Before & Afters
How Mark Maintains His 15 Stone WeightLoss With New You
Weight loss maintenance can be hard no matter how much you’ve lost, so we asked Secret Slimmer Mark Kirwin how he does it.
You may remember Mark from our previous interview, but we thought we’d check in with him to see how he’s getting on. We asked him to give us a little recap on how he got started and to give you guys some advice on weight loss maintenance.
NY: How long have you been on The New You Plan & what made you start?
MARK: I started in March 2020, at the beginning of the lockdown. I was actually going to a consultation for bariatric surgery originally and at the consultation, the doctor recommended starting a very low-calorie diet. I’ve tried with a competitor of yours, but I didn’t like the products. I did a bit of an investigational work and The New You popped up.
NY: How much have you lost altogether?
MARK: 15 stone in total. I started off at 25 stone and have slimmed down to 10 stone. After that though, I’ve had some issues [with excess skin] so I went to Turkey and got a 360-degree tummy tuck and gynecomastia surgery ( breast skin removal). I knew I would have to get this done once I lost all the weight. My skin was very stretched and I knew it would never go back. Once I had this done I felt better than ever. Unfortunately, after the surgery, I didn’t realize that I had serious stomach issues. I had to have emergency surgery as I had an ileostomy. Being in the hospital for so long made me gain 5 stone, I have lost 3 and a half stone from this and now I am sitting comfortably at 11.5 stone.
NY: That’s amazing! What a story! You must feel great now though, right? Tell us, how long did it take you to lose 10 stone?
MARK: It took me about 9 months, I started in March and I lost 15 stone by November.
NY: That’s incredible! Can you tell us how your life has changed since we last spoke?
MARK: My confidence grew massively, mainly because of how my mindset has changed, and how I approach things with my new lifestyle. I am much more focused. I am much more active.
Mark’s weight loss maintenance
NY: Are you maintaining your weight loss with SWITCH? If not, how are you maintaining?
MARK: I am using Switch. I still have my favourite New You products and low-calorie meals. I try to have a lot of protein and low carbs. I’ve the odd ‘occasion’ day but mainly it would be high protein, low carb. For breakfast, I would normally have porridge, either a New You porridge or a different protein porridge. Porridge was something I started loving on Plan. I always started my day with a New You Chocolate Porridge. I have loads of water and black coffee throughout the day too. Later for lunch and dinner, I would normally have chicken and some sort of vegetables, which I cook for myself every day.
NY: What other things have you changed in your life?
MARK: Losing weight allowed me to be more active. Prior to losing the weight, I struggled with getting in bed let alone getting out of bed, because walking upstairs was an absolute killer. Things like getting up the stairs, I don’t even have to think about it anymore. I recently started weight training to build muscle mass a little bit. Seeing a slight definition in my arms is just unbelievable. I’ve never had definition in my arms before. I love walking and cycling. I got back on the bike for the first time since I was a child. When went out the other day and I cycled for 20 miles without even realizing it, I would never been able to do this before. My mental attitude would not have allowed that before, all I was thinking about is what to eat next and that I am not able to do it. Now I know I can do it, and I will.
NY: What have you learned from the Plan?
MARK: Discipline is the biggest thing. Telling myself no, stopping myself from doing things that I know will not benefit me. Changing my thought process, 9 times out of 10 you are not actually hungry, you are thirsty, I learnt to have a little drink first of all. Also, the encouragement of other Secret Slimmers. Reaching out to them and seeing someone else’s perspective on things.
NY: Yes! The Secret Slimmers are great, aren’t they? We post daily challenges on the Secret Slimmers Facebook group to try to encourage our slimmers to make room for self-care and self-love. It’s really great to see how it changes lives. What do you think about self-care, Mark?
MARK: Self-care and self-love are massively important in the New You Plan. People start the Plan because they are desperate to be better versions of themselves. Just keep focus and keep your mind on the Plan and then you start realizing how much this plan does for you. You start realizing you have loads more energy and you start feeling amazing. Forgetting the old you and embracing your new you, you need to celebrate your new you.
Accepting a brand new you
NY: I’m sure personally starting the New You Plan was a big step for you. And now you’ve lost 15 stone in such a short period of time, 9 months.
MARK: It took me ages to realize my new version of myself. In the beginning, I still felt like the old me every time I looked at myself. Winning challenges like the Transformation Challenge, winning Mr Motivator and Best Maintainer has helped so much. I didn’t enter them to win but getting nominated for Mr Motivator and the Best Maintainer award was huge for me, and I really appreciated that people thought of me this way, these things really help.
NY: Is there any advice you would give to anyone starting the plan?
MARK: Stick with it. If you fall off that wagon, just remember how easy it is to pick yourself up and get back on it. Having a day where you had a blip or doing something that you think is really bad for the Plan but you have done it, well you have done it! You have to take accountability for that and continue with your day like nothing happened. Once in a blue moon, enjoy your blip and get straight back on it.
NY: Can you tell us how you felt before the New You Plan and how you are feeling now?
MARK: I felt exhausted, I felt inactive, a little bit depressed, and incredibly body-conscious. I also felt overconfident, which I know sounds really strange because I was always that big bubbly, funny character. It was always like I needed to play to the typical overweight stereotype. I still have that big, bubbly personality and a big character, but I don’t have depression anymore. Now I’m massively body confident, my activity levels are super high, and I no longer struggle to get in and out of bed. Walking up the stairs is not a challenge anymore, all in all, I am loving life!
NY: What is your biggest non-scale victory?
MARK: My newfound confidence has also helped me with getting a new job, I am starting next Monday. Now I can just walk in and buy a suit from the shelf. Before I would’ve had to spend a fortune going into shops and trying to find something that fitted me. I can now walk into a shop and buy size small clothes, previously I could never get anything in my size.
NY: Is there any advice you would give to anyone on how to maintain weight loss?
MARK: Make sure you learn everything about Switch, read through the modules, and understand the Switch programme. Ask people about Switch, because learning how to do Switch correctly and following it really does work. The main thing is that when you get to your goal weight, don’t go back to your old eating habits, think about what you have done on the plan the last few months and learn from it.
That’s great advice there from Mark! Having lost 15 stone, he has refused to go back to his old eating ways and habits. He has remembered the work he has put in and has focused on weight loss maintenance for life.
It can be so easy to slip backwards, that’s why we have our FREE mindset coach and Switch plan to help you. Even after you’ve reached your goals with the New You Total Plan you, we are still here to support you – for life – and at no extra cost.
For more information on the New You Plan and New You Switch have a nosey around our website or download our app.