Mike Ryan, who is 37 and from Manchester, felt like he had hit rock-bottom when he struggled to strap himself into an aeroplane seat, despite doing an hour of weight training every day.
Mike’s weight gain had not been caused by a lack of activity but rather an unhealthy eating habit which had led to him piling on the pounds and losing motivation and confidence in himself.
At what point did you feel like you had hit rock bottom?
I had problems sleeping, not being able to get comfy, waking the family with my breathing at night.
Can you describe what your relationship with food and exercise was like during this time?
I was weight training 1 hour a day, but never really pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I would browse social media between sets and then go home and order a take away thinking i'd earned it.
I would eat takeaways nearly 4-5 times a week and sometimes twice a day.
Can you describe how this made you feel mentally?
My self esteem was low, I'd avoid mirrors and duck out of photos. I'd also avoid seeing people.
Please explain your key motivation(s) to change your eating and exercise habits?
My kids. I wanted to be able to play football with them and more importantly, be around long enough to see them grow up.
Once you'd highlighted the concerns you had with your eating and exercise, what was your first step to recovery?
I decided to try and stop the takeaways and snacking. I would of course carry on training as I was because it had worked in the past.
What was your first training program once you'd decided to make a change to your exercise regime and how did Xercise4Less facilitate this?
I decided to try a transformation camp because I was bored of training on my own and not seeing the changes I was hoping for. The camps looked fun. I gave those 8 weeks not only hard work in the gym, but really watched what I was eating. When I started to see changes, feel better, and sleep better, I was able to push myself harder in the camp sessions, and then I started to see the numbers on the tape measure come down.
What advice would you give to anybody currently suffering with body image / self-esteem issues?
Gyms can be intimidating places! Remember, nobody is watching at you. We are all there for the same reason, same goal.. "to be better than we were yesterday".
Regular users... if you see someone new and unsure of what to do; be nice, help them, even just a smile or a nod of approval goes a long way, we were all newbies once.
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