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'I run for cake' - Nicola

'I run for cake' - Nicola

Mark here, I asked in one of our group zooms recently 'Why did you join Keto Fitness Club?' and this was Nicola's response...

I had no idea what I let myself in for. I joined because I did a KICK session to speak to a real person about Keto & I got a free month in the group.

What I discovered is a fantastic collection of real people who live in the real world who face the same struggles as I face.

I love the fitness aspect, that is a real focus in my life  and something that resonates with me. Fitness and doing exercise is such an important part of keeping me, mentally, on an even keel. I even enjoy the Sunday double session!!!

I feel like I fit in here. I am frugal and don’t like wasting money, I love a yellow label, I freeze everything, I don't believe in ‘use by dates’, I love exercise. I love a few hours pottering about the kitchen on zoom with Michele, and a lot of these values are shared with the other members of the group.

Everyone here  is so supportive, no ‘why don’t you search’, no ‘you can’t have that’, there are lots of people who are keen to share knowledge, who seek out information to back up with science. I love that everything is science based and have enjoyed learning more about the science.

I love the mindset aspect, especially as it is, for me, the one thing missing from every other ‘failed’ attempt of living a healthy lifestyle. I feel I’ve always been lucky as I love my body, even at my heaviest at 15 stone. It’s amazing and does so much for me. I’ve grown 2 boys and fed them, ran marathons, I’ve always felt the body is a verb, a doing word. The sessions with Ian McGill both in the members group and private sessions have had such an epic impact on my life that I can’t even begin to put it into words. 

I love the social aspect, the group sessions, the cook alongs, exercise sessions and I wonder why more people don't take part.

I worry that as the world opens up, that the way I am able to interact with Keto Fitness Club will change, and not necessarily in a good way.


'I run for cake' one of Nicola's mantras :) 

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'trust the process' by Shel Pavlov

'trust the process' by Shel Pavlov

I've noticed a lot of people asking if exercise is essential to lose weight.. it's not.. obviously it is beneficial BUT if you are not capable of this (like me) please don't lose hope

I’m not particularly mobile (I have MS, behçet's, EDS and am recovering from a massive brain haemorrhage. 

I do physio daily and a small amount of Pilates as part of my routine and have now lost over 12 stone.

As Michele Cooper  says... 'trust the process'

Keto will not solve all of your problems BUT it might help some of them.

I have gone from a size 20/22 to a size 4/6 and significantly reduced my pain levels.

Also.. fasting is not essential. I eat 2 meals a day.. I cannot do elongated fasts (48 hours+) because of my medications... however I can restrict my eating to twice a day.. there is always a way to make keto work for you just ask Mark Brereton  and please book one of his kick workshops to get you started. This group is the absolute best.
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My Keto Life....so far by Suzanne Cole

My Keto Life....so far by Suzanne Cole

I knew deep down that my weight had spiraled out of control, however I was not ready to face facts. I would squeeze my body into clothes that were too small, refusing to buy new clothes in a size 20.  I was miserable, lonely, feeling hopeless and really sad inside.  

You see, I’d spent my entire adult life ranging from a size 14 to 24, I've tried everything to lose weight, but it's never worked properly, the weights returned, it's been really hard and pushed me emotionally to dark places. 

Finding Keto and Keto Fitness Club (KFC) has changed my life, I am no longer spiraling, I am growing in mind and body, I am stronger, fitter, healthier, I am in control, I feel like me for the first time in as long as I can remember.

I stumbled into Keto by accident, initially I was very sceptical. , In the first lockdown of Covid I was literally baking for England.  We couldn't go out, or see friends and going shopping was a luxury.  In my head me baking was looking after my family!.  We had just celebrated VE day in May 2020with an afternoon tea on our front lawn with our neighbours. It was lovely, but when my neighbours posted a picture I was horrified, it made me realise I was out of control.  How had that happened?  Why was I in denial? I cried; my husband Andy knew I was ready to try something new.

For months, he had been hinting, watching TV shows, even watching YouTube programs about keto athletes (He’s a triathlete) He bravely, (risking his life), suggested we started Keto on the 1st June 2020.  To his surprise, I agreed, albeit unconvinced and thinking we would put even more weight on.  But I was desperate, so  I started my own research; in a few clicks I had found several Facebook groups, luckily KFC was one I found straight away and I soon ditched the other groups.   I grabbed a pad and pen and wrote a meal plan and shopping list, I cleared the cupboards of all the things we wouldn't be eating, sent some to food bank and the rest to the neighbours. 

