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Since March 2020 these 3 men who are all members of WALX Derwent and Dales have achieved an amazing weight loss. A good news story to come out of the pandemic making these 3 lighter, fitter, stronger and feeling great – they shared their stories with us and we hope it will inspire others to keep moving both indoors and out!

Ralph Eales – WALK LEADER with the group shared his story

“After Christmas 2019 the ever-increasing mass and especially waistline in photographs of myself from recent Nordic Walks, along with the confirmatory reading on the weighing scales, convinced me of the urgent requirement to lose some weight. How to do it? I would certainly need some help and support from friends and associates and to this end I chose to undertake a sponsored slim starting in mid-January, spread over a 29-week period (to a specific date) with the aim of losing 1 ½ lbs. a week; in other words, a little over 3 stone. With an official weigh-in at 17st 1lb., my ambition was to end up below the 14 stone mark.

How was this achieved?

Determination to succeed aided by feeling committed to the task by being sponsored by many individuals, to the tune of over £400.

Diet; cutting out most foods that I knew I should not be eating such as pork pies, pizzas, cakes, biscuits, puddings, chocolate etc, along with portion control; with the onset of Covid-19 I opted for home deliveries of food, limited to 30 items by my provider, and thereby restricted to only the more healthy options.

A daily walk with my Nordic Walking (NW) poles became the norm, as part of organised walks with WAX Derwent and Dales whenever possible, with the Saturday largely becoming my “rest’ day and upping my weekly mileage; 56 miles in one of the weeks”.

Another spin-off of the pandemic was the introduction of almost daily zoom physical activities led by my Instructor Samantha Armstrong

Sam and her team have been able to offer virtual exercise classes during lockdown as well as continuing them throughout the year, which I could conduct in my own living room. I also then extended these activities outside the normal zoom sessions, especially during advert breaks whilst watching TV.

With the weight loss having now been achieved, there is now the continuing need for me to at least maintain this loss and maybe even further reduce my mass; lots of NW, healthy eating; New Year Resolutions? An annual NW mileage target of 1,000 (20 per week (p/w)), 1,500 (30 p/w), 2,000 (40 p/w), 2,500 (50 p/w)? Watch this space!

Sam told us how Jonathan Pizzey achieved his transformation

Jon’s weight loss wasn’t planned but having more time on his hands during the first lockdown Jon increased his exercise regime. The positive and unexpected outcome was this huge weight loss. Jon has been a keen member of the WALX group attending the more intensive sessions including Speedhyking and Pep up Your Step.

Jon told us

“I’ve managed to lose just over two and a half stone since early spring through walking daily, come rain or shine, sometimes with and sometimes without poles.

Walks have been for 3 to 4 miles plus a couple of 10 mile walks each week, and also taking part in WALX Derwent and Dales excellent Pep up the Pace sessions at Allestree on Saturday mornings with Colin Mclean. The best thing is that apart from cutting out unnecessary snacking I’ve not had to change my diet”

Meanwhile John Beddoes who has recently qualified to be a Walk Leader puts his weight loss of 2.5 stones down to three things:

John tells us how he lost the pounds ‘The increased exercise programme he has been doing on Zoom (at least three times a week) with WALX Derwent and Dales, the walking combined with exercise with the group when not in lockdown and the healthy eating regime and a reduction in amount eaten I have undertaken since the first lockdown”.

During December John joined the WALX HQ team for their ADVENT WALX plan a fun lifestyle with tips and advice.

Sam told us

“When John started walking with the group, he was struggling with his fitness levels and whilst he rarely missed his weekly walk he was usually at the back.

With encouragement John signed up to become a Direct Debit member which meant he was now joining the walks at least 3 x per week. However, when the first lockdown was announced we were able to deliver virtual fitness classes so the combination of these plus his regular walking and healthy eating plan the weight dropped off. John will be found at the front of the group these days.”

When not under restricted government guidelines Samantha offers introduction courses to learn how to use poles for walking, regular weekly walks of various levels, weekend Explorer walks for non-pole and pole users. trips and holidays abroad. She is based in Ashbourne, Derbyshire

You can view Sam’s classes  HERE and similar classes all over the UK HERE



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