Leroy Wilson: 5 years on and still maintaining!
In 2007, Leroy Wilson joined LighterLife in fear that his weight would soon be the death of him. Five years on, and still in management, Leroy tells us how he’s never taken his body for granted again…
I’ve worked as a DJ since I was a teenager. Long evening shifts meant I’d spend most of my days sleeping and then eating at unconventional times. The industry I’m in is great, and I really enjoy it. One of the perks is that people tend to give you food for free when you’re at different venues. I used to accept every plate given to me, even on a full stomach. I felt rude to turn down a free offering. After my shift, around 2am, I’d go to my friend’s kebab van and eat as much as I could, usually for free. I’d have an egg and bacon sandwich with cheese and mayonnaise, cheesy chips and round it off with a chicken kebab and a fizzy drink – on a stomach that was already full.
When Leroy hit his late 20s, his weight started to become an issue. Working seven days a week took its toll and left him very little free time to go to the gym or play squash, which he really enjoyed.
At my biggest, I broke garden furniture, car seats and two beds. I had an XXXXXXXL Hawaiian shirt that was getting tight and it was the size of a tent! I was eating myself to death; I thought I just ate out of habit.
The final straw for Leroy was when he couldn’t find a suit to wear as best man at his friend’s wedding.
I had to wear a waistcoat as nothing else would fit around me – I was self-conscious all day. After that I gave myself a choice – to live or die. I knew if I kept feeding myself I wouldn’t live to see my grandchildren. After seeing my friend’s success with LighterLife I signed up to the programme in September 2007.
Five years later, Leroy is a fraction of the man he used to be.
When I look back at photographs, it’s like I was living a different life. I find it hard to believe that I was ever that big and it makes me mad to think how much food I used to eat. I remember my first LighterLife group session – I was really nervous but for the first time in my life I felt in control. It was good to be sat with a group of guys who were all in the same boat. I didn’t feel bad or alienated; even though I was the biggest guy in there we were all there for the same reason.
What really helped Leroy was exploring the history behind his eating.
I realised that the Child in me completely overruled any Adult authority I had. People would give me food, I’d eat it, and there was no stop button. I’d just take food off people because I could, like a sugar-happy kid. I realised I had to stop eating for other people, then stop eating for greed.
LighterLife Management was like a fresh start for Leroy – a new beginning for his new body.
LighterLife Management is all about making informed choices. If you’re going to slack, you’re going to put weight on. For me, it was time to stop taking things for granted and to realise what my body needed to survive. I still go to the groups now to keep on top of my weight loss.
Since reaching his LighterLife goal in 2008, Leroy has never been so active.
Over the last few years, I’ve taken up ice hockey and I ride my bike every day. LighterLife even gave me the confidence to find love. I married my wife in 2010; I had known her for years but only asked her out in 2008; I’d never have had the confidence before. LighterLife is a life change! At the end of the day, it’s all about how much you put in your mouth. Since losing weight, my blood pressure is normal, my heart rate is down and my knees and back feel fine. I’m a new person and I’ll never take my body for granted again.
Leroy’s fabulous weight-management counsellor, Charlotte Evans-Brown deserves a special mention for supporting Leroy throughout his weight-loss journey. Make sure you check out his fantastic story on our YouTube channel…
Leroy’s story also featured in Real People back in July…
If you want to find out how LighterLife has helped others develop the mindset for life-changing weight loss visit our LighterLife Facebook page, Twitter or our website to start your journey toward a lighter life.