My head was spinning, everything I had been taught about food was turned on its head, I now questioned the whole food and health industries!

After week one, I was hooked, I loved the food, I loved the freedom, I loved that every mouthful felt like a treat, it didn't feel like a diet at all.  In the first week I lost 4kg.  I had decided to use kg to try to avoid becoming obsessed with pounds, which has worked.  Hubby bought new scales that analyse everything, so I concentrated on turning my orange and red zoned statistics into the green. 

The weight has continued  falling off, I've had some weeks of standstill, frustration of the odd gain but I always know it's when I've stopped weighing carbs and not tracking anything.  We've found sticking to Keto pretty easy, I love cooking, I love food, I can adapt most things and with the free recipe file on KFC, I was flying. 

I've shouted about KFC and Keto from the roof tops, if I can do this, honestly anyone can, they just need help to find Keto.  Friends and strangers who after seeing my weight loss and chatting have joined,  are now on their way to their own happy place.  I feel very proud of this community we are all part of.  

To date I've lost 4stone and 11lbs and I'm now in a size 12, I never thought I would say that.......... I do need to go clothes shopping though! 

Currently I'm where I want to be, in a healthy weight range, I feel confident that with KFC by my side I will just continue to live as I am, we have no desire to go back to our old ways and we don't miss anything, we've almost lived a year in Keto now.  

Andy never had any weight to lose, however he is leaner, his body shape has changed massively, he can now race fat adapted and he's really looking forward to his 70.3 mile Half Outlaw Triathlon race coming up very soon. 

I credit my success to each and every member of the KFC family, especially Mark and Ella for starting and running the group, I've celebrated my successes, shared my running journey from couch to 5k, to running a 10k and my return to swimming.  

I've shared recipes, products, ideas, loads of things, including, some may say, far too many pictures of me after a run!  All the love, support, food samples (thank you Pauline Moore) and advice I have received from you all has boosted my confidence, kept me focused, helped me to grow, to learn and to succeed.  It’s all given me the confidence to know I can do this and that this is my way of living that suits my body, to stay healthy, happy, fit, well and not in pain.  

Thank you everyone, I feel privileged to be part of this fantastic club. 

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Tracey Ann Davies

Tracey Ann Davies

I started my keto journey in January 2020 at 15st 3lb. I found this wonderful group 6 months later and the support, recipes and lovely people in this group made the journey so much easier and fun.
Today (Dec 2020)  I'm finally in the 10 stone bracket (10st 13 but I'm taking it 😂🤣) I've lost 60lbs. I'm in my ideal weight category and bmi for the first time since my twenties and I'll be 40 next March.
Thank you to my keto family 😘
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Losing through lockdown - Emma Grey

Losing through lockdown - Emma Grey

The journey for me and my husband has been such a fantastic one. We went into the first lockdown last year and severely hit the biscuits, after a few months of pure indulgence we decided that we really needed to do something about our eating habits. 

A friend of mine had lost 6 stone recently, so I asked her what she had done and she said Keto. She was amazing and pointed me to a few Facebook groups and some information, after a bit of research we decided to go for it, so in July we set off. 

We weighed ourselves, took measurements and pictures and most importantly planned our meals. We kept our Keto really simple, we are most definitely not clean keto, we downloaded a food tracker app (we use My Fitness Pal) and started logging and weighing out our foods. The only macro we paid attention to in detail was the carbs, making sure we were under 20g per day. The only other thing we kept an eye on was our calories, we got a digital set of scales that told us various things including our BMR, we used this to let us know our calorie limit per day, we made sure we were under this to ensure we were in a calorie deficit and the weight started to come off. 

The first 2 weeks were amazing and we were shocked, then we found out this was just water weight and we hadn't even started, then we hit the wall and the weight loss stopped for around a month. We stuck with it and did a bit more research and again discovered this was normal whilst our bodies were changing. Then woo hoo week 7 appeared and whoosh off the weight came again. 

