From Bogaz to Bolton my weight loss story!

From Bogaz to Bolton my weight loss story!

As requested my story – so far!

For the past 14 years I have lived between Cyprus and the UK but mostly in Cyprus.

When I first moved out to Cyprus in 2002 I had not long finished using the Herbal Life products to help reduce my weight. This worked well and although I cannot remember my weight then I was in size 38 inch waist trousers!

As time went on so did the weight! Cheap booze and eating whatever I fancied meant that gradually the weight came back on and even though I had spells where I tried, and managed, to lose weight it still came back on.

So at the beginning of 2014 I returned to the UK to live and work, my visit to the GP for a check up and I carried on with gout medication and the GP prescribed me statins, ( I learned afterwards that this seems to be the norm for anyone of a certain age/weight).

At the beginning of this year I realised I had to do something. I was not happy with the side effects of statins and also my weight was pretty much up to 18 stones and obese BMI.

So I found the NHS choices website and joined this forum. Decided to stop taking Statins and also the gout medication. Reduce my alcohol consumption and follow the 12 week plan.

My next visit to the doctors was to have my annual blood test etc. I told them I had stopped taking Statins and they just took it as a matter of fact, a shrug of the shoulders! I was advised to come back for a re test in 6 weeks, at this time my cholesterol was OK, due to statins? And my liver function high, again a re test advised.

I kept to the 12 week plan and steadily lost weight, 2-3lbs a week and when I did go back for new blood tests they all came back satisfactorily, including the cholesterol, despite having stopped statins for 3 months.

I had set myself a weight target of 16 stones before I went to Cyprus for a 5 week stay, I managed to hit 15st 5lb!

The β€œholiday” in Cyprus was not exactly that, I had to do some serious gardening/weeding as the property had not been touched for 6 months, so my exercise continued. I hoped I would at least maintain my weight over the last 5 weeks so I was over the moon to find I had lost a further 6lbs whilst away :-)

So now I can really see myself hitting my target of 14 stones by my birthday on august 7th , my old clothes from 2002 fit me!! So they all came back with me and today I am throwing out anything that seems too big for me and re-organising my wardrobe.

Like most people on the forum I always knew what I had to do to lose weight but it was getting both the motivation to get started and also the encouragement to keep going to hit those targets along the way. Reading the posts from others helped enormously and the advice and encouragement from the members on here is the BIG difference between this and other ways.

I have read so much and learned so much about what we eat and how my body deals with it. I have tried different approaches including low fat, low carb, 16:8, 5:2 fasting etc. and ended up making my own mind up about what works best for me and always sticking to the principles in the original 12 week plan, (keeping a diary and counting the calories daily).

I feel healthier now than I have done for more than 5 years, not surprising as I have shed over 40lbs since starting this lifestyle change 20 weeks ago :-) I never thought I would get into the 14 stones again but now I think that maybe, just maybe, I could creep into the 13s?

Joining this forum has really changed my life for the better, attached photo taken last week in the sunshine, showing my belly and reminding me I still have room for improvement!

Thanks to all of you ! :-) John


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24 Replies

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  • Hi John. Fairly new to this site so just starting my journey but finding it so helpful don't think I could do it without the lovely input from others, also reading other people's success stories like yours it helps spur me on so thanks for posting your story. The picture looks fab, so sunny and you look so happy to be honest there is not much of a belly to lose so I think you have a very small amount to rid yourself of but huge congratulations on your achievement so far. I can sympathise with the gout for some reason about 4 years ago I had an episode of gout affecting my hands and legs on and off for about 3 months then it just stopped. The GP didn't give me anything but what I can say is I have never had pain like it and I have had 3 children, once I actually could feel it coming on so my heart goes out to anyone who has to put up with it. Well done for coming off the statins and GO FOR IT get yourself a whole new wardrobe YOU HAVE EARNT IT!

  • Hi John, that sounds like MY story (except the Cyprus bit, sadly)!

    I saw Xmas pics of myself at the dinner table a month or so back, and they were scary. As I am an older Dad, with a 3 year old daughter, I felt I owed it to her as well as myself to sort it out. I started at 19st 7lb, and five weeks in I am down to 18st 3lb, so that's 18lb gone so far.

    I split the difference between the male/female allowances of 1900/1400, and aim for an average of 1650 calories a day or less. I retired early to be a househusband for our little girl, so as any mother will tell you, exercise is not a problem... :-)

    I too take statins, and Allopurinol to keep the gout at bay. I also take BP tablets. All the meds crept in as the weight went on going back 8 or 9 years. I know age plays a part, but there is a definite relationship with weight : health issues for me. I reckon I could stop taking or reduce the meds if I can get my weight down sufficiently.

