Hi my name is Matthew Im 22 from Scotland. I have finally decided its time to sort my life out once and for all. To cut a long story short the almost last 3 years has been hell for me , it involved , severe depression, Death of my grandma, hospitalised for severe exzema and i cant work atm because of my mental illness which leads me also from not going outside but anyway because of all those things ive found myself at the heaviest and fattest ive ever been in my life!! 15 stone almost 16 and its time to make a change. Im going food shopping tommorow to get everything i need for my new diet (im doing the NHS 12 week diet ) and im wandering if people can give me suggestion on what to buy thats helped them and exercising that helped them the most of losing the belly and Im also asking is there any good workouts and exercising i can do at home as i have no confidence to go to gym. (i have a exercise bike at home if that helps?) please can people help me and give me support i will be updating my progress daily to let everyone know how im doing. Thanks


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49 Replies

  • Hi Matthew and welcome to the group :)

    It's certainly been a tough time for you, but you made it through :D

    I would suggest watching out for the amount of carbs you eat - bread, pasta, potatoes, rice. If you can cut down the serving sizes of these it can help.

    Use the exercise bike, even if it's only 5 minutes a couple of times a day to start with. Anything helps.

    Try holding a ball between your feet and doing leg raises while sitting on the couch/chair, or holding the ball in your hands and touching it on the couch on either side of you. Any movement is better than none.

    Most of all - don't push yourself to do everything at once if it's too overwhelming for you. If dealing the food side of things is all you can handle then deal with that. Once you've got that going you can add exercise/movement into your day.

    Look forward to seeing your success :D

  • thanks so much for your comment its very appreciated. i hope dieting and exercise can make me lose weight .

  • I can't see any reason for it not to work :) Maybe not as fast as you'd like. But then again maybe better than you expect it to :) As long as the overall result is downward.

  • Hi Matthew, try and look at your journey as one towards healthy living rather than 'dieting'. It's not just semantics, as learning to live healthily provides you with a way of life that helps you to continue your journey, after you've reached your goal.

    As you read through the NHS plan, you'll notice that weight loss is 80% about what you consume and 20% exercise, so exercise definitely aids weight loss but not to lose sight of the main factor that will make a difference.

  • you got it Tiggerrr!!!!!

  • whats your experience with the nhs 12 week diet plan ?

  • Lots of people here have followed or are following the NHS plan. I used it to great success and lost over 15kgs. That's after a couple of decades of trying to lose weight and failing miserably time after time.

    I would recommend reading it, understanding it and following it in detail.

  • The food you eat is more important than the exercise you do for loosing weight , exercise will help with the depression though. Leslie Sansone happy 1 mike walk on youtube is great to do at home and takes just 15 minutes😊

    I would add that you should not buy low fat products, they are full of sugar and not helpful. Eat good fats such as avacado, butter, drink full fat milk, use nuts, especially almonds and macadamia, as snacks but make sure you weigh them and count calories. Cook from scratch using fresh or frozen vegetables, eat meat and fish, cut down in the carbs.

    Take the time to familiarise yourself with the forum. Join in with challenges and the Daily Diary. Choose a weigh in day, I am hosting tomorrow’s, Feel Good Friday weigh in and you would be very welcome to join us there. It will be open from around 7am till 10pm. We are very supportive and chatty😊

    The more you engage with the forum the more support you will receive. We are all very non judgemental and very supportive with what ever is going on in n your life. I can guarantee you will never feel alone and will make lots of virtual friends 😊

    You have had a horrible 3 years, let 2018 be the year it all changes for the better. I am sure your Grandma would be very pleased to see it turn into a good year for you 😊

  • what do you on the weigh in sorry to be dence but do you do it on here? and is butter and full fat milk okay to have if your on a diet i thought skimmed milk and low fat margarine would be better? and sadly i cant have any nuts of any kind as allergic , do you have any other recommendations for foods i can have and try?

  • You've posted a bit early to have an official administrator welcome, which you will get eventually but in lieu of that, follow this link and read everything in the post's header. It will explain much about this forum and it's workings, including where to find the weekly weigh-ins....