We've been consistently losing weight ever since (with the odd tiny blip here and there). Christmas was HARD! We had 5 days off and totally stuffed our faces with everything and anything. After that January was the hardest month we've ever experienced, it took us the entire month to get back on track, to stop craving sweet things, to stop having hissy fits over the smallest things and to get our motivation back. In complete hindsight my advice would be - don't do it to yourself. At the time it was incredible and a really enjoyable 5 days but that following month was terrible and how I didn't end up causing serious injury to someone with my mood swings I will never know

I can however report that from July to now April in 9 months I have lost 6 & 1/2 stone and my husband 5 & 1/2 stone. We are now experiencing the pain of selling/disposing of our old clothes and having to buy everything new. I've discovered dresses, I can fit in long boots, I have more energy, my knees don't hurt anymore when exercising, my stamina has improved, I sleep better and although my mind still doesn't know I've lost the weight, it makes it a nice surprise when I pass a shop window or a mirror and see the new me. I still have another stone to go but am looking forward to reaching my goal.

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Ian McGill - Transformational Coach

Ian McGill - Transformational Coach

The reason why most people struggle or fail on their journey to better health, better fitness and weight-loss is because their thinking gets in the way.


My passion is to help with that as I'm a Transformational Coach and  I help my clients with overcoming eating, drinking and addiction issues, increasing confidence, getting rid of worry, anxiety and depression and overwhelm, that feeling of being stuck in their head and life. 
I am transforming people's lives by helping to change their thinking, which improves their behaviour, because changing behaviour requires changing thinking.

My success on the keto journey (I lost 46 pounds in 16 weeks) was possible because I got my thinking "right" before starting out. 
The KETO journey experiences helped me empathise with my clients and fully understand their needs and concerns. I can share my weight loss journey as well as coach individuals to improve their thinking (their mindset).

I share with my clients the ability to get back our health, innate wellbeing and inner happiness.

I have over 26 years’ experience of managing, mentoring, coaching, and helping people by using NLP, hypnotherapy, mindfulness and my unique "inside out understanding approach". However, I feel my most important credentials are my own experiences and health improvements utilising the Ketogenic lifestyle:  I was able to reverse my type 2 diabetes and put into remission my heart palpitations, snoring, tingling in my hands and feet, severe headaches and brain fog.

You can find out more about Ian on his website and YouTube channel


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Grab a coffee....Isabel has something to share :)

Grab a coffee....Isabel has something to share :)

Meet Isabel...an inspiration to us all!

Grab a coffee before u sit down and read...you might be a wee while 🥴
In 2016 I was 20st. I had a stroke in 2008 that left me with left sided weakness and my left leg has never lifted 1 step up since then. I had a previous heart attack and diabetes was bad. I was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2009. I was on loads of pain relief.
I was desperate because I couldn’t get out the house. I had carers coming in to help me get washed and clothes on. That was not easy. I lost all my independence.
I decided to try and lose some weight. I started taking protein shakes and slimfast. I was having 2 shakes per day and 1 small meal. The weight just fell off within months. I lost 8st. I felt so happy that I had achieved this. BUT. I stopped doing this diet and put a lot of weight back on. I did reverse diabetes doing this.
My pain was through the roof. In May 2019 I was admitted to hospital as they thought I had another stroke, it wasn’t a stroke it was FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER. Similar to a stroke and I had to learn to walk yet again.
I was on so so many meds. High blood pressure, cholesterol, metformin,9 gabapentin, aspirin, longtec & shortec. These are morphine, 1 fast relief and 1 slow relief.
During lockdown I was piling on the pounds and diabetes was rearing it’s ugly head again ( I make sweet treats to sell, tablet, fudge, cupcakes, cheesecake etc) I was eating everything.
My daughter introduced me to Mark Brereton public group. I sat looking for around 3 weeks just trying things before I decided that this is the road I want to go down. It helped when hubby decided to do this with me.
May 2020 I became a member and I haven’t looked back. I’ve hardly ever missed a zoom. I just think these zooms are amazing, especially during this horrible time with what’s going on in the world. These zooms are keeping many of us from going insane.
Before Christmas I was trying my best to get to my lowest ever adult weight of 73kg ( I know this still sounds heavy to many but because I’ve lost over 8 st now I do have a lot of horrible hanging skin that would weigh an awful lot but it’s only me looking at it and I’m afraid that will have to stay). Xmas Eve I was 73.2. I wasn’t giving myself the benefit of the doubt. I really had to get under that 73.
Guess what. Yes I ate goodies and put a few pounds on over the 2wk festivities. 😡😡😡
January 2nd. I was beginning to feel so much pain was back. My hip, back and joints were aching because of my wrong choices. I was straight back on the keto again.
Today I’ve weighed in and I’m a very happy person...72.8 kg!!
Now I’m definitely the lowest ever adult weight.
I just want to thank Mark Brereton for what he does for us all and all the lovely people I have met through the group. I will never ever say this is easy because it isn’t but it’s definitely a lifestyle that I am enjoying and want to keep this going.
My consultant and GP said I would be on aspirin and cholesterol tablets for life after a stroke. Huh. What do they know. I’m off these. I’m winning.
Gabapentin: used to be 9 daily, now 3 daily.
My pain is not half as bad as it used to be. If I’m honest the pain I have now is inflicted by Mark Brereton on the low impact exercise sessions. How cruel is he 🤣🤣🤣
 From April/May 2020 until now I have lost over 3st, you can also do this!
Ohhh I nearly forgot to say, I did struggle the last few months to shift the last Wee bit weight. I was taking it off and putting it on again and that can be very frustrating.
I decided to try 1 day carnivore and 1 day keto. That definitely gave my weight loss a boost and also again helps with pain
Thank you to Isabel for allowing us to share her story and images. All rights reserved.
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Stacey's journey so far!

