If you think back to 2007, you may recall seeing Darryl Weston on Channel 4’s Supersize vs. Superskinny. He managed to lose a whopping nine stone in a year thanks to tips from the show, but after a separation, Darryl piled on the pounds and hit a whopping 35 stone; his heaviest weight ever.

In June 2017, he decided enough was enough. Daryll (47) approached Derby City Council’s Livewell team to help him find his way back to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Thanks to their support, and his own determination, Daryll has lost nearly 15 stone, and 22ins from his waist in the last 18 months.

Start weight:  34st 4lbs
Current weight: 19st 8lbs
Weight loss:  14st 10lbs
Start BMI: 57.8
Current BMI: 33
Percentage weight loss: 43%

Darryl tells us about his journey with Livewell:

“Tipping the scales at over 34 stone made doing every-day tasks like getting up from a chair or tying shoe laces a struggle. Obesity raises the risk factors for all sorts of serious health conditions so when I was eventually diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), I knew I had to do something. I wanted to be around to see my lads grow into adulthood so I started to adjust my portions, reduce my daily calories and do a bit of swimming.  However, I needed ongoing support to keep on track so my doctor suggested I join Livewell’s weight management programme.

“Taking the plunge and walking into my first meeting was daunting but my advisor, Antony was really approachable and had every confidence in me. He helped me set healthy eating and exercise goals to get started and he supported me at every step to achieve them. I knew he was only at the end of the phone if I needed a bit of motivation, especially on a down day.

Realistic goals

“Livewell offers lots of free exercise sessions and a healthy eating course but being a round the clock carer meant I couldn’t take part as easily as I’d like. Antony suggested I try walking football and building up my swimming at my local pool. Although my nutrition knowledge was strong, having someone to suggest ideas to try and pointing me in the right direction was a god send. I had quarterly meetings where we reviewed my goals and set new ones, I felt constantly challenged but in a good way. I didn’t want to let my family or my advisor down.”

What a difference

“Six months in, I could swim one mile in an hour and was losing month after month. The improvements to my fitness have been amazing – I tear up flights of stairs effortlessly and walk further than I’ve ever been able to before without pausing for breath. I even dug out my bike to get back into cycling. I’m the lightest I’ve been for 25 years and I’ve overhauled my wardrobe, there’s no way I fit in 62in jeans now!

“I’ve always enjoyed live music and before I could only sit to watch gigs. Now I’m strutting my stuff at the front and can stand for hours – something I’d never be able to do two years ago. Even better, I now fit into band merchandise so I’m constantly treating myself to hoodies and t-shirts, but although I look good it’s costing me a fortune!”

“Health wise, I’m benefiting too. My DVT has gone, I came off the medication after six months but the doctor warned I’d have a 20-30% recurrence risk. I’m happy to say in the last 12 months I’ve had no further episodes.

“My youngest son, TJ was delighted when I could fit in the seats and join him on the big rides at Blackpool. It was the first time in ten years I’d been on a roller coaster. From then on, I set myself the goal to get down to the weight limit of the 4-D cinema chairs so we could go together with my eldest son, Sam – I’m only 10lbs off that now. With that target already in reach, my next aim is to get down to 17 stone 2lbs to be half the man I was but double the personality. With my new can-do attitude, I know I’ll get there soon.”

A 35 stone Daryll would consume around 3600 a day.

A regular day for him looked like this:

Breakfast

Nothing

Lunch

Takeaways or big portions of home cooked food

Evening

Doner kebab or pizza

Snacks

Multipacks of crisps and pork pies


What he eats now,
based on 2000 calories – sensible weight loss for a man of Darryl’s height and size:

Breakfast

Two crumpets with low fat cheese, low fat yogurt, banana

Lunch

Sandwich and snack of 600 calories or less

Dinner

Spaghetti Bolognese, shepherd’s pie (made with lean mince) or a thin crust pizza


Darryl’s top three tips

Enjoy a treat every now and again

Once the weight dropped off, I started to feel guilty about enjoying a meal out or tucking into calorific meals on holiday. I know now that I don’t have to beat myself up, I just promise myself I’ll get back on track the next day. 

Do exercise you enjoy

Discovering an activity you like will make you more likely to stick to it and lose more weight. I’ve learnt that swimming is an ideal exercise for me. It’s kinder for sore knees and gives me more energy. I try to walk whenever I can. Two years ago I could just about cover 500 yards but I had back pain and needed rests, now I go for miles without having to stop.

Choose the healthier option when eating out

Don’t stop having what you fancy. I still enjoy a kebab once a month but it’s a healthier version and my main meal rather than an extra snack. I opt for lean chicken tikka with salad rather than fatty donner.

Inspired by Darryl’s success?

Livewell’s free 12-month Lose Weight programme supports clients to achieve their health goals through a wide range of free exercise sessions, an 8-week weight management course and weekly meetings and drop ins.

To find out more, visit our website.