In an episode of a weight loss show Brand New Me, a British man named Matt Briggs spoke about how he started to gain weight as a teen when his mom developed multiple sclerosis, and kept using food as an emotional coping mechanism after she died. “Food is a comfort for me., he says. “The emotional eating got to be too much.”
The overeating went on until he was over 430 pounds. Finding clothes became harder, with him having to have shirts tailored-made for his work, and he was so self-conscious about his looks that he did not date. “I didn’t believe, at that size, anyone would see me as attractive., he says.
All of this changed when he looked at a family photo, and got some better perspective. ” I knew I was bigger., he says, “but to see myself next to my dad, and to see that I was double his size, that was a wake-up call.“
He then joined a local fitness group, and shed 12 pounds in his first month. He committed to fixing his diet, and using more physical activity through his daily routine.
“My first thing was parking a mile from work, so I would have to walk the rest of the way., he says. “Exercising is crucial now, I’ve seen how it helped me shape my body and build muscle… I love exercising; it keeps me positive, and I can see the difference.”
Having struggled over the past year to maintain his workouts because of the pandemic, Matt is excited to get back to his training since the gyms have reopened—although he admits his new life requires some adjustments.
“It takes a long time to get used to, you’re so used to how you used to look., he says. “I saw a window reflection, and thought ‘that’s what I want to look like,’ and then I saw that it was me!”
Matt lost 245 pounds in a year and a half, and is currently keeping his weight down to 231 pounds. And he now uses his own past to help others work on their weight loss, by showing them how much they can do.
“Since getting slimmer I have found my partner., he says. “I’ve been able to compete in marathons, raise charity funds for multiple sclerosis, and do other things I never imagined I could do.”