Prior to his weight loss transformation, Mark Stephen weighed an impressive 32 stone but managed to drop to under 15 stone by changing with eating habits and introducing some exercise into his daily routine. Before starting his weight loss journey, Mark had moved into an Airbnb in Nottingham “temporarily” in order to be more independent.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, he was living there on his own and as he was feeling isolated, he “needed something” that he “could control”.

“And there was very little that I could control other than my weight and what I did with myself,” he said.

How did Mark lose 17 stone?

The slimmer decided to exercise a little, and he started borrowing the neighbour’s Shar Pei dog “all the time to go for walks” and get some fresh air.

“You were allowed to go out to exercise but not much else. If they hadn’t let me take Oscar the journey would have taken a lot longer,” he explained.

Feeling more motivated than ever, he incorporated other workouts into his new fitness routine.

Mark started using dumbbells and “I did a lot of the various weight training things that I had on YouTube and got her help a couple of times”.

He also used “the resistant bands as I realised walking the dog was great but I’m not using any of the other muscles”.

Mark’s dietary changes

He revealed that to lose weight, he started eating “the same meal every day” and although it was “terribly boring”, that regiment “was the only way I could wrap my head around it”.

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However, he would also “mix it up with different spices and sauces so it wasn’t just tuna and pasta, which made it nice and cheap as well”.

Mark managed to keep the weight off for two years but he still had excess skin he wanted to get rid of.

Unfortunately, the NHS could not help him because the procedure is considered “a cosmetic” treatment, so Mark was not able to get his surgery after his weight loss.

When he lost his father earlier this year, things were put “in focus” for him and he decided to fund the surgery in order to improve his lifestyle and appearance, as well as reach his life goal.

He explained: “This £15,000 that I need for my arms and my belly, I’ve got it in my head as a wall I need to build.

“And each brick in the wall is £25 and that way it doesn’t seem like such an unmanageable task as I’ve built walls with over 600 bricks.”

Talking about the surgery, he commented: “It would literally be life-changing, and I’ve done all the hard work and put in all the hard effort.

“It would be amazing as well as I could go out to see mum a bit more,” he told Nottinghamshire Live.

Some of the top tips from the NHS to lose weight include:

  • Aim for two or more vegetables a day.
  • Always include some protein like beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat or other types.
  • Carbs like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta should make up no more than a third of your meal, and try to have wholegrain versions where you can.
  • If you eat fish, try to have two portions a week.
  • Pick lower-fat and lower-sugar options for milk, cheese and yoghurts.
  • Go for olive, sunflower and rapeseed oil, which have unsaturated fats.
  • Choose lower-fat spreads and only eat them in small amounts.
  • Drink six to eight cups of fluid a day.

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