The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Week 104

2 years ago today, Maggie and I changed the way we ate forever.

No one intends to become considerably overweight, Sumo wrestlers aside, it just creeps up. You don't become obese overnight, but through years of eating too much of the wrong foods.

There are many reasons why a person will eat more than their body requires, and “greed” is an easy catch-all term that doesn’t in fact tell you anything. We are bombarded with hard-sell, high pressure advertising to consume foods that our body has evolved to crave – those high in fat, sugar and salt. We are taught from a young age to clear our plate, regardless of whether we are full up. We can suffer from food addictions without knowing it. Throughout our lives we associate sweet and fattening foods with times of celebration, so turn to them for comfort in times of pain and distress. We get into habits of consuming the wrong kinds of food at the wrong times of the day. And some of us even have chemical delays in the stomach letting the brain know it has eaten enough.

Many people become overweight and some become very overweight. And for those who become very overweight there can be several of the above reasons at play, so it is not as straightforward as saying “well just don’t eat as much then.”

Diets don’t work. Diets can never work because they are temporary and do not address WHY the person was overeating. Consequently, as soon as the diet stops, they go back to the same eating habits that caused the weight to go on in the first place, which is why between 95% and 98% of people who go on a diet end up putting all the weight back on within 2 years.

2 years ago, Maggie and I reached a point where we truly realised that our health was suffering, and that if we didn’t do something about it, our long-term future was in jeopardy. We decided that we wanted to be healthier.

On February 15th 2005 we began to eat healthily. This meant eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, cutting out as much processed food as possible, eating brown and wholemeal instead of white, and replacing snacks of sweets and crisps with fruit.

The primary aim was to be healthier; the side effect of this was weight loss.

And although there have been hiccups along the way, the overall effect has been dramatic. My starting weight was 19 stone 9lbs (275lbs) and in the 2 years since we started I have lost over 96lbs (almost 7 stone). And while a gentleman will never divulge his wife's weight, suffice it to say she has made a similar journey.

I am still overweight by about 25lbs according to the height-weight charts, but it doesn’t worry me that much now. I will continue to eat healthily and my body will eventually settle at whatever weight it will.

For those who are interested, you can track my progress from about week 35 through to week 104 on my other blog, Losing a Hundredweight, but I thought I would mark this 2nd anniversary with a few pictures.

The first was taken in January ’05, the second in June ’05 and the third was taken last September.

Changing faces


Fat Lazy Guy said...

Congratulations again. That's such a huge difference. I appreciate all the advice you've given me. You're a true inspiration.

Kate said...

Well done! I hope you give each other regular pats on the back, because you deserve it. Making such a big change is hard.

It's amazing to see the visible 'evidence' in the photos - even the June 2005 one shows progress, and you look like a new man in the last - I hope you don't mind me saying, but oddly, even your nose looks slimmer.

fatmammycat said...

Yikes Kim, I've been following your progress from some time-as you know- but to see the photos side by side is still quite startling.
Well done you and Maggie must be very proud of your achievements

Conan Drumm said...

You're an inspiration, Kim. How do you find excercise now, is it still difficult and very tiring?

BStrong said...

Do you recognize the guy in mirror now? You look great and you did it without all those yoyo diets.

You stud:)

By the way, you look better with a shorter beard and more hair. The first two pics might have caused someone to cross the street if they were walking on the same side as you;)

OddMix said...

Well done, indeed!

Nikki said...

Uh Kim, this is terribly weird to say....but you look hot. Really.

Andraste said...

The cat is right. Hearing about the numbers is one thing, but looking at those pictures...Amazing!

Nice work!

Open Grove Claudia said...

YAY!! Thanks for sharing your journey!

Stella said...

Wow Kim, what a difference - you look fantastic!!! I am feeling inspired - Well Done to you and Maggie.

Kim Ayres said...

FLG - thank you, but it's you who made the decision to change and you who's carrying it through. You should feel good about yourself.

Kate - I think you're right about the nose, but I guess it shouldn't be too surprising. I have been caught by surprise by the fact that I've lost over an inch off my wrists too. Where my watch strap used to be on the first notch, I've recently had to start putting it on the 5th. I wasn't expecting that.

FMC - It wasn't that easy to find the photos as I tend to be the one behind the camera, but it does me good to see the progression. I appreciate all the support you've been giving me over the past year or so.

Conan Drumm - unfortunately exercise is still pretty minimal, though I try to leave the house for a brisk walk at least once a day.

BStrong - sometimes I still get a bit of a surprise in the mirror. In my mind's eye I still think of myself as looking more like I do in the 2nd picture.

But there was me thinking that the only reason people were crossing the road was so they'd have enough room to get past :)

Kim Ayres said...

Oddmix - thank you

Nikki - nah, you're probably just ovulating.

Andraste - thank you :)

OG Claudia - thanks for coming along :)

Stella - Between Meg's birthday on Wednesday and a big family meal out on Thursday, I feel like I've put most of it back on this week...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Wow Kim, that is quite an achievement! Well done, mate.

I think you've done it the only way it can be done - by changing your lifestyle. I wouldn't beat yourself up about the odd splurge, like at Meg's birthday. On some occasions you just have to relax and concentrate more on the celebration than worry about the food at the celebration.

You and Maggie have shown tremendous will-power. You ought to be very proud of each other - that's not an easy thing to do.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

You look pretty damn good too!

Kav said...

Good man kim. The results are obvious, not only in the weight loss, but you look healthier too.

Kim Ayres said...

Sam - what's with all these ovulating women visiting my site?

Kav - thanks

justin barker said...

Looking good. At 179lbs you say you're still 25lbs over weight - I must be missing something. You barely weight more than me.
Give me green vegetables over a chips/crisps/or fries any day.