Stacey's journey so far!

Well where to begin, after looking at pictures of myself from last hogmany I decided enough was enough.

I have gradually put weight on since I 17 years of age going from size 12 to size 24. My weight fluctuated along the years up and down with yo yo dieting from 10 stone up until my heaviest around 21 stone each one lasting few weeks and making me feel unwell.


I was always an active person however this never helped due to good that was eating. This lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. I enjoyed healthy food but I also now realise that between the healthy meals I was having family sized bags crisps and chocolate and lots of other snacks. Food was there for me during my happy times, sad times and boredom.

Then I found keto in July 2020 and boy has it changed my attitude to food and my health for the better. I was recommended keto fitness club Facebook page by one of my work colleagues and I am super grateful for that recommendation. On finding this group I have looked at food in a whole new way and re educated myself on nutrition. I love all the inventive people on site that come up with all nutritious and beautiful recipes that they all kindly share with us and that we are all there to help and support each other through good and bad days in out journey.

Also, for all lovely cook books which have made my passion for cooking develop and improve. From starting keto in July 2020 I have lost 5 stone and clothes size 24 to 16 which I never thought would be possible alongside intermittent fasting. I get to wake up daily and eat nutritious and tasty food. I now feel like I can continue on and reach my goal with my new lifestyle.

For anyone starting out there will be ups and down but that's OK pick yourself up and continue tomorrow x

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My Keto Journey - Part 2 by Neil 'Bigshow' Smith

My Keto Journey - Part 2 by Neil 'Bigshow' Smith

So after my writing my starting point to Keto this is my part 2 of my Keto journey.

I began to get scared with the chest pains I was having and new I was on a path to destruction. I know this maybe controversial to some and again the blog is purely my thoughts and feelings but I do believe that food can be an addiction. Not only addictive but food can also become our comfort blanket. If I was bored I would eat. If I knew there was crisps or chocolate in I would have to eat it. I would think nothing of eating 6 bags of crisps and 4 or 5 chocolate bars on a night. My life was purely based on food. Again at my heaviest I was 30 stone and knew my life expectancy wasn’t looking good.

I saw Keto on Facebook and thought it was just another fad diet and that it was about me joining a club getting weighed each week and losing 1 or 2 pound. Luckily for me a YouTube video came up for Keto Fitness Club and it was about where to shop and what to buy for Keto diet. This got my attention and I then proceeded to watch more from Keto Fitness Club.

