I lost over 20st in a year

I used to work as a navigator for an oil company, but it wasn’t until I took a desk job that things started to go downhill and I developed a weight problem.

I was a comfort eater. Food helped me to deal with life’s challenges. After I got divorced, I felt so isolated that I ate more and more.

I realised I had a problem and I tried to lose weight many times. Every day was a new diet. I’d eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, but by the evening I was tucking into a huge meal and snacking on family-sized bags of peanuts, crisps and Maltesers.

My fat was slowly killing me.

As I grew in size, my health problems increased. I was borderline diabetic. I had to wear a special mask when I slept because of my obstructive sleep apnoea, which stopped me breathing for several seconds at a time. I took pills for my high blood pressure and gout. My fat was slowly killing me.

I couldn’t walk anywhere. When I went shopping, I had to park my car right outside the shop. Even in my flat I didn’t move about unless I had to. It got so bad that when I had to go to the kitchen, I would plan what I needed for the rest of the day, so I didn’t have to make a second trip.

I lived in fear of falling over and not being able to get back up, so I used a walking stick. I couldn’t bend down to put my socks on, so I had bare feet in my shoes, which I had to pre-lace because I couldn’t get down to tie them. My seatbelt didn’t fit in the car and my belly rubbed against the steering wheel when I drove.

Within 13 months, I had lost 20st 4lbs.

There came a point when I knew I had to take drastic action. I joined a weight loss group with counselling using cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) techniques. My counsellor helped me to explore and understand the reasons why I overate. In my first week, I lost 20lbs.

As the weight came off, my physical restrictions started to fall away. It was really exciting and spurred me on. Within 13 months, I had lost 20st 4lbs.

My health has dramatically improved and my doctor has reduced all of my medication. Now I can practically race up the stairs and I no longer need my walking stick. My daughter Chloe was so inspired by what I was doing that she joined in and now she’s lost 5st. She’s getting married in the spring and now we’re both going to be in shape to walk down the aisle.

Read more about how CBT and a very low calorie diet worked for Drew.