    Btw, there are no dense questions here. I'm still learning things after being here a year. Eating things like butter and full fat milk are more likely to leave you feeling sated. As long as you stay within your calorie allowance, then they are fine, as part of a healthy eating plan.


    This is the link to todays weigh in, you can find daily weigh in's in Events.

    One of the reasons low fat and milk is not used by some of us is because it is not as satiating and nutritionally is not as good for you.

    I find a good breakfast is yoghurt with oats and fruit and omega seeds, some people make over night oats where they soak the oats in milk, almond milk or yoghurt, porridge is also good.

    Your have had some great replies, once you familiarise yourself with the forum you will learn more and more about what you can eat. Go to the BMI checker to see what your suggested calorie intake should be first of all. Don't be tempted to start at the lowest point, you will have to bring it down as your weight drops and it needs to be sustainable. Many people give in because they are hungry, you shouldn't ever be hungry. Start at the highest level and keep dropping around 50 calories until you start to loose and then stick with that figure for a while.

    Good luck :)

  • Hi. I am very sorry to hear you've had such a difficult time of things. There are lots of people on this site who know from experience how our mental state can seriously affect our relationship with food, but you have come to the right place for support.

    Like many of us, you probably ate food as a comfort, but you can now reverse the trend . Use the newbie club link for lots of tips about the 12 week plan.

    I'd also suggest you don't totally ban stuff, just PLAN AND RECORD your day's menu to include a small portion of your favourite foods if you really want them. I also found that changing to a filling protein breakfast: scrambled eggs and ham, or a 3 egg veggie omelette made it a lot easier to lose weight , it satisfied me far longer than toast or cereal, so I did not crave mid morning biscuits etc .

  • Hi elliebath thanks for your comment very much appreciated! i dont eat eggs never have but if you have any other recommendations of things to have for breakfast for dieting would be much appreciated . Thanks

  • Hi and welcome!

  • hello :)

  • hi matthew and welcome to the group !!!! you have come to the right place to get all the support you can take!! just keep posting and reading and it will make a huge difference in your life I promise. as a fellow depression sufferer, I know it is easier to eat than to do anything else. If I cannot go somewhere, I eat. if I cannot deal with my family, I sneak eat at night when everyone is in bed. so I really know where you are coming from. I am about to go on disability for my knees as I can no longer stand to be a grocery checker any more. we have to stand to do our job here in the States (I live in Texas), so it is just too hard on my body. I am in pain so I eat. I will use any excuse to eat. at least I used to do all that. now I have been a part of this community for 12 weeks and have lost 20 pounds. I do not sneak eat much anymore, occasionally I do. I also go on this forum in the middle of the night instead of eat so I have something far more enjoyable to do. as far as exercise goes, you can get on that bicycle! any movement you do will make you feel better as exercise releases endorphins in your brain that make you happy. my main way I have lost weight to this point is I use smaller plates and smaller portions. I wait 15 or so mins after I eat and if I am still hungry, I eat a little more. usually I get distracted with something else so I know I was full. as far as what to get at the store, I recommend all the veggies you like and maybe one or two you've never tried. I don't always, but I try to stay away from the more starchy ones like potatoes or corn but I eat those sometimes. sorry, I did not mean to write a book here, but I just wanted to let you know that you are telling my story as yours....

  • It's almost impossible to not write a book when there's so much to say :)

    I'm surprised (not in a good way) that they make you stand to do your job. I would have thought that in a country where it's generally easier to be litigious that someone would have put a stop to that :( I hope it all pans out for you.

  • thanks me too. I just have to be careful with my hubby as he is not as supportive when it comes to me not working unfortunately.

  • Hmmm... OHs!!! Mine doesn't like me being on here.... "why can't you sort yourself out?"

  • Oh!

  • :) C'est la mort! :)

  • J'espere que non .........

  • What with your in depth knowledge of Italian, your knowledge of languages is very good. I can gather what you're saying but I wouldn't have been able to write it grammatically.

