Scroll down for my update.
The needle on Daniel Boulton’s scales went past its maximum. The birth of his daughter made him take stock, and so started his fabulous journey on The Harcombe Diet®.
In just over a year, the dad from South Derbyshire lost more than seven stone (47kg) and is following his lifelong dream to complete the London Marathon.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a 33-year old team leader at an automotive plant in Derby. The wonderful Emily became my wife in 2010 and we have a beautiful 18-month old daughter Scarlett.
Looking back across the years, I haven’t really been very kind to my body. I smoked and drank too much, and had a poor diet, which was always strange as I was brought up with home cooked food. I didn’t exercise and worked long hours in food retail, which always meant I was looking at processed food on the go.
I was at my heaviest in 2008. My scales topped out at 19 stone (120kg), but the needle travelled way past it! I would get in from work feeling very hungry and immediately grab a couple of slices of bread while I was cooking dinner. Then I’d grab a couple more slices… and then eat an oversized dinner.
I was always tired, couldn’t motivate myself to get up in a morning and my joints were suffering. My job involved a lot of driving and I spent a lot of time on my feet and walking which exposed my knees and back. The pain in my knees was very bad when I got home and relaxed, I realised I needed to do something.
I lost five stone (31kg) by monitoring my calorie and fat intake, but couldn’t lose any more. So I lost my way, found comfort in my old ways, and soon the needle on the scales maxed out again.
What was the final straw to taking control?
Whenever I looked in the mirror, I thought I looked okay. Then I saw some pictures of myself at weddings over 2012/13 and was really shocked. I was in denial. I looked bad. My clothes didn’t fit me properly; I looked bloated and puffy; and it didn’t help that all my close friends are in pretty good shape.
But the final straw was the birth of gorgeous baby girl. The moment she was born I realised that I had to be there for her for the years to come. I wanted to be able to play and run around with her when the time came. I wanted to be able to run up the stairs, without feeling like I had sprinted a 10sec 100 metres, or walk up the hill without losing my breath. Diabetes was always in the back of my mind and, quite simply, I didn’t want to be her fat dad!!
How and when did you find out us?
I heard a radio interview with Zoe, talking about the ‘Harcombe Diet for Men’. I was interested and intrigued by what she had to say, especially when she said I didn’t need to eat fruit. I don’t dislike fruit, but all together it sounded perfect!
So when I finally got to the point where I needed to do something about my weight, I got the book and it went from there.
I followed the book and pre-planned everything, so we could budget for only those things that we needed. I stayed on phase 1 for approximately five months and was losing a stone a month. It just fell off.
My wife supported me all the way and would eat everything I ate. I don’t think I could have done it without that involvement and support from her. This might seem extreme, but we ate the same things on the same day for the entire period on Phase 1. Then it felt like the right time to move to phase 2 and thankfully the weight still came off!
What has been the biggest benefit to you of getting to your current weight?
Where do I start! It has to be just the feeling of general wellbeing, but the list could be endless: confidence in my body image; being able to buy clothes that fit properly; alertness.
I know it’s a cliché but I feel reborn; a new man!
I’ve had a lifelong ambition to run the London Marathon, so earlier this year I finally took up running. I have never really been a sporty person, but I took to running like a duck to water. I now train at least three times a week – anything from 5K to 18K at the moment – so hopefully my marathon dream will come true.
Do you have any advice to our readers?
My advice is to stay disciplined. This disciplined nature at the start will become instinctive the further you get in to your new way of eating and your cravings slowly disappear. Sticking to the plan is what worked for me. Preparation with menus, meal ideas and shopping is also important.
August 2015 Update
Marathon Man Dan gets closer to his goal
It’s been an amazing few months and I’m enjoying my journey as a passionate ‘Harcomber’.
First and foremost, my daughter, Scarlett is now in her third year, and it’s great to be able to keep up with her! I just feel so lucky that I am able to be her active, healthy dad.
So onto my major life goal: From the start of January I have spent my spare time focused on my long-term goal to complete the London Marathon. That means I’m out pounding the streets four or five times a week.
Cutting a long story short, I reached an amazing landmark on April 26th. Having put my kit on and warmed up, I set off, and only stopped 3hrs 46mins later as I crossed the finishing line of the Blackpool Marathon!
All the emotion of my past year hit me as I saw my cheering family at the finish. It was a fantastic moment, as you can see from the short video!
I’ve now put in my entry for the big one: the 2016 London Marathon! It’s now fingers and toes crossed until October, when I discover if I’ve been successful.
I’ll let you know how I get one!