When Carl Harding, an obese driver, was furloughed by his employer for being considered in the “high-risk” category due to Covid-19, he decided to turn things around. Within seven weeks, he not only went back to his job but managed to shed almost 6 stone (approx. 38 kg).
The 55-year-old, from Caster-on-Sea, Norfolk, who works for First Bus, was furloughed for his obese frame on March 23. He was classified as being in the high-risk category as he battled with high blood pressure and struggled to walk a few yards without losing his breath.
“It was a massive shock and a real sense of shame when I was furloughed due to my weight,” Carl told Caters News Agency.
At 24 stone 9 pounds (approx. 156 kg) Carl felt “ashamed, embarrassed and that I was letting the team down.” Thus, he made a decision right then to join The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.
Alluding to his weight, Carl said he had gained a lot of weight in the last three and a half years since he had joined the bus operator company. “As I was [sic] sat down all day I wasn’t getting any exercise and the company has a great staff canteen,” Carl said. “I would eat a full roast dinner with all the trimming or egg with chips along with chocolate and crisps.”
As his diet spiraled out of control, Carl was eating more than 8,000 calories a day, he admitted. However, when he got furloughed by his employer and his colleagues didn’t, he knew he needed to do something about his massive weight. “I realized it was now or never, I needed to get back to the job I loved to help my colleagues on the front line,” Carl said.
Determined to get back to work, Carl solicited the help of consultant Georgina Jeffery at The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, where he started to swap junk food and takeaways for low-calorie diet options like a Cambridge Weight Plan bar or leek and potato soup and a breakfast smoothie or porridge. In no time, Carl started to see dramatic results.
Within just a few weeks of the lockdown period, Carl dropped 5 stone 10 pounds (approx. 36 kg or 80 pounds). Additionally, his Body Mass Index (BMI) went to the 30s. According to government advice, anyone with a BMI exceeding 40 is considered to be “vulnerable,” Carl said.
However, the amazing transformation that he underwent didn’t just stop at him. Inspired by his change, Carl’s wife, Julie, also ditched her unhealthy habits and began to go on daily walks with her husband. According to Carl, she has shed about 3 stone (approx. 19 kg). Since taking up a healthy diet, the couple has saved 80 pounds (US$105) per week on takeaway.
When a proud Carl informed his employer about his loss in weight, he was allowed to rejoin the team and began working on May 11. However, his weight loss meant he now needed to buy new shirts, as his XXXXL uniform no longer fit. After Carl had lost the staggering amount of weight, his regular passengers also failed to identify him.
“It has taken some people a little while to realize it’s me now I’ve shed the weight,” Carl shared.
As his blood pressure has become normal and as he can now walk easily without feeling fatigued, a determined Carl said in May that he wanted to lose a few more stone.
“Coronavirus has saved my life,” Carl concluded. “I feel healthier than I have in years and have a new lease of life.”
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