    When I last tried to slim down some years back, I got to 16st 5lb without too much fuss, but then personal life / divorce / remarriage / fatherhood all pushed it onto the back seat. But I'm definitely 'on the case' this time, and numbers similar to your own should be achievable for me if I stick at it.

    Good luck with your 'journey' John, you've got some impressive results there to date - hopefully we can keep an eye on each other for some motivation.

    Regards, Melvin (Mel)

    >< COYI ><

  • Ha Ha another happy hammer :-) Although I now live in Bolton I am a West Ham boy, born and bred. First school was the one next door to the Boleyn Ground,

    I was also on Allopurinol and it worked for me but once I started to eat sensibly and cut down on the booze I have stopped them and not had a twinge. As for Statins then I would suggest you do your own research. The only reason I was given for being prescribed them was that I was of an age and my weight and waist measurement and a slightly high cholesterol level. No discussion about how I could control this by all, so fed up with feeling dizzy and getting muscle pains I decided to come off of them.

    BP too, I check my own regularly now but last visit to the clinic nurse everything was Ok. Down to weight loss and healthier lifestyle.

    Well done on losing the weight Merlin, that is mighty impressive and you are right to think of your daughter she will be able to enjoy her father for more years! (I am also an older father but my "little" girl is now 24 :-)

    I found that keeping the daily calories to around the same level as you are talking worked well for me, as it is working for you too so just keep on with it and maybe tweak things to suit you as you go along but keep the diary and keep to the calories give or take each day.

    Merlin - If someone had told me in January, that by June, I would be below 15 stones and fitting into size 38 inch waist trousers I would not have believed them but here I am today just 5 months into my journey having achieved that and I am looking forward to losing the next stone.

    If I can do it anyone can, you have great motivation to continue and you will succeed, at 2-3lbs a week you will really start to see the difference very quickly.

    I will start to follow you and see how you are doing!



  • Wow! Didn't know you are West Ham, what are the odds on that one! I was Leytonstone, in fact I went to Sir Bobby's school (Tom Hood High School for Boys, just off the Wanstead Flats - these days it's a comp / academy called Buxton or something?).

    We live in Peterborough now; my 'new life' means I'm not ST these days, but I still go down with my son half a dozen times a season (he's 30 now - quite a gap, eh?). We usually park behind Newham Town Hall, or the Denmark Arms, and walk down / back from there. We were both noticing that I was beginning to struggle, both with the walking, and the stairs up and down to the BMU... it was a shock to him, as right from when he was a youngster I was quite fit and athletic, and as much as anything, his concerns and prompting have pushed me to 'do something about it'.

    So... onwards and downwards, as they say on here!

    >< COYI ><

  • What a super result and such an inspiring story - you have done so well and isn't it great to get off those meds!

  • Yes, getting off the meds is brilliant, especially when I was told I would have to take both allopurinol and statins for the rest of my life!

  • Thanks for posting this thread John, it's success stories, like yours, that keep us all on the straight and narrow :)

    You've done a tremendous job and your picture shows just how good! You look happy and healthy and slim! :)

    I'm very impressed with your open attitude to weight loss and how you did your research and trials and found the way that suited you best. It's important that we remember our individuality and accept that there's more than one way to skin a cat! ;)

    Well done for taking back the control and managing to ditch the meds and cure your ills holistically! You must feel like a million dollars! :)

    I see absolutely no reason at all why you won't look the 13's square in the eye! You've done so much already, that's just the final push.

    Thanks so much for sharing everything so openly with us, your story is really inspirational and motivational. With your permission, I'd like to feature it in the newbie thread :)

    Keep up the great work and keep being such a supportive trail blazer! :)

  • Thank you moreless and yes I am happy for you to share he post.


  • Thanks John :)

  • I have to learn some tips from you! How on earth you lost weight so quickly and to loose when you were away! You are a real star! That is amazing! no that is something to be jealous of never to gain one week. Amazing! Just sticking to eating healthy and doing exercise! You deserve a gold medal!

    Now that is it I am definitely going to write down a menu which I already did for this week and make sure to stick to it! Hopefully I will shed the last stone!

    You will definitely get into the 13's.

    You look so slim! I am sure you feel so much lighter, healthier and fitter!

    You are doing great! you worked hard and now you see the results to be off meds is amazing!

    this post is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you bakersdozen,

    I don't think I lost weight quickly so much as consistently. An average of 2lbs a week is what the nhs plan tells you is possible and that is about what I achieved.

