A patient from QA hospital has had a rollercoaster couple of years- losing an incredible 14 stone in nine months, but regaining it over the course of the following year.
Now Chris Mardlin, 27, is back on the road to good health, and this time, with the support of the Integrated Complex Obesity Service at Portsmouth Hospitals, is losing weight the right way.
Chris says: “I’ve always struggled with my weight, and was 20 stone at the age of 13. This rose to nearly 33 stone by the time I was 25.
“I decided to change that in January 2014. I dropped my calorie intake to about 1,600 calories a day, and I was spending hours in the gym most days.
“I was also taking diet pills T5 and Grenade Black Ops. I wasn’t doing it in a sensible way, and I became addicted to exercise, where once I’d been addicted to food.
“If I did 50km on the exercise bike one day, I would force myself to go even further the next day.”
The weight fell off Chris, but he was suffering from side effects including heavy heart palpitations, a numb and dropping face during exercise, and inability to sleep in a healthy pattern, which he attributes to the diet pills.
Chris, from Portsmouth, said: “I have a very addictive personality and seeing the scales drop so dramatically gave me a real boost.
“My friends and family couldn’t believe the transformation, and I was amazed at how differently people treated me in day-to-day life. It’s sad that people talk to you so differently depending on how you look.”
At his lowest weight, 6ft Chris was 18 stone 5lbs. He said: “I was pleased I had lost the weight, and I was happier with how I looked, but I did struggle mentally.
“I had done all of this work but my life was essentially still the same- I let my old patterns of thought creep back in overtime and started to lose belief in the end goal of my journey, eventually believing what I wanted was unattainable.”
He maintained the weight for a few months, but the wheels came off his weight-loss programme in January 2015, when he gained 30lbs over a week-long holiday to Butlins.
From then on, he continued to gain weight, and by December 2015 he was back at his start weight of 33 stone.
Former chef Chris, added: “For me, my poor relationship with food is a mental one, it’s in my mind, I think food can be a form of self-harm, if I don’t achieve the goals I have set out for myself I begin to fall into a negative state of mind
“I tell myself I deserve to be a certain way and before long I become what my mind is telling me, and once I’m in that cycle it can be hard for me to break. When I start to lose belief my journey becomes nothing more than a debate, which I will always lose.”
“I know that I can lose the weight again, but this time I want to do it the right way.”
“I will continue to exercise, but not to the obsessive extent I was previously, ensuring I set manageable goals. I’m following a sensible diet, eating regular meals throughout the day.
“I’ve already lost two-and-a-half stone, without the use of any products.
“My ultimate goal, when I have lost the weight, is to find work in the fitness and nutrition industry. I think that given my own experience, I would be in a really good position to help others who are struggling with similar issues.”
Chris is being supported by our Integrated Complex Obesity Programme team. The programme means that patients receive medical, dietetic, psychological and exercise support for a period of six months.
After this period, patients will be referred on to specialist or surgical assessment, which may include bariatric surgery, or will be referred back to primary care with a personal treatment plan.
Chris said: “I wouldn’t rule surgery out, but it’s not in my plans at the moment. I know that I personally can achieve great results by exercising and eating well.”