  • 😛

  • 😂😂😂

  • Fabulous reply katy9617 😊

  • A personal account such as yours is a great reply ☺

  • Good Morning MatthewForbesx

    You have received loads of info and help already, so i am sure you can see how friendly and supportive the forum is :)

    With the 12 week plan - basically you can eat what food you like but have to weigh and count the calories - I personally don't like low fat this and that and there are a few of us in that camp :) Others eat low fat products and that is their choice and it will be your choice what you eat :)

    A good place to start is the newbie club as that will give you loads of information on how to get around the forum and there is a link there also to FAQ's - once you have read all the information in the header of the Newbie Club have a look at the Daily Diary section to see what others are eating as I have stolen many ideas for meals etc from there :)

    I'd like to invite you to join our Newbie Club, which we hope will be a good place for you to connect with members, who are also just starting out, or restarting. If you just post a few words to introduce yourself and respond to others there, you'll soon break the ice. Here's the link

    You'll find all the information you need to navigate the forum in the header, so please take the time to read it carefully.

    Wishing you all the best :)

  • MatthewForbesx ..... A very warm and friendly welcome to the group :)

    Good luck on your new 'you' journey :)

    You will find very kind, friendly, non-judgemental and supportive peeps in here and 2018 will be a great year for you, I am sure :)

  • I’ve nothing to add to these excellent suggestions MatthewForbesx but just want to say hello And very best wishes


  • I’m coming late to this party matthew but welcome! I see from the posts you have lots of good advice so I won’t repeat it! Just - use this forum for information but also for friendship and community to see how others are doing. don’t ban any foods altogether - otherwise you will start obsessing about things you miss!! Just allow them by working out their calorie allowance and - especially if they are the usual culprits - cake, biscuits, chocolate - enjoy them! Exercise is key - especially for the mood lift you will get afterwards!

    As others have said, make 2018 the fresh start.

  • Hello Matthew

    If only I had the insight you have when I was 22. Wow! What a fantastic post to read.

    I'm new I here myself. About 10 weeks. It's a cracking place with wonderful like minded people helping each other.

    I can't talk food really but will give views on keeping fit.

    Running is a big no no for folks carrying to much weight as it's counter productive as it's high impact on joints, disks in the back and so on.

    Bike is perfect!

    However what I've learned is I don't need try be a Lance Armstrong. Its spoils what exercise can be about if folks go all out.

    Easy does it but do it I say. Don't go mad as the enjoyment will go.

    You could start at just a few minutes a day and build time up. Listen to some music even. Just don't go all out. Be nice to yourself.

    Swimming is good. I got body shame but just tell myself now the issue lies with those that judge me. The water is so good for us. This could be a goal for you maybe. I went swimming for the first time in Oct in many many years. It wasn't easy at first but after I to me the ice it's been better since.

    You shoukd be able to swim at a lesser cost if on benefits!

    22 dear chap! Your body is your transport through life and to be saying what you wrote is insperational.

    All the best to you mate

  • Coming from someone who is 21 and has also had a few mental health issues, I can tell you that even though a new lifestyle is mostly what you eat and not exercise, exercise will help you mentally so much. Being able to walk or cycle further, lift heavier weights or even sweat less (bit disgusting but it’s progress nonetheless) will give you such a boost and make you able to recognise your achievements.

    As far as exercise - all I have done is go for long walks, cycle on an exercise bike and lift light weights at home (and these alone have helped me lose 3 stone in 4 months). If you can bring yourself to go for walks they can be really peaceful and be an escape from technology and everyday life, so I’d highly recommend them! Also, I’ve followed YouTube workout videos! They’re free and you can find some for every ability.

    Hope this helps a bit, and good luck!

  • Hello Matthew

    So glad you are feeling positive and making plans to improve your health because once you have your mind set on a goal you will succeed

    .at first it is hard became like all of us you will be impatient to see results but if you stick to the NHS plan the weight will begin to fall off and you will be tightening your belt and next getting smaller clothes which will be very exciting.

