Livewell client of the month - February
Published: 9 February 2022
Before losing six stone, Andy was in a difficult place both mentally and physically. Now, the Rolls-Royce engineer from Boulton Moor makes the most of every day, enjoying long walks with his wife and running around after his granddaughter.
Emotional eating is a common cause of weight gain and for 39-year-old Andy Broughton, turning to junk food was his way of dealing with a mental health breakdown a year ago. Consuming around 6000 calories a day, Andy’s weight ballooned from 19 to 25 stone in just eight months.
Andy started his journey at 25 stone and has lost an incredible 24% reducing body mass index (BMI) from 48.7 to 37, which is an incredible achievement in only 5 months.
Andy’s turning point came in September 2021 when he realized that his poor health was affecting those closest to him:
“I’d developed a series of health problems - sleep apnea, heart palpitations, arthritis in my knees and high cholesterol. Tying my shoelaces was near on impossible and walking up the stairs left me gasping for breath. I was on anti-depressants and my GP was talking about putting me on statins. My wife broke down in tears and pleaded with me to get my life back on track as she didn't want to end up losing me. Seeing her so heartbroken was the wake-up call I needed. My mortality suddenly became real. With our second grandchild on the way and four children to think about, my main motivation was to be around for all their futures. At this point, I’d already joined Livewell but hadn’t really committed to the programme so I set a long-term goal with my advisor Andy Gunter to reach 13 stone. With nearly half my body weight to lose, I broke my target down into manageable one-stone chunks to feel less overwhelming. Getting into a healthier routine was the hardest part. I radically cut my calorie consumption and portion sizes, filing my plate with vegetables and snacking on fruit instead of chocolate bars and crisps. Not being in the office meant my work-days were even more inactive than before the pandemic so I started walking more, just to the shops or around the block at first and then a bit further each day as my fitness improved. The support from Andy and the team spurred me on as did the motivational posts from other clients in the Facebook Group. It was little things like a text from Andy asking about my progress or a well-done email from Suf for reporting a 12% weight loss at the weigh-ins. Whilst it’s good to get support from others, it’s also great to share my own experience and give other clients a boost. Remembering how I felt nine months ago, I know that a bit of praise goes a long way and helping even just one person makes it worthwhile. Every week I tick off another 3lb weight loss, I reward myself with a treat meal at the weekend followed by a long walk to Elvaston Castle with my wife. It’s good to have a reward to look forward to. Now that I feel more confident I’ve made a workout plan for the gym and feeling good about myself has enabled me to take on a new challenge at work. My eating and exercise habits are paying dividends on my health, I’m off antidepressants, my sleep apnea symptoms have eased, my energy levels are much higher, and I can’t wait to find out my cholesterol reading at my next check. My wife and family are so proud of the new me, there are no limits to what I can do and we have an exciting future to look forward to. If you’re concerned about your health then changing your lifestyle will be the best thing you can do for yourself and the only regret you will have is not starting sooner. It’s all about getting in the right mindset and being determined to be the best version of yourself.”
A typical day for Andy before his weight loss compared to now.
|Breakfast||Full English breakfast||Porridge|
|Lunch||Hot dinner and pudding at work canteen||Tuna and pasta|
|Dinner||Takeaway - 12-inch pizza and cookies||Chicken/fish and vegetables|
|Snacks||Chocolate, crips and vending machine snacks||Fruit (treat meal at the weekend)|