Meet Unislim’s Man of the Year Martin Loftus. When Martin first joined Unislim Newcastle West with Leader Ann Hynes he was 21st 10lbs. Now 8st 5lbs lighter Martin is beaming with confidence and enjoying his new lifestyle. Martin saw his weight as a mountain that he would never be able to climb. But in only 18 months he has turned his biggest challenge into his greatest success. Here he shares his story on how he took the bull by the horns and transformed his life.
I had never been overweight as a child. I enjoyed sports as a young lad, but things changed after I left school at 15. It just crept up and honestly, I didn’t really notice it until I gave up smoking in later years.
Working shift hours in my job, I would find myself eating, at times without realising. I was constantly grazing and often ate a dinner before I started work and then another at 2 or 3am in the canteen at work. My food of choice was the typical high fat processed and sugary carbohydrates. I could easily eat a large full Irish breakfast with 5-6 slices of toast every day.
I started to notice how my weight was affecting me when I found it hard to do activities with my kids. I felt guilty that I couldn’t run around the park or sit on a swing with my kids like other parents would. And my weight didn’t go unnoticed, people would often comment. My family and my GP would mention it, but only out of concern but then there were the cruel comments from people on the street or at work. I would always laugh it off and pretend it didn’t bother me. But inside my confidence was knocked and I was miserable and at times felt depressed.
In 2009 I was made redundant from my job. It was at this point, my weight really spiralled out of control. I knew how much extra weight I was carrying and it just felt impossible to lose, like I had a huge mountain to climb. I didn’t even know where to start.
Then one day in October 2014 my wife rang me and said, ‘we’re joining Unislim tomorrow’. At first I was hesitant and said ‘no way, that’s for women’, ‘I’ll be the only fella’ – all the usual excuses. We joined the class in Newcastle West the following day, a day that I now consider one of the best days of my life. My leader Ann Hynes gave me the warmest welcome and even when I stood on the scales and saw 21st 10lb she told me, ‘don’t worry I’ll make a new man out of you yet’…and she did!
I couldn’t believe all of the food I could eat on the plan. When I stood on the scales the following week I was astonished. I had managed to lose 9lbs in one week. The praise and support from Ann, my wife & fellow members was like nothing I’d ever experienced. As the months went on the weight kept coming off, I was learning more about food and my fitness levels were improving. By March I had lost over 4 stone, and when I attended a family wedding, people who hadn’t seen me in over a year they were amazed at how different I looked. What I love about Unislim was how flexible it was. I was still out enjoying life, going to weddings, parties and Christmas, but still feel in control.
Looking back now, eighteen months on with 8stone 5lbs down I am so glad I joined Unislim. I can now shop anywhere, wear the clothes I want and enjoy a healthy and active life. I recently ran my first ever 10k in 1hr and 6 minutes. My new lifestyle absolutely blows my mind.
My weight loss has brought a new found confidence, which in turn led me to going back to education, up skilling myself and finding a whole new career.
They say behind every good man is a better woman. That’s never been truer in my case, my wife has been by my side though it all. We have supported each other, she has lost over four stone and we have completely changed our lives.
To anyone out there who feels the way I did, all I can say is, join your local Unislim class. Yes, there will be hard work, but you will never have to do it alone. Going forward, I know that I’m equipped with everything I need to lead a healthy and happy life.
Feeling inspired by Martin’s transformation story? Join your local Unislim class here.