    So far as exert is concerned I Find the gym daunting and depressing. You are young so make a promise to yourself to walk briskly 10,000 steps a day whatever the weather. You can keep count on your Mobile phone or if possible get a fit bit on which you can also count calories . Not only will your stamina rapidly improve but walking is mood enhancing and good for the brain. As you lose weight you may then try jogging which gets you fitter quicker!

    Get a good routine going of healthy eating and exercise and if you keep it up it will become an ingrained habit

    I am giving this advice as one who thought she would never be fit or slim again. Last July I weighed 19kg more than I do now and I struggled to walk up hill and climb stairs.

    Medication alone is not always the answer. We make ourselves ill by carrying too much weight.

    I am really looking forward to hearing of your progress and how much better you will be feeling

    Best wishes

  • Hi Matthew

    Sorry you are going through such a rough time. I get the depression, I have it too. It's not an easy road as it's hard for others to understand it. I'm on my third week of the NHS weight loss program and have lost 1.4 pounds this past week and over Christmas! I eat lots of fruit and veggies. I weigh everything and use the nutracheck calorie counter to help keep me in line. I try to walk my dog daily and I also jog in place while watching tv. The tv takes my mind off the jogging and it's a good way to get me through my box set of I Love Lucy😜 Keep talking on here too, they are a lovely group of people and will help you stay positive. xx

  • Morning Matthew, Welcome to the group I think you have had a really rough few years.

    You have definitely come to the right place for help and lots of support. I started my journey on here 12 weeks ago so coming to the end of the 12 week plan. All the support on here has helped me to keep on track and if things aren't going too well there is always a listening ear. No one judges and it has helped me to succeed in my goal to be healthier.

    I found taking it in small goals at a time, starting with getting my BMI calorie allowance and going from there.

    Weighing food helped me to sort my portion size and now I can put meals together quite easily. Today we are having fish, new potatoes and green beans instead of the battered fish, chips and peas we would have had before and so tasty.

    Have a look on the Newbie Club in the pinned posts and it will give you all the information to start and I wish you all the best for your journey.x

  • Hi Matthew,

    just to echo what others have said - take things one step at a time, one day at a time, and don't feel if you can't do everything immediately that you have failed. It sounds like you have already made some big decisions. So, look at your diet first and gradually introduce/increase exercise as you go along. That's what I did when I started on the 12 week plan in September 16 and since summer 17 I have been maintaining a healthy weight almost 5 stone less than where I was. Gyms and classes were not for me - my favourite exercises are walking and cycling and they are both free! I tend to look for foods now that are naturally lower in calories - so quark rather than cream cheese, sweet potato and roast squash to top a shepherds pie rather than normal potato, americano from Costa rather than my old lattes etc. It's a good opportunity to get a bit adventurous and try some new things, or new versions of old things. Just make your own choices rather than get led by the adverts to 'low fat' products per se.

    Upping the proportion of fresh veggies on your plate compared to the protein and carbs doesn't mean your plate is not full. Cooking from scratch gives you total control, but the count on us range from M&S is my favourite once in a while, and you don't need to work out the calories!

    I don't ban anything. If I want a latte I will have a (skinny) latte. I find it helps to ask myself if the calories are worth it. So something I really like is not out of bounds, but an impulse biscuit at work that leaves me wanting more ten minutes later is. Sometimes I get it wrong and think afterwards 'why did I eat that???' especially in social situations where it's difficult to refuse food/drink, but I file it under lessons learned and move on. Good luck!

  • I think you should be so proud of yourself for taking this action. Im not really confident in advice but i would think to start with small goals - both food and excercise. I google excercises suitable for me and you could try this. When you feel able try and walk a distance you are comfortable with that doesnt panic you and increase when you can. Taking a dog with you is helpful or someone who undetstands.Good luck and give yourself a pat on the backx

  • A big warm welcome to you matthew😀

    For now just concentrate on healthy natural food... not processed or packaged.

    For exercise just think movement in the fresh air.

    Join a club if you can... maybe a choir or a book club or rambling group.