The thing that occurred to me was they weren’t pushing signing up and paying weekly for classes. There were free meal plans and recipes on here. This was the start of a new lifestyle and I didn’t even know it yet. I decided I was going to give this a try. I looked at some recipes and off I went to Aldi to get my shopping list. The thing I didn’t understand was the fact I was buying full fat things and food I like. I did my first week on Keto and loved it. I was a bit unsure on certain things and again the Keto Fitness Club had advertised a KICK meeting. This is where you can go and Mark Brereton the founder of Keto Fitness Club does a Zoom meeting and explains about Keto.

I used the club on Facebook to ask any questions or concerns I had and the help and motivation was amazing. After my first week I had a fantastic weight loss and this boosted my efforts. I carried on into week 2 and again a great weight loss. I felt more energetic and so good overall.

Week 3 I decided to join the gym. My gym session was a shock as to my poor level of fitness I could only do 5 minutes of slow walking on the tread mill and could hardly breathe. I tried to go on the rowing machine but I was too fat to put my feet in the holders and also reach the handle I had to put my feet at the side. Again I was out of breath in minutes. I kept going 5 days a week and pushed myself each time.

I joined the members part of Keto Fitness Club and joined in with several different zoom meeting they have. I can honestly say they are like a family, non-judgemental, helpful and encouraging. This is one thing that has motivated me. I also have a 1:1 meeting with Mark and this was fantastic he took time to get to know me and my journey and goals.

I got to week 4 and the difference was unbelievable. I was over 1 stone down in weight but the health benefits were beginning to show. I went for a diabetic check and my blood sugars were down dramatically. I was taken off the canaglflozin and my thyroid tablets were reduced. I no longer needed tena man incontinence pads. This change alone was worth the effort. I carried on with the gym and had now started to push myself and was on the treadmill with a slight incline pushing myself hard. I was doing the weight training as well and spending about an hour each morning trying to improve each time.

Week 6 of my Keto diet and I realised I will not call it a diet anymore as diets for me are about weight loss and for me this is so much more it’s now my Keto lifestyle. I started to test my blood and have never had a high reading. I have so much energy. My resting heart rate has gone from 86 to 72. My fitness is so much better I don’t get out of breath like I used to do daily tasks. I no longer need Viagra (the missus has also felt the benefits of Keto!). The progress in the gym is fantastic and I have set myself long term fitness goals. I can honestly say Keto and Keto Fitness Club is a big contributing factor in saving my life. I know that’s a bold statement but without it I do not think I would have had long left. I do have to have a massive shout or for my wife Diane who has supported me and also done Keto with me, without her I do not know if I would be still doing it.

I’m now at week 9 of my journey and I now weight 24 stone 7 pound. I can now put my own socks and shoes on and feel so much better. I have gone from a 6 or 7xl to a 4xl tee shirt. from size 60 waist to 52 waist. My knees are so much better and very little pain in them now. I have another diabetic review coming up soon and I will post the results in here. I am doing this blog not for praise or recognition but to be honest and hopefully inspire others who face the same or similar issues that I have or I’m still facing. I have a long journey ahead of me but I’m focused and determine. I have my friends my family and my Keto Fitness Club family behind me!


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My keto lifestyle journey by Neil Smith

My keto lifestyle journey by Neil Smith

This blog is from one of our members Neil Smith about his keto lifestyle journey and is purely based on his journey, feelings and thoughts.

I started to put weight on many years ago after an accident that left me in a wheelchair for 18 months. From here thing began to change. I got diagnosed with under active thyroid over 25 years ago and my medication kept increasing up to 275mg. I did the usual weight watchers and slimming world also tried the Atkins diet. I tried the egg diet and the green tea. On all of these I was successful for a short period but then found myself putting on more weight than I originally started with. At my heaviest I was over 30 stone in weight. I was diagnosed with diabetes and again my medication increased to 2000mg of metformin unfortunately because of my lifestyle and eating whatever I wanted my diabetes spiralled out of control and I then got put onto canagliflozin 100mg. This was a second level to try to control my diabetes.

This wasn't the only issues I had whist been at this weight.

My testosterone level had plummeted and I now could not perform in the bedroom. I ended up having to take Viagra for this.

Another side effect of the extra diabetes medication was the fact I could no longer hold my urine for more than around 20 to 30 minutes. The answer to this was Tena man, incontinence pads.

50 years old and I felt like 90 years old.

