Sam’s a do-it-all dad*

Months spent bedridden led Sam Richardson to become the biggest he’d ever been. After losing 56lbs* by swapping fast food and fad diets for home-cooked meals and hiking, Sam finally found his way to lasting weight loss—and a rewarding family life.

“I was on my first trip to London with my new partner, Rennie. We decided to climb the 932 steps to the Champagne bar at the top of London’s Tower 42—the city’s third-highest skyscraper. But what should have been a celebration turned into a terrifying experience as I was rushed from the tower coughing and in agony. In the hospital, doctors told me my lungs had collapsed. I couldn’t help thinking of my mom and my three-year-old son, Layton. Hooked up to oxygen, I worried I would be this way forever.

“I spent a full week in the hospital and another 12 in recovery. Nobody knew why my lungs had given out. Although I’d been overweight my whole life, I had actually been training for a fitness race and had dropped a few pounds. When I finally returned home from the hospital, I sat around all day watching TV and eating pizza, takeout, and chocolate to help me feel better. Even after I’d recovered physically and was back at work, I continued eating that way and, although my doctors said it was safe, I didn’t go anywhere near a gym.

“Within two years the scale had tipped to 224lbs, and I was wearing pants with a 44-inch waist. Not only did I feel unattractive and unfit, it only took a few minutes of walking or kicking a ball around with Layton to exhaust me—on one road trip, I had to skip out on a canoeing adventure with him because I couldn’t fit in the boat.

“Over Christmas that year, my mother told me she was concerned about my weight. She said she also needed to lose a few pounds, and suggested we do it together—with Slimming World. I discovered that I could eat as much as I wanted on the Slimming World plan and still lose weight. I had tried diets in the past, but they had all focused on deprivation: substituting real food with a shake or bar. The idea that you could lose weight eating healthy versions of regular meals was completely new to me. This was about learning, not punishment.

In my first week, I put the theory of 'unlimited amounts of Free Food' to the test: I filled my plate with homemade burgers, fries, pasta, and shepherd’s pie. During my first week’s weigh-in, I was amazed to discover that I’d shed 6½ pounds.

“After about a year and a half, I reached my target weight. When I found out, I cried! I had lost over 55lbs and could fit into 34-inch jeans. For the first time ever, I like buying clothes and finally feel like I’m enjoying life. I can go on vacation knowing I can fit into my airplane seat and can take my shirt off on the beach without feeling embarrassed.

“Thankfully, Layton’s too young to remember when his dad ate unhealthily, and it’s natural for him to choose fruit over cookies as a snack. Best of all, today he’s got a dad who’s up for all kinds of exciting activities whenever we go on vacation. Running, hiking, even canoeing—getting into the boat holds no fears for me now!”

How Sam stays fit—without the gym!

Playing with my son

Running around with Layton was too exhausting when I was overweight. Now I’ll try anything with him—and we have an awesome time together.

There’s an app for that

I’m running a 10K this year! I’m out jogging three times a week and using the Couch to 5K app to help me train.

Walking my dog

My beagle, Baker, gets me out of the house for a mile-and-a-half walk twice a day without fail. I’m not sure I’d be quite that motivated without him.

*Your weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much you have to lose.


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*Your weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much you have to lose.


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