Stinkypaw said...

Congrats on the weight loss - it's never easy. Quite an achievement you did - and kuddos to your wife as well!

quinn said...

Hello you handsome devil you!!! Love the pictures..would have been really great accompanied by that voice of yours LOL>..( NO I am not a cyber stalker) ...

Congratulations on such a great accomplishment and best of luck on the journey of healthy living.

I think I would do a lot better around here too if my spouse were and I were doing it together. Especially the meal planning etc.

However, I am happy to report that my size 14 jeans from that lose that ass challenge are loose enough on me now that I can take them off without undoing them...whooohooo...maybe size 12's are round the bend..

Christina said...

Congratulations, looks like a BIG change :-)

Annie Rhiannon said...

Woohoo! Good stuff, well done you, you look great.

PI said...

I totally agree with everything you say. BTW my husband is Scottish and I have a theory that it is much more difficult for Scots to adopt the fresh fruit and veg tyoe of eati;ng . Pies xcones, white bread, fruit cakes short bread, crumpets, all favourites of my husband -the only real goody it seemed to me was porridge. Now he has a reasonably healthy diet but the above will always be stumbling blocks.

PI said...

BTW I am not an OW but nevertheless think you look a good looking laddie!

restaurant gal said...

You've had such an amazing and successful journey to health. Photos don't lie!

I have been so busy at work learning the new job, I am just now catching up on your wonderful stories. Happy belated birthday to your daughter!

Sayre said...

Okay, I couldn't wait for your post next week... Had to check out the pics TODAY!

You look great! I am re-inspired.

And happy bithday to your sweet Meg.

Haven't been over here before - I like this blog too!

BStrong said...


How do you see yourself when you dream at night? Are you the guy of 7 stones ago, or are you the guy today? Talking about your physical image only of course.

Marymurtz said...

Congrats, Kim! You look terrific, and I'm sure you feel amazing compared with two years ago. Great inspiration.

Gyrobo said...

Some holistic grocery should snap you up as a spokesman.

In time, people will come to associate beards with weight loss. Isn't that a world worth fighting for?

ArleneWKW said...

Holy friggin waaaaaay awesomeness. I wouldn't have believed that the guy of January 2005 could look as hot as the you of September 2006. Multi-mega amazing!!!

Kim Ayres said...

Justin - I'm 5' 7" so at the upper end of the height/weight ratio I should be 159lbs, so 154lbs is probably ideal, although I'm not going to fret about it.

Stinkypaw - thank you

Quinn - there's no way I could have done this on my own - it takes 2 to create mutual support.

Christina - we've lost an overweight adult between us

Annie - thank you, and welcome to my ramblings!

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - of course porridge tastes so much better when it's dipped in batter and deep fried...

Restaurant Gal - thank you and thank you.

Sayre - thank you - have a look around the blog, there's usually something for everyone.

BStrong - that's an interesting question. Even at my largest, I was never particularly overweight in my dreams.

Strangely enough last night I dreamed last night that I shaved my beard off and I looked about 16 without it.

Marymurtz - welcome to my ramblings! There's no doubt I'm considerably healthier than 2 years ago.

Gyrobo - a world worth dying for!

Arlene - I think you might be overstating it somewhat, but I'm a sucker for flattery, so thank you.

Attila The Mom said...

Happy Anniversary!

jennifer said...

Congratulations, so much to be proud of! And I especially appreciate that yours is a message of Good Health. You're right...the weight loss will follow, if you eat to support good health. It's such an important cause and effect relationship, one that many people miss entirely.

Kim Ayres said...

Attila - thank you

Jennifer - people too often think that food is just fuel. If it was we could all just live off sugar, which clearly we can't. Food supplies us with nutrients we need. If you're going to eat 600 calories of something, you may as well eat 600 calories of something that will do you good.

Resident Alien said...

Hello, Kim. I'm the only one in this household who doesn't squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle, too, so right away we've got something in common.

The fact that you and your wife have manged to lose so much weight is fantastic, but it is your lifestyle change that I find most impressive. A lot of people do manage to lose weight, but few really manage to change the way they eat, what they eat, etc. I can imagine that you don't just look better, but you now feel better too.

I've just started a blog -- thanks to you. I have the printed instruction sheet right in front of me and I am now going to try to send this. If I manage to do this successfully, I'll be pretty impressed with myself.

Okay -- here goes!

Bock the Robber said...

Jesus, that's some change.

However, I notice the beard didn't lose weight. Obviously, the beard boycotted the whole thing.

Resident Alien said...

Well, I stand amazed. I was so delighted to have actually managed posting a message here that I went straight to my blog and rummaged around for my "dashboard." Which I never even knew I had. I wish that I could report that I found it and managed to adjust my settings, but I did not. Instead, I learned that Google does not recognize my user name. Never mind: if I've gotten this far, the sky is the limit.

I've just read your posting on school sports and I am delighted to find another person who hated P.E. and takes issue with that silly cliche 'Your school days are the happiest days of your life.' Good thing I never believed that back when I was a kid or God knows what I would have done.

Kim Ayres said...

Bock - I think if you look closely, you'll notice that the beard is a little shorter. In fact it probably accounts for at least half my weight-loss.

Resident Alien - welcome to my ramblings and congratulations on figuring out how to comment :)

The Dashboard is the page you end up on when you sign in to Blogger. If you still have problems, send me an email and I'll talk you through it.

Sherry said...

Congrats on healthier living! I must say you look great, you must be pretty proud of yourself and you should be!!

I just found your blog and will be back to visit you again, there is so much to read. :)

Kim Ayres said...

Hi Sherry - welcome to my ramblings, and thank you for taking the time to comment. And a complimentary one too - what more could a blogger ask for?

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