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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Weighting game

INSPIRED by the Evening Mail’s Love Your Life, Live Your Life campaign, colleagues Stuart Roberts and Dale Cassidy pledged to make 2012 the year they would lose weight and get fitter. As their three-month fitness programme comes to an end we caught up with the workmates for their final weigh-in

COLLEAGUES Dale Cassidy and Stuart Roberts had fallen into the habit of working hard during the day, filling up with convenience food and then putting their feet up at night.

After an indulgent Christmas they realised their weight had crept up and their lethargic lifestyles were impacting on their leisure time.

The turning point came during a medical check in January when Park Leisure Centre fitness instructor, Ian Jones revealed their unhealthy lifestyles were putting them at risk of developing health problems later in life.

In a moment of bravado, the workmates handed themselves over to the experts at Park Leisure Centre, Barrow, for a very public overhaul under the scrutiny of Evening Mail readers.

The theory being that having the Evening Mail chart their progress on a weekly basis would be the incentive they needed to shed two-stone apiece in three months and return to a healthy weight.

A big challenge for both men was establishing a routine.

Dale is married with two children under three; Stuart is also married with two children aged 13 and 16, and both work full-time.

Stuart and Dale were selected for the programme as they represent typical working people, trying to fit in some extra exercise while juggling family life and other social activities.

By monitoring their progress over three months we were able to show how easy it can be for anyone to increase their exercise levels, and change their eating habits, if they really want to.

Fitness instructors Ian Jones and Annemarie Almond set the pair a programme which would fit in with work and their social lifestyle and introduced a healthier diet.

High-carbohydrate main meals were replaced by healthy snacks and smaller portions.

The pair have subsequently become lifelong advocates of healthy eating.

And at the end of three months the results speak for themselves.

Dale has lost 21lbs and Stuart, an incredible 30lbs.

Moreover, both men are determined to continue losing weight and are sticking to their healthier regime.

Adopting a healthier lifestyle is easier than you may think.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet has been the biggest breakthrough for Dale.

“I don’t have white rice or white bread. It’s little things like that that have made the big difference over time,” said Dale.

“I know what I need to do now to carry on losing weight.”

Stuart, on the other hand, enjoys being more active.

“I’ve definitely got more energy,” he said.

“I look forward to coming to the gym and trying the sessions we do. It’s been a great experience as far as I’m concerned.”

Commending the men for their efforts Ian said: “Both Stuart and Dale have done really well throughout the 12 weeks.

“I hope they have found it to be fun and enjoyable and that this project has opened their eyes, and made them realise that exercising does not have to be a chore that takes over and dominates your life.

“Just making some minor changes to your eating habits and increasing your exercise levels can have a dramatic impact on your health and fitness.

“We felt that if we could show how positive results can be achieved, by using Stuart and Dale as examples, then it would prove that anyone can improve if they approach things with a positive attitude.

“Although the results are good they both need to keep going and get their body fat percentage and BMI into a really healthy range.

“They both now know what they need to be doing, so I would like to ask them to carry on with their training and, in another 12 weeks, meet with Annemarie and myself to be weighed and measured.”

Stuart’s advice to people hoping to build exercise into their every day lives is: “Stop making excuses and get on with it.”

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