‘It was mortifying’ Man loses 10st with ‘really simple swaps’ – no more ‘restrictive’ diet

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Ryan is a music teacher who decided to lose weight after an embarrassing incident that involved not being able to fit into an orchestra pit for his performances.

Ryan explained he has lived many other embarrassing moments before: “I’d just started in a new school and went along to the morning assembly. I sat myself down on a table and it just completely collapsed beneath me – in front of 900 students. It was mortifying but I just brushed it off with a joke like I always did.

“I always used to make the excuse that I was too busy to cook or think about eating healthily, but lockdown actually meant I ran out of excuses.

“I had more free time than ever, yet from March to September 2020, I gained two stone.

“I really couldn’t blame that on being too busy.”

Ryan decided to join Slimming World with a friend who wanted to lose weight for her wedding: “My friend Amanda decided to join Slimming World and asked me to come along too, so for the first time ever I actually agreed.

“Slimming World was nothing like I’d ever tried before. In the past I’d tried the egg diet, the cabbage soup diet… they all left me feeling deprived and didn’t teach me anything about food. Slimming World was totally different.”

The plan, which has no restrictions, encourages members to fill up on a wide variety of healthy everyday foods.

Ryan said “the best thing about Food Optimising is the freedom to choose”.

“I’d tried diets where everything is massively restricted, and they just don’t work. I made some really simple swaps, like changing oil for low-calorie cooking spray and opting for leaner cuts of meat – and it made such a big difference.

“I soon found that my food actually tasted better because it was fresh and home-made.

“I loved how I could tailor the plan to suit my own likes and dislikes – I never really felt restricted and that definitely contributed to my success. “

Ryan admitted his life has drastically changed after losing weight: “I’m a music teacher and take part in musical performances, which is actually more active than you might think, so I often got quite out of breath.

“I remember being in an orchestra pit and just being really aware of how much space I was taking up.

“Another time, I was moving house and after a day of heavy lifting I had a nagging chest pain that really bothered me. I went to see a doctor because I genuinely thought I might have had a heart attack.

“It turned out to be a pulled muscle, I just wasn’t used to such physical labour.

“When I was bigger, I didn’t even attempt online dating because I just didn’t have the confidence. Now I feel much better about myself, and I think that shows. I’ve recently started dating my boyfriend, Kieran, and things are going really well. It’s something I didn’t really allow myself to think about when I was overweight.”

Ryan has also introduced daily exercise to his routine: “Before losing weight even the simplest tasks would leave me out of breath. Now I love to get out in the countryside and go for a good walk.

“It might sound cliché but losing weight really has been life changing for me. Looking back, a lot of my worries were all connected to my weight.

“In the past, a wedding invite would have been reason for me to worry about what to wear, or dread bumping into someone I hadn’t seen in a while in case they noticed I’d gained weight.

“Now I can genuinely look forward to living my life. The future feels so bright now, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store,” he said.

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