Through my own fault and over eating, incorrect foods I was not only ruining my life but also others.

I could no longer put my sock on myself without a real struggle. I couldn't tie my shoes. My whole life was a struggle.

I had horrible knee pain and unable to walk round a supermarket without serious pain.

My fitness level was zero and I got out of breath just walking around.

Buying clothes was an issue as I needed 6 or 7xl and such a limited choice.

The final straw for me was chest pains. I kept this to myself and didn't want to worry anyone. Drinking antacids all the time to try and stop it but in my mind, I knew what was going to happen if I didn't do something fast.

This was the turning point for me.

This is a picture of me on holiday in Spain. I have spared you all the part of the mankini and edit it out. Please ignore the wig as well. I just want to show my starting point.
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"I was the sceptical other half!" - Chris's journey to finding Keto Fitness Club

"I was the sceptical other half!" - Chris's journey to finding Keto Fitness Club

Written by Christopher Davies

Yes - that was me back in May 2005 at the ripe old age of 24. I was a holiday rep in what would turn out to be my final year. Living it up in Majorca and had just come home from a beach party! At that point I never struggled with my weight. It had in fact dropped over the heatwave during the summer of 2003 to a slightly concerning 10.5 stone. It's amazing what walking 4-5 miles a day in 40c does!

Back to 2005 though, I fell in love and decided to try the adult thing and come back to the UK and get a "proper" job. I had no idea what I wanted that to be so I settled for going into a travel agents. This lasted for 18 months or so before I tried the desk job. The weight was slowly starting its upwards creep here. I remember trying the cereal diet and living on bowls of cereal all day for a while. I joined a gym with my then partner but barely went. Neither of us did. He had a good job so we got into the usual pattern: we worked during the week, then spent most Friday nights downing a couple of bottles of wine, a takeaway and our favourite film. Occasionally it would be a meal out instead or even a weekend away, but it always involved a lot of food.

I lived out of the freezer. You see, he was allergic to lactose and eggs as well as being vegetarian by choice. A certain Q vegetarian brand and other processed foods became my go-to. My idea of cooking was something from a packet or a jar, put together with my rice, pasta, or potatoes. Pasta bakes and pizzas especially were my go-to. 

The waist was getting bigger and bigger. By the time I reached August 2008, my waist had reached 36" and I was 14st 8lbs. I remember this as that was when I left the desk job and started my first stint on rails. I was going to be on my feet again. That was going to help, surely!

November 2008: A moody me poses with the Sphinx in Egypt. In all the photos of that holiday all I can think is I look like a pregnant woman as I have a big round belly by now. You see, working around food has not turned out to be good. I can snack when I want. Not only that, rather than carry my food with me, most of my layovers were at Birmingham new street which had no shortage of decent places (or so I thought then) to eat at. There or in the bullring upstairs.

I'm getting back issues. During my first year on rails, the company I worked for phased out buffets cars and went trolley only. They were horrendously designed things that would weigh over 20st fully loaded. A whiplash injury from a previous car crash started recurring at least twice a year. I'll come back to this one later.

Skip to 2010. It's about now my weight is over 15st. I'm up into 38" trousers. I know I need to do something. But every time I say something I'm met with choruses of:

"You are no way that heavy" and/or "But you carry it well."

That would be followed by something along lines of:

"You're not THAT unfit, you pull that trolley all day."

My partner has also put weight on too. He'd actually done it once before and lost it before we met, and was getting incredibly self conscious about it. Action was to be taken. Drastic action. We started a meal replacement diet that I will simply refer to as C.

I still remember my first day on the C diet. The questions. The people saying you'll put it all back on at the end. My response was that I was going to be different. After all, once the weight was off all I had to do was eat sensible and it would stay off, right?

I did a shift at work, I was starving, kept telling myself it would pass in a day or two. Working with food and drink is horrendous on a diet like that. You want to eat everything. I finished my shift and was walking to the car, talking to a girl about this diet I was doing. I broke wind and followed through. The diet girl hadn't warned me that could happen. I was mortified. I still remember how crap I felt driving home sat on a bin bag my female colleague gave me to sit on.

