Dave Farmborough’s weight crept up over 40 years. Then he caught the ballroom dancing bug, and soon tired of his bursting shirts. Two years into his journey along The Harcombe Diet ®, he’s far lighter on his feet in more ways than one.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am 67 years old and spent most of my career lecturing in computers and IT. I’m semi-retired now, but still work as a consultant for a select group of clients.
As a teenager, I had a slight build and a waistline the right side of 30 inches. I still remember a medical health officer telling me that I had the kind of physique that would never put on weight!
But as my first job was as a desk-bound programmer, my weight started to increase, and hasn’t stopped. My wife has a weight that does not vary much and we used to wonder how it was that as we had the same diet I ended at nearly twice her weight.
I had a serious abdominal health problem in 1985, and was keen to regain some of my earlier fitness. So, when I left my day job, I started exercising at home. With the help of a rowing machine and exercise bike, I managed to lose around two stone (13kg) over a few years, but I couldn’t maintain that.
What was the final straw to taking control?
I had been thinking for some time that I should really try to keep my weight down, but when we took up ballroom dancing, I was fed up with always ‘bursting out’ of my shirts and sweating profusely.
I also had high blood pressure – to the extent that it was being monitored 24-hours. The advice was to change my lifestyle, lose weight and review my exercise regime.
How and when did you find us?
I heard the interview that Zoe gave on the Steve Wright radio show. I think his sidekick started by saying “Any diet where you can have egg and bacon for breakfast, a salad for lunch and steak for dinner sounds good to me”. It certainly sounded good to me.
So I ordered the ‘Harcombe Diet for Men’ and recipe books, and so started my journey.
On day one, I had a poached egg, bacon, tomato and a few leaves for breakfast, a tuna salad for lunch and a mixed grill at the local pub for dinner. I lost 3lb and was hooked!
I stayed on phase 1 for several weeks, and then added back in dairy, selected fruits and (eventually) alcohol. Rarely, even now, do I have a carb meal – maybe once a month?
What has been the biggest benefit to you of getting to your current weight?
I will say straight off that I cheat every now and again. I occasionally ‘nick’ a chip or two, but I never have a portion myself. I may also have the occasional pint, but normally stick to red wine.
However, after two years, I have lost around a third of my starting body weight, and my waistline is back under 34 inches. My wedding ring no longer cuts off my blood supply, and I have regained my waist and neck!
Yes, I still have too much tummy, but this is partly down to lack of stomach muscles following my many abdominal operations. I will certainly lose more weight in time.
Overall, this has made an immense difference to my life: I am more active and agile; I no longer sweat when I dance; and my blood pressure has dropped to a consistent 100/60.
I have a new wardrobe, but even then find that many of my clothes are on the large size. I sometimes wear old clothes for work around the home. We refer to them as ‘clown trousers’, and a good belt is essential!
Do you have any advice to our readers?
I enjoy the process and I think if people give this a good try they will find it enjoyable too.
It is very helpful if you can get your spouse/partner fully on-board. My wife has been extremely supportive and really the result has truly been a joint effort.
Also, when eating out, never be embarrassed about asking for something off-menu or to replace one item with another. I find, even in chain pubs, that they will always replace chips with a salad. In more upmarket restaurants, I find that any substitutions asked for are usually much better than what you were originally offered.