtful, Repetition, Power Imbalance and Intentional. So that’s the boundaries set out. Now on to why I decided enough was enough. Oh but just before I go on I’m not Roland from Grange Hill. Despite 50+ year old men who still think it’s funny to call me it.

I’ve struggled with weight issues for a long time. I have always been “big” but never too fat. Until the last 10 or so years where I have piled the weight on. I’ll just wait until after this or after that before I start the diet. I’ll be alright. Well I wasn’t alright and got myself tipping the scales at almost 23 stone. For a bloke who is only 5 feet 8 inches that’s a lot of excess weight. I still refused to do anything about it. Until COVID kicked in and the reports would tell me that another fat man aged 50+ had died. I’m not ready to go yet. Still got lots of things I want and need to do so it was a classic case of It’s Now or Never (did you sing that in Elvis’s voice)

So on January 17th 2021 I stepped on my scales. They came in at a whopping 22 stone and 12 pounds (320 pounds). I was going to need a miracle. Well a lot of will power and exercise. Eating habits had to change. What I’m about to tell you is true and happened more than once (the PEPSI story was almost every day). I get to work around 7am and breakfast used to consist of either:- A bowl of cereal covered with sugar as cereal is horrid without. Isn’t it?, or 4 bits of toast with margarine (butter if I had it) and Marmite (toast has to go cold before putting on marg/butter/Marmite or some crumpets to replace the toast. Of a week end it would be invariably be a full English. On both days.

On occasions someone coming into work after me may phone and suggest a McDonald’s breakfast. Sausage McMuffin (double please), a hash brown and OJ to wash it down would replace the cereal/toast but sometimes the call would come through after the cereal/toast and McD’s would still be taken. Lunch consisted of 4 rounds of bread filled with anything meat based, along with 2 packets of crisps (Walker’s) and a Twix. Some days there’d even be a pie/pasty added to the mix.

As well as breakfast and lunch there’d be snacks. More crisps (a multipack of 6 bags of Walker’s a day at times), sweets and nibbles. If it was edible in it would go. Chocolate digestives were the worst. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to just have two. If a packet is opened then it’s goodnight Vienna. Each and everyone one of them gorgeous disc shaped biscuits would end up in my belly.

Oh and they wouldn’t even need to be McVities. The Happy Shopper ones took a hiding too. That’s almost it for my work related diet. Things would change if there was a Pizza day, or a McDonald’s lunchtime run, or a chicken shop. I’d be involved. So I’d have to eat my packed lunch for elevensies so it didn’t go to waste. Large pizza and maybe some chicken wings all washed down with a nice cold Pepsi.

Then off home. I’ve always been in charge of the kitchen and do 95% of the cooking. Some days I couldn’t be bothered to cook (especially after days that involved McD’s breakfast and lunch). The wife still needed feeding so it would be JustEat again. Some weeks it would be 3 or 4 takeouts a week. Absolute craziness. We move on to PEPSI. I adore that brown fizzy liquid. I’d buy a 2 litre bottle and pour myself a glass. Then my brain would tell me that I need to finish the bottle otherwise it would go flat. It ended up 2 litres a night. Every night (except nights I was out drinking). I tried replacing bottles with cans but still drunk what was in the fridge.

There’d also be even more Walker’s crisps along with sweets, cakes and other little treats. No wonder I had to have a 3 hour lay down after walking 2 miles. I was in a bad way and was eating/drinking myself to an early grave.

If I was out drinking it would be a dozen pints (minimum) then kebab/Chinese/Indian afterwards followed by an even bigger full English the next morning.

As you can the eating/drinking regime was not sustainable. Let’s go back to Jan 17th. Why that date? Well the wife and I had to move. Got served notice on our house and had to fins somewhere else. We did and moving date was Jan 11th 2021. Pointless starting any new diets in the middle of a move so we set things up for the week after we’d moved.

As I mentioned earlier the scales were almost at 23 stone. I gave myself a target of 5 stone over a period of one full year. Slowly but surely as it was the last chance saloon. Get rid of the weight and more importantly keep it off or my family would be burying me. It would have been funny seeing them carry me in. Struggling to lift the coffin.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the new regime. We started on the shakes for breakfast and lunch with a Slimming World meal at tea time (tea if you stay at home and dinner if you go out. Same as lunch if you go out but dinner if you eat at home). I took bits from several different diets and fashioned to suit our lifestyle.

Crisps, Pepsi (sob sob), take aways and other treats were removed from our psyche. The 75-99 cal bars replaced the junk and I even bought oranges, apples and grapes.

I lost my first stone after just 13 days. The second stone came away after another 28 days and stone 3 took a further 35 days. So by my birthday (April 12th) I’d lost almost 3 and a quarter stone. I had my first alcoholic drink since I started the diet. Quickly followed by the second, third etc. Finally going to bed after over a dozen pints. I t took me 3 days to get over it!

For my birthday I treated myself to a brand new bike. A road/trek hybrid. As the weather had turned nice(ish) I started putting in a few miles. Slowly at first doing little 6 mile stints then increasing the workload to 15, 20, 25 and ending the summer with a 40 miler. Over 1,100 miles ridden since April has helped the weight loss no end.

The next milestone of 4 stone was reached on May 30th before the 5 stone target was finally smashed on 8th August. A full 5 months before the plan. I needed to keep going and gave myself a refreshed target of 7 stone 2 pound which is a full 100 pound loss.

The last milestone was 16th October when I reached 6 stone. Since then I have fluctuated between 6.5 and 6 stone.The shakes are still taken for breakfast but I’ve moved onto to noodles for lunch (calorie counted). A few more cheat dates have entered the calendar due to the time of year but I’m still watching the intake and not adding too much rubbish to the diet. I still hope to achieve the final target 7 stone 2 pounds.

Once there it will all be about maintaining (if anymore decides to leave me then I’ll take it). I’m enjoying the weight loss. The comments I’m getting from people is doing wonders for my ego. After years of abuse it is fantastic to hear the praise. The biggest praise is when people tell me I’m their inspiration. My weight loss has helped them do something. So folks if you’re still reading this then you too can do something. Whether it’s 1 pound or 7 stone. Find what’s right for you and away you go.

Before I sign off I would like to say I’m not professing to be holier than though. I’ve also said unkind things about/to people. But thankfully I’ve finally grown up and know the difference between right and wrong. Too many bullies hide behind the word banter. They think they can lump in any old nonsense they spout and call it banter.

We all need to do better.

Thanks for reading and please share around your socials. If my story can help just one person then it’s worth telling.

One last thing. Thanks goes to my supportive wife and of course friends and family who give their support. It means a lot folks.


December 2021

By Verso

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