I persevered, the ketosis came as promised and the weight started falling off. I got to the end of the week. I deserved a reward right? One takeaway and a bottle won't hurt? That set my cycle up for the next few weeks. After about 6 weeks I'd dropped 1st! Great, I was back where I was at joining railway and into my old skinny uniforms. That will do for me. Again, it never stuck.

Jump forward to the start of 2013. I'm back to the high 15st somethings. It's just continued creeping up. I think again I need to try something. Everyone at work is on about some TV show and this style of dieting where you fast for 2 days a week. That sounds doable! So I got to work, armed with a big bag of carrot sticks and nothing else, before coming home to a big bowl of chilli. It's working. The weight is starting to come off slowly. I can live with that. I'll make this my new way of living. It almost stuck.

February 27th. I get a phone call - my mum is seriously ill. To give context, my mum had dealt with multiple sclerosis my whole life. But she was a brilliant mum and had always been a great friend to me, especially as an adult. Six hours after I got that call, she passed.

I was destroyed. It hadn't occurred to me this could happen. I was only 32 and she 58. I never got to say goodbye, it happened so fast.

All thoughts of dieting were gone. I don't remember a lot of that year tbh as I drank my way through a large part of it. Along with some help from Mr's Mirtazapine and Citalopram.

End of July 2013: my partner has taken me away to Egypt for a break. It was nice. I came off the tablets. I didn't drink, mainly because I couldn't get drinks I liked. I agreed to seek proper counselling when we got back home. 

A few months pass and I manage to get some normality back and start living again. All thoughts of dieting or my weight are forgotten.

At the start of 2014, we try the C diet again. I didn't even last a week. I can't stand those vile sachets of so called soup or meals etc. I'll worry about my weight another time. 

A couple of months later I'm at work and the trolley is horrendous. I'm talking a bad supermarket trolley bad, pulling constantly to one side. Moving that down a moving train fully loaded was not going to happen, so I ring for a new one. While I'm re-loading the new one, I breathe in and get a sharp shooting pain across my chest. Every time I breathe in I get this pain. I ring for help off the other crew. By the time they get to me, I'm in a panic on the floor, struggling to breathe as every time I try to take a breathe the pain is horrendous.

I'm taken off my train and rushed to hospital. There was some unusual activity when I was first hooked up to the machines but it settled down and the pain had eased during the ambulance ride. I was kept all day to make sure it wasn't a heart attack. It wasn't.

I'm referred for further tests though. Work don't want me back until I'm fit and not going to delay trains after all. Nothing was found. the conclusion drawn was that I'd pulled muscles trying to drag the dodgy trolley.

On my return to work, I'm referred to occupational health. My job's in danger now because of how much I'd been off. She's not particularly nice this woman at all - she actually grabbed my flabby stomach and said to me: "Have you ever heard of a six pack?"

Looking back, I know her aim was to shock me into doing something. My weight was aggravating my back issues after all. But I left that office that day unrepentant and full of anger.

Grand Canyon, 2014: During that trip to America, I had decided why bother lose weight. I'm skinny compared to most of the people here. Plus they have the most amazing food. If only I'd realised then it's because they pump almost everything full of sugar! Doh.

Skip forward to late 2016: I've been off the railway almost 18 months. I'm back in travel agents. My weight was in the low 16 stones area and my waist was 40". We're both bigger than ever and decide we need to take action. We decide to try another VLCD and pick LL. This is much nicer than the C one we had done. I got results. This time I managed to get into the high 14st somethings. I lasted a couple of months on it before the novelty wore off and I got bored. Again I tell myself I've done well, it'll do, I won't let my weight go back up and I'll behave this time. It didn't stick, yet again.

Start of 2018: I'd been with Daniel for a few months now. Meal planning is his big thing. Daniel is a great cook and very good at meal planning, but his portions were huge and to be honest I didn't always like what he makes. Daniel has been trying to get us to eat well the whole time we have been together. True, we both like our food, but through various means he's always been trying to get better and healthier food in our diet.

He didn't have an easy job as I was an incredibly fussy eater. When it came to meat, if it wasn't minced or a chicken breast, I wouldn't eat it. I've always had this thing about textures of food and that counts me off a lot of meat. Yes I loved my veg but even then there was lots of them that I wouldn't eat.

