Russel: “I've lost my pirate image and found the real me”

On his first day in a new job the site manager declared that they had a pirate on their hands. Always up for a laugh, Russel reinvented his look to embody that of his new namesake. Having spent years struggling with his weight and beginning to worry about his health he was scouted to appear on a prime time TV show, hosted by Davina McCall. He explains:

“Growing up I was the youngest of six siblings. When food was put on the table you had to eat as quickly as you could or risk going without, wasting food was not an option. I didn’t start having problems with my weight until my late 20s.

“I worked at a factory and, because I was the only one who had a motorbike, I used to go and get everyone’s lunches from the pizza place or chip shop. A lot of the girls I worked with could never finish all of their lunch, so I would finish it for them. Before long my weight had begun creeping up.

“At my largest I tipped the scales at 24st 3lbs. I tried various diets and at one point got down to 11st 7lbs, which was aided by my job as a freelance landscape gardener. During the winter months work dried up. The stress of having to find a new job and the loss of my beloved mother meant that I started turning to food for comfort.

“By the time my pirate image was born I had a 44+ inch waist, my partner Kate was worried about my health, and my mobility was suffering. To ensure I stayed motivated to lose weight, I decided to do a sponsored slim for the charity I worked for. When I began the rate of weight loss was so slow I became frustrated.

“I then approached a TV show and was given the chance to change my life in a year, with the help of LighterLife. I took the opportunity with both hands. My first time in a television studio was pretty nerve wracking. I turned up in my pirate outfit, with a 44+ inch waist and told the lovely Davina McCall that in a year I wanted to lose weight and my pirate image. After that my journey truly began.

I never knew I could look and feel so good

“My first week on the nutritious LighterLife packs was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I was amazed by the range of meals, bars and shakes that I could choose from. Not only do they taste really good they also fit easily with my lifestyle. I also attended weekly telephone groups, which were fantastic. Having followed different diets in the past I thought I knew everything there was to know about going to groups. But LighterLife’s weekly group telephone sessions were an enlightening surprise. Each week I dialled in to a group session with a trained LighterLife counsellor and other guys, who like me, were struggling with their weight. During these closed weekly sessions I learnt a lot about myself and my relationship with food.

“I lost five stone in five months* and went back to the television studio without my pirate image and feeling better than I had in years. When she saw me Davina was shocked, she couldn’t believe how much I’d changed and how much more confident I was in myself.

”I know I will keep the weight off this time because I’ve discovered the tools I need to stop me from slipping back in to old bad habits. I now attend weekly management calls to help me keep my weight in check, and because I really enjoy the conversations I get to have with the guys. It’s great speaking to people from all over the country that are going through the same thing as you.

“I’ve spent far too much of my life restricted by my size. I never knew I could look and feel so good! If I can finally crack this whole weight loss thing, then so can you!”

Russel lost 7st* on the LighterLife Total plan. He continues to attend his management telephone groups each week, to maintain his weight loss*.

Russel in the news!

"My life has completed changed..." Russel in the Daily Star.



*Each of our clients' results and stories are unique to them and their experience of LighterLife. Your own results will be personal to you and may vary.

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