After a chance meeting with hero John Aldridge, Telford resident Les Pointer decided to take up walking football and healthy eating to lose over 7 stone.
By Les Pointer – Telford resident
When I was 21yrs old I had a training accident in the RAF that required reconstructive surgery on my left knee. As a result of the injury I was discharged two years later on medical grounds and subsequent complications.
For roughly 15 years I was using a walking stick to move around. During that period, I received a further 5 operations (four on my left knee, and one on my right knee). I also received “Cordial Epidural” injections into my spine four times a year. These lasted for around 8-10 years. After a long hard slog, I was finally able to ditch my walking aid and the spinal injections.
During this time I went from being a healthy and fit 12 stone, up to my heaviest of 21 Stone 7lbs. Having previously been a sporty person I became depressed about my weight and lack of mobility.
I then met Sid from Telford & Wrekin Council and we agreed to work together to try and get me fit and healthy again. It was hard work, for months on end I would yo-yo up and down, but Sid was always positive, always patient, and would offer advice, counsel, and encouragement at every opportunity.
The moment everything changed
After 9 months of going nowhere, all of a sudden everything clicked. Sid had said that it could take a while for my body to adjust from two decades of bad eating habits and no fitness, so I was not to be discouraged. After my son’s 16th birthday on the 20th May 2017, I saw a photo from his party and just decided that this would no longer do.
From that day forward I controlled what I ate, when I ate, and made myself exercise even when my knees hurt. I changed my eating habits to ensure that I ate 3 meals every day, no snacking in between meals (except fruit), and massively reducing my sugar intake from chocolates, cakes etc. I did not cut anything out, I just made better choices as to how much and when I could eat things. I set alarms on my phone to help me get into healthy eating habits, and set an alarm in the evening from when I would stop eating. My wife and children were also getting into it, reminding me constantly when my alarm went off. My target was to lose 6 stone 7lbs by my next birthday.
Along with my healthy eating I took up walking football once a week at a very low intensity. That increased to two sessions a week (still low intensity), eventually getting lighter and fitter over the ensuing months. I also played tennis with my children as much as work would allow. I am now a lot fitter, I play football 3 times and week, and play tennis with my children. I have also started toning my muscles. Taking up walking football has been a great way for me to socialise as well, I’ve made several new friends playing the game.
On my Birthday weigh-in I smashed my goal and weighed in at 14 stone 7lbs, a total loss so far of 7 stone in 21 weeks. I am not sure how I lost so much weight so quickly. I didn’t follow any diet plans, I was never hungry, I just ate all the right foods, at the right times (3 meals a day, no snacking, etc), and exercised 3-4 times a week.
I have a great before and after photo of me with one of my heroes – John Aldridge. The first photo was taken just a few days after my son’s 16th birthday when I had decided that I needed to do something about my weight. We joked that I looked like I had eaten Ian Rush, his old Liverpool strike partner from back in the day. When I met him again a few months later on boxing day 2017 I just had to get another photo with him to see how far I had come.
I am extremely grateful to Sid and the program he was running. He motivated me and always gave me the belief that I could do it, even though it was frustrating for so long, until everything clicked into place for me. Without his patience, advice, and the program he ran, I know that I would not be where I am today.
Lose weight with free help and advice
Exercising more and eating less is easier said than done.
If you are feeling inspired to make a change in your life like myself then free help and advice is available from Healthy Lifestyle Advisers. They are trained to provide advice that’s based around you, and your needs.
To book an appointment with a Healthy Lifestyles Advisor:
Telephone – 01952 382582
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can drop in to Southwater 1 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.