    You'll feel so good when you get started😊 and I'm looking forward to celebrating each success with you

  • just letting everyone know ive picked up the norovirus and i cant stop being sick . so i dont know what to do now with diet as i cant even eat anything without being sick and im on methotrexate (immunosuppresant) and my body is working over time to get better.

  • Forget about weight loss for a few days until you are better MatthewForbesx and maybe speak to a pharmacist about the methotextrate if your GPS are closed for the New Year

    Get well soon 😊. We will still be here

  • Don't worry about weight loss until you are better. It might be a good idea to call 111 and ask for some advice regarding the methotrexate. I am not sure if it is a good idea to keep taking it on an empty stomach.

    Hope you start to feel better soon 😊

  • Oh no so sorry to hear you are feeling poorly 😣 get well soon, drink plenty of water and when your feeling up to it there is loads of really fab replies to get you started on your exciting new journey. Wishing you lots of luck and hope to hear back from you soon when your feeling a bit better 😊🍀👍

  • Hi Matthew, I'm 24 and also struggle with getting out because of my health condition, I boredom eat or when I'm feeling rubbish which doesn't help either.

    I'm finding that making sure I'm full with my meals to avoid snacking is working best and just don't have high cal snacks in the house so you won't be tempted.

    I've been upping my exercise gradually for the last month, starting by going down the street and back up to almost 5 miles recently which I'd get tired even thinking about before. I usually get someone to come with me and have a task you need to complete so it forces you out of the house and you're kept busy chatting so you don't notice the distance.

    Good luck, I'm already feeling so much better just being a bit more active and eating well so hopefully you feel the benefits soon :)

  • Depression is like a silent killer only fully understood by those who have been there. I have been there many times as I suffer with Bipolar. I was diagnosed at about your age and now I am 55. I stay fairly well but it takes a lot of hard work. I work as a peer tutor for the NHS helping others. This year I have lost 4 stone 5 . It began with a decision to only eat cake once a week I love cake. The next was to walk. I learnt to walk as much as I could. Then eventually I went on a diet. Depression can lead to undereating or overeating. Mine was the latter, years of suffering had got me into very bad habits. I used to isolate myself when low. Now if low I force myself out of the door because if I don't I know I will get worse.

    I have a suggestion look at the things you are struggling with and take them on one at a time. Make an action plan write in one column the problem and in another the things you can put in to practice that will help.

    Take it slow learn to eat more healthly before you diet. Excersise is so important to our physical and mental health, so go for it.

    Finally overcome your fears and get out of the house for a short time at first and build it up. This will really set you free.

    I am aware I've gone on for a long time and you might not welcome my advice and that is ok.

    Take care and get really well .


  • Welcome Matthew. You have been through so much. I hope you feel this is a good support network for you. I do and it stops me falling back into old thought patterns.

    I wish you all the luck in the world!


  • If it helps Matthew I have had some similar stuff. I found it easier to control my moods/ eating and exercising by starting off with 10-15 minute walks every day. This helped my moods and started my exercise regime. Its important not to give yourself unattainable goals, rather, get into better habits and routines. If you miss any, just start again next day fresh.

    You will find it harder and harder to feel as depressed the more you get out into fresh air and get vitamin D.

    Then just build from there as you start to enjoy the walks. Speed up, walk farther afield. Then get into your exercises as you feel confident and determined. Portioning smaller helps enormously and also I found setting mealtimes. I have a ban on eating anything other than fresh fruit in between meals.

    I took on an allotment to help bring my moods back up and I cannot tell you how amazing this has been.

    I hope that all helps somewhat.

    Good luck,


  • just letting everyone know i feel so much better i must of sweated it all out last night as my bed sheet and duvet were soaking but must of done the trick as i woke up this morning a new me . so im going shopping tommorow to get my weekly food shopping for my diet starting on tuesday .

  • Hi Matthew,

    Sounds like you’ve had a crappy time. Hope you’re ok.

    I only joined the group yesterday and funnily enough I went shopping today for all healthy stuff.

    I’ve given away the tins of chocolates from Christmas (which nearly made me cry) 😄

    Let’s hope we both stay positive and lose some weight 😊

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