Daniel, 19, of Widnes, never went out and had no confidence before losing 10-and-a-half stone on The 1:1 Diet with the one-to-one support of his Consultant, Tania.
Now he’s a student at Falmouth University, going shopping for new clothes in ‘normal’ shops and has even started dating.
“I’m doing an arts degree and happier than ever,” he said. “Before the diet, I didn’t have a social presence. When I was bigger, I was going on dating apps and never got any likes. It’s really humbling now to get a few likes. I never really knew how to talk to girls and now they talk to me. I have the confidence to talk to them and see what mutual interests we share, which is really nice.”
Daniel said he never had a social life before and, ironically, only started to have one when he stepped up his weight loss in lockdown and took up walking.
“I was really isolated and never spoke to people or went out with anybody. I had a small group of friends I grew up with but was hiding away in my room.
“When lockdown started everyone went inside but I’d always been inside. I had more of a social life as my friends were into walking and hiking and I joined them. I never thought I would buy stuff like walking boots, but I love it. I couldn’t even get up the stairs before but can walk up hills now and it feels like a huge weight off my shoulders.”
Daniel attributes his weight gain to not eating all day but stuffing his face at night.
“I was really into food because it was a comfort,” he said. “I used to get bullied a lot when I was at high school. I went into my shell, was isolated and gained loads of weight because I never used to eat during the day as I didn’t like going to the canteen.
“I used to come home and my dad would make me a big bowl of spaghetti Bolognese. I’d eat that, then go to my bedroom with a load of snacks then go to bed.”
He had heard about The 1:1 Diet as his mum and aunty had done it in the past with very successful results.
“It was a really impulsive decision for me to start The 1:1 Diet. It was 3am and I was in bed, getting middle of the night thoughts. I texted my mum and she encouraged me. A couple of days later, my Consultant, Tania, showed up. I was one little decision I made and I am here now.
“Tania would come to me as she’s local. I’d lost three stones before lockdown and another five in it. The diet has given me structure with my eating and I’ve done it gradually. I would feel like I’d hit a wall every two stone and Tania would be a great motivator for me. I feel like I have made a friend for life.”
Since losing weight, Daniel said he doesn’t recognise himself in the mirror.
“I take that as a good thing. I look at myself only now.”
And he’s given himself a new wardrobe of clothes he feels suit his real self.
“I felt insecure before and used to hide away in baggy clothes like hoodies and got to a size 4XL or 5XL. If you go to a ‘normal’ shop there isn’t anything varied in clothes that size. I used to wear the same jeans in a size 44in waist dead low because my belly could overhang.
“I’ve now gone down five jean sizes and it’s really weird. I used to wear dark colours before. I’d never worn such loud colours because I didn’t want to stand out. It’s more like I wanted to wear this kind of thing, leading towards my own sense of fashion and people can get me more. I think I lost myself and what makes me special when I was bigger.”
He believes The 1:1 Diet saved his life.
“If I never did The 1:1 Diet I would have gone on another track. I would’ve been dead in my late 20s due to weight gain. I used to love fatty, starchy foods and I’m leaning away from that Bolognese but loving green, salad stuff now. I’ve started making healthy food for myself now and I think that’s great being at uni, though I hope everyone doesn’t expect me to cook for them!”
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