Overweight or Obese?

Chris Oliver was 27.5 stone at his heaviest, he managed to lose 12.5 stone and has gone from morbid obesity to ultra distance cycle riding.

Before After

I realise that every single day that I now have is pretty incredible but you've got to want to lose weight. You've got to want to get the motivation. Every day is now a bonus.  As a consultant orthopaedic trauma surgeon I made a career out of saving other people, but put my own life in danger when my weight ballooned and I became 'super-obese'. At my heaviest I topped the scales at 27½ stone with both my chest and waist measurements at 56 inches. I would be out of breath just trying to climb a few steps. Like many successful career people, so much of my time was dedicated to work that I lost sight of what I was doing to myself.  If I hadn't managed to lose 12½ stone I’d probably be dead! 

In 2007 I had an adjustable laparoscopic gastric band but now five years later I have really managed to turn my life around and I am a walking example of what a difference shedding 12½ stone can make.  Apart from walking I also cycle, kayak, dive and compete in triathlons.  I have recently completed the Pedal for Scotland Sportive 112 mile cycle ride in nine hours and next year I am planning to cycle over 3,500 miles from Los Angeles to Boston.  Initially I started getting fit again by short walks and cycles, then aquafit and going to the gym. Every day I do some form of exercise and keep an exercise diary. As I got fitter I progressed to vigorous spin cycling and long swims.  I feel like I wasted 25 years of my life being obese. I don’t  think I ever had an eating disorder, been a binge eater or a substance abuser - I have just worked very hard over the years for my career and patients. I don’t think I have ever really overeaten, it's just been normal eating but without enough physical exercise. If you don’t exercise and maintain a normal food intake you will put on weight, it's not that you’ve been putting too much food in your mouth.  I know that surgery isn't for everyone, I’d rather have never put the weight on in the first place and never needed to have the surgery. Motivation throughout was imagining the activities and sports I had done as a youth and wished to do again. Although the clock is ticking fast through life, it’s never too late to turn your life around. You can follow Chris Oliver on Twitter @cyclingsurgeon   http://orthodoc.aaos.org/chrisoliver/ 

Losing weight - Sharon's Story

I’ve always struggled with my weight.  I’ve tried everything from starvation to aerobics with little long term success.  When I reached 11 stone I was horrified and realised I’d have to make some serious changes.  I tried Weight Watchers but it didn’t work for me so I began walking to and from work, an hour each way.  My friends and colleagues thought I was demented but it paid off – over a two year period I lost two stone.  I found I could eat whatever I liked and stopped being obsessed with food – that was the biggest liberation.  Six years later and my only fluctuation is between eight and a half and nine stone!  Walking really works for me because I can fit it into my day easily.  It costs nothing, helps me deal with the stress of the day and it has freed me from crazy diets.

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