    I write everything down in the diary and count the calories daily, no cheating, and when I say everything I mean everything including alcohol, milk or cream in tea or coffee, butter used in cooking etc.

    I cut down on carbohydrates especially bread, pasta, rice and potatoes and reduced fresh fruit to maybe 3 pieces a week.

    I have never had much in the way of sugar but I would suggest cutting out sugar and foods that contain added sugar, obviously cut out fizzy drinks and drink more water.

    Really watch my portion sizes, this is crucial in my opinion, so weigh everything and make sure you keep to the daily allowance this also allows you to have the occasional treat as long as you keep to the limit.

    Find out what works for you best and stick to it, learn good habits that then become second nature.

    Read the posts on this forum and draw inspiration and ideas from them to keep you motivated and to give you fresh ideas.

    Educate yourself about your own body and how what you eat effects you, become an expert on you and take responsibility for your own health and well being.

    Share and celebrate each small victory along the way it helps to stop you slipping back and pushes you towards your next target.

    I am sure you will lose that next stone bakersdozen, onwards and downwards :-) John

  • I actually try to cut out sugar. I just found that when I was away or when we had our holidays than eating 2 big meals late at night than that is the problem.

    I personally don't weigh my food as I know already what I can eat and how much. I am anyway restricted due to health issues. I cut out yeast, sugar, red meat, dairy and eggs. Sometimes though I do cheat.

    I love the idea of writing it down!

    I find exercise is so important and helps.

    I am in awe that you were consistent even when you were away which I find very hard. The next time anyway is in mid August so I have plenty of time to shift my weight.

    It is just that we have another family get together in 2 weeks time that i must be very careful what I eat.

    Thanks anyway for your help!

    I know what you did you didn't gin weight like I did. That is the secret! I am amazed! You are a star! Lets see if I can learn from you!

  • I love hearing how weight loss fixes so much to do with health. Really glad to hear you're experiencing so many fundamental benefits re your health. My journey began with a stomach problem caused by alcohol, suggestions about investigatory operations, many symptoms but no obvious diagnosis. Now discharged and in the clear happily, as long as I keep this up of course. Hope you keep up all your new habits too :)

  • Thanks Ruth, you are right and good to hear you have sorted out your issues caused by alcohol. I still have wine at the weekend but I have cut beer out, partly because of weight but I realised it was causing me problems with my joints and more than likely the cause of ongoing gout, which I now have not had an attack of since I stopped Allopurinol and when I started eating properly. Alcohol and sugar are both toxins which will cause our bodies major problems. There is no going back for me as I love feeling this way :-)


  • For me, alcohol is still a work in progress, but the ulcers, omeprazole, acid reflux is all out of my life for good now. I'm just fine-tuning how I keep alcohol completely under control from now on. That's great that your gout hasn't returned. I think I was probably on a similar path, I was already getting joint problems in my big toes. But that was partly because my shoes got so tight too! I agree that alcohol and sugar are toxins. But I intend to still include just a little of each, life has to still be fun doesn't it :)

  • Hello kantara71

    Fab story 😊 Very well done, especially on your losses whilst away 😊

    I didn't fare quite so well on my trip to Spain, (1.2kg gain) but did swim every day, walked lots and even went on a proper bike!!

    Glad you are home safe and sound, good luck with the rest of your weight loss journey, I feel confident of your success 😊

    Best wishes

    Anna 😊

  • Hi Anna and welcome back! a 1.2kg gain is pretty good and all of that exercise too. I got on the scales again this morning just to check I was not seeing things :-) Still the same as yesterday and it gives me a huge motivation to push to get below 14.5 stones as my next mini target !

    Have a good week - John

  • Im sure you will get there 😊 I am pretty pleased to feel so motivated today, my lovely sister who is my role model looks amazing at 71 😊 She weighs around 62 kilo so that is my next target, a further 10 kilo off by Christmas 😊 Go us!! 😊😊😊

  • Hi John. What a great story and to hear that your health has improved by losing weight is really encouraging and motivating to lots of people I am sure. You must be doing really well to have managed to lose 5lbs while you have been away too. Good for you and sure you will reach that goal of 14 stone by your birthday. :)

  • Wow, John, what an amazing post - I've just seen it, and I am really impressed.

    You're looking really good, and Congratulations again on your recent job promotion.

    Lowcal :-)

  • thank you Lowcal and not a promotion but a new job :-)

  • That's really great! :-)

  • Congratulations 😊

  • Really great post John - fabulous achievement:-)

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