True Weight Loss Inspiration Story: How Chris Spann Lost 100 Pounds and Quit Smoking
by Chris Spann
I am now only a little bit overweight – not loads – just a few pounds or so. Life was quite different for me one year ago.
In March 2011, I was single, homeless, fat and unhappy.
Losing weight can change your life – it really can. It might sound ridiculous to some people, but I lost 100 pounds last year, and it’s made an enormous difference to me.
Last year I decided to fix my life – I was overweight, I smoked, I couldn’t climb a set of stairs without breathing hard and I had insomnia. I was a bit of a mess, and it was time to sort all that out.
Changed My Diet in May 2011
I started my diet properly in May, when a chance meeting with an old friend from college led me to start attending my local Slimming World group. What their diet involves is loading up on lean meat, fruit and vegetables, and then throwing lots of fibre and calcium into the mix as well in order to help your body get all the goodness it can.
What’s great about this diet is that it does allow you to have the occasional treat, and you can adapt it to fit your lifestyle. It’s no faddy quick loss, quick either – I’ve now been maintaining my weight since November fairly easily.
Essentially, I quickly changed my relationship with food. Instead of eating fatty, sugary pre-packaged food for my lunch every day, I started genuinely looking forward to salads and baked potatoes, food I would never have looked at twice at one time.
Was I ever tempted? Of course, but provided I was careful and only allowed myself a reasonable (but generous) portion, it didn’t impede my weight loss.
Those of you who are paying attention might have noticed that I lost 100 pounds in six months – and that’s true, I did. But I didn’t just do it through diet: I also decided to start exercising.
Started Biking Regularly
To begin with, I would spend around 2 hours a week on an exercise bike – and I’m not afraid to admit that the first few times I went on the bike, I had trouble walking afterwards.
After a few months of this however, I started feeling pretty good about myself, and felt confident to start spending time on my pushbike again – I soon fell in love with spending Autumn mornings riding through the woods, and at one point was covering 30-40 miles a week under power of my own legs.
Exercising can be hard. I am very aware of this. However, I promise you that the endorphin rush you get after a hard ride is worth it – there’s no better feeling in the world.
Quit Smoking in September
So, what else has changed? Well, I have also quit smoking, which made the exercise easier – as much as you enjoy riding a bike, breathing through ragged lungs while you’re doing it is no fun at all. I actually found that far easier than I thought I would – I’d quit once before, and thought that this time would be far harder.
What I found works well is if you simply tell yourself that you might want one, but the fact is you can’t have one. You have to be your own parent, to an extent. The silly thing is, it’s only truly difficult for a week or so, and as long as you warn those around you that you’re quitting so that they know what to expect, it’s not that bad.
One other piece of advice if you are trying to quit smoking: Only do it if you genuinely want to. Trying to quit for somebody else, or doing it simply because you should probably won’t work. You have to want to stop smoking before you try, because think about it: If you don’t want to stop smoking, you’re not going to are you?
How Weight Loss Changed My Life
My weight loss hasn’t just affected me physically though – I’ve also become far more confident in myself, which in turn has led me to perform better in work, worry less, and as a result, sleep better – which of course, helps me to perform better in work.
All in all I’m far happier than I was 12 months ago – when quite frankly, my life was falling apart.
If you are trying to lose weight and get healthy but you’re struggling, don’t give up! It’s hard work, but trust me, the results are more than worth it.
You also do not need to spend a lot of money to lose weight. A simple change in lifestyle will help you achieve your goals.
I love life now since I’ve shifted the extra pounds, and you can too.
(Chris Spann is a life assurance writer from Buckley, England. He has spent a long time telling people they need to lose weight, quit smoking and sort their lives out, and in May last year he decided to take his own advice.)