Northampton slimmer transforms his life and plans Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle ride for charities

Justin Gomersall lost six and a half stone and is doing a charity cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats
Justin Gomersall lost six and a half stone and is doing a charity cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats

Super slimmer Justin Gomersall has transformed himself over the past year and now he is planning to take part in a charity bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

A year ago Justin Gomersall weighed 19½ stone. Years of bad eating habits meant the father-of-two struggled to play with his children or go on family walks. He slept apart from his wife for 11 years due to weight induced snoring and his family lived in constant worry for his health. After four months on the diet Justin lost six-and-a half stone, and from that moment his family life and health changed dramatically for the better. A year on, lighter and fitter than ever, