Plymouth dad-of-two Mark Smith as soon as described himself as a ‘sofa potato.’
Pushing nearly 24 stone, Pennycross man Mark discovered it troublesome going up stairs, felt continually shattered, and even struggled to have sufficient vitality to play together with his great younger kids.
He desperately wished to develop into more healthy – however did not suppose he’d ever have the ability to.
However now, simply 15 months after he first challenged himself to drop pounds and develop into wholesome, inspiring Mark is ready to cycle 354 miles (570 km), after shedding 9 stone four lb (59kg) via wholesome consuming and train.
Mark, 44, says his weight-loss journey has been a “marathon not a dash” and has definitely been robust at occasions.
However in the end shedding weight and changing into extra lively has modified each side of his life for the higher.
“There’s not a single side of my life that hasn’t had a constructive knock-on impact from the weight-loss,” he mentioned.
It began when an opportunity dialog with a colleague at work led Mark to grasp that fashionable weight-loss assist group Slimming World “is not only for ladies.”
Mark, who had wished to drop pounds for some time however did not suppose he may, determined to make the leap and joined the SW group in Peverell in June 2019 to assist kick-start his journey to health.
He mentioned: “I knew I wanted to drop pounds, however I had given up pondering I ever may.
“I believed I might have to surrender meals I appreciated and need to eat salad on a regular basis, however I’ve by no means truly needed to eat salad as a meal!”
However, by making wholesome swaps to his meals and consuming regime, Mark misplaced a whopping 11 lb in only a week, which actually spurred him on to develop into more healthy and extra lively as time went on.
Mark mentioned: “I did not initially have large aspirations, I believed I might intention to get right down to my marriage ceremony weight of 18 stone 10, however later I revised this goal to a more healthy weight and wished to push myself extra.
“I really like the sensation of being wholesome.”
However shedding the burden hasn’t been straightforward, and Mark as soon as confronted one thing of a catch-22 state of affairs.
At first of his journey, he wanted to drop pounds as a way to have the stamina and energy to be lively – however he additionally wanted to develop into lively as a way to drop pounds.
So for the primary few months of his plan, Mark centered on his consuming regime, earlier than ultimately becoming a member of the fitness center in September 2019.
He quickly dug out his previous mountain bike and launched into an extended bike-ride together with his cousin, and has since develop into captivated with getting “fitter and sooner” throughout each cycle.
Whereas there are definitely good days and dangerous days in anybody’s weight-loss journey, if somebody has a foul day, they simply must take a second to reset themselves, be taught from their behaviour and transfer on, Mark says.
Since September, Mark has actually improved his energy and stamina and continues to train as a lot as he can (whereas being a husband, Dad and dealing two jobs), to maintain in form.
All through his weight-loss journey Mark has loved going to Slimming World classes as he has discovered it helpful being with like-minded people who find themselves dealing with related challenges to him.
Whereas it has been onerous at occasions, and has taken over a 12 months, Mark is delighted to be match and lively and to have misplaced 9 stone four lb (59kg) since he first beginning altering his weight loss program final June.
“I am extra energised – I am like a special individual, my spouse cannot consider the adjustments,” he mentioned.
Turning into wholesome has been a studying course of however Mark would urge anybody contemplating taking steps to changing into more healthy and lively to “simply go for it”.
He dsaid: “You have to inform your self ‘you are able to do this,’ you shouldn’t persuade your self that you would be able to’t make a change.
“You’ll be able to, however it is advisable to put your self on the market.”
Mark has reworked his life – however is not prepared to hold up his trainers and cease pushing himself.
Desirous to “give again” Mark has set himself an epic problem to cycle 570 km (354 miles), to mark the 57kg (eight stone 9 lb) he misplaced earlier than setting the fundraising problem. (Since organising the occasion, Mark has misplaced an additional 2kg, bringing his complete weight reduction to 9 stone four lb.)
He mentioned: “I’ve by no means cycled something close to this distance in a month, however I actually wish to push myself and never simply do what I am already doing!
“I am biking 354 miles this month, to lift as a lot as I can for Present Devon, a charity that gives wholesome, locally-produced and high quality meals to native folks.
“Usually Present Devon helps 2,000 households every year, however they’ve already supported 10,000 households in 2020 – and predict to want to assist one other 2,000.
“I’ve set myself a goal to lift £2,000 to mark these 2,000 households that want assist.”
Mark would urge anybody able to have the ability to donate, to contemplate donating to this worthwhile trigger.
To seek out out extra, and to donate, click on here.