Summer 2018: I'm back on the trains again! But I'm back around food all the time now, as well as the shifts. Daniel tries to meal prep but if I don't like what he's made then I just don't take it and buy at Edinburgh where again, there's plenty of choice. I actually manage to drop a bit here, not sure how, but it didn't stick.

Summer 2019: I'm in the high 16st still. I get out of breath easily going up hills and stairs. I sweat like a horrid beast at work especially on our old intercity 125s at work, but at least this is our last summer on them. We will have the nice new trains with better air con next summer. That's the problem after all, not my weight. In the meantime, Daniel is off work with a bad back. It's the second time while I've known him. He's become obsessed with finding ways to lose weight and he keeps going on about keto.

What's he cooking? To sum it up, it's meat and eggs. Always fried. The house stinks like a greasy spoon. Thankfully, he doesn't seem to stick with it.

But he's obsessed with YouTube videos about it and I start to see the same face on our TV screen a lot. This guy called Mark who's down near Leicester. He's then always watching Facebook lives of them. "Will you put your bloody headphones in, I don't want to listen to that" became the most used phrase in our house. Cut to Christmas 2019 and Daniel tells me he's bought us both a present. It's a diet plan for us for 2020. He calls that a present. I'm insulted. I seem to recall telling him where to stick it. 

Come the new year, these books appear and he appears to be actually eating some nice food. He says one night he's going to make me a pizza. Sure enough, this gorgeous pepperoni pizza appears and I wolf it down. It's bloody gorgeous. Also these little kilner jar cheesecakes he's making!

He's away to Newcastle at the end of the month to meet these guys. I won't lie, I laugh and accused it of being a cult. Am I going? No way, there's a work night out and I want to go get trashed with my friends! He won't let it drop though so I say I'll think about giving it a go after our break to Gran Canaria at the start of February.

I got home and stood on my scales. I am 17st 2lbs. The heaviest I've ever been. That seals it. I've got to try something so why not this thing he's pushing. He's done the shopping and planned the meals. I was given this keto cookbook and a list of recipes I need to meal prep. I did it, and at the end of it I make my first ever fathead pizza as my reward. 

This stuck.

I was still very much 3 meals a day at the start, plus I had to have small pots of nuts to snack on. But somewhere along the line, that started to change. I'm not actually sure when.

We went away to London for a weekend at the end of February. Turns out it was an excuse for Daniel to get me to a workshop, same as he'd gone to in Newcastle. I didn't know what I was walking into. But the information I got was eye opening. By this point, the weight was coming off at a steady rate. It was also something we could both do that fitted around our shifts. I suddenly became enthusiastic about it and I think that was mainly down to two things: I wasn't hungry all the time, and I was eating great food.

Then the world changed. I was stood down from work as hospitality was not deemed essential thanks to this new COVID-19 pandemic. Days later, the national lockdown was called. This resulted in Daniel being stood down too. We were both at a loss for what to do. We joined in with a zoom on Keto Fitness Club and met some of the people who we'd been exchanging comments with on the Facebook groups albeit through a screen.

Out of nowhere, we had acquired this group who we could talk about anything with and we often did. It gave our weeks some direction as we went by what zooms were what day, as the lockdown seemed to go on forever.

We made friendships, some of whom will be lifelong that we are sure of. We even planned an entire weeks holiday to travel around the country and see these new friends and we had a fantastic week. 

We were privileged enough to be asked to come onboard as ambassadors and help Mark & Ella spread the work of keto across the country. While still a bit unsure as to how I can help, I'm slowly working it out and it's kind of why I've written this.

So, here we both are at the back end of the year. Almost 6 stone lighter between us both. We're both exercising more than we ever have and since the gyms have reopened I've managed to incorporate that into my routine as well. Not only that, but I'm bloody enjoying it too!

I've still got a stone to go to hit my target but I'm a bit more relaxed about it now as I know it'll come in time. I don't know what else is in my future but when it comes to finding keto and Keto Fitness Club, there's one thing I can say... it stuck!

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My Fasted Running Journey: 142 miles in 31 days

My Fasted Running Journey: 142 miles in 31 days

Running has been a big part of my journey over the last 10 years. It was the first thing that entered my head when I wanted to 'get fit' and in those 10 years I've run several thousand miles and a fair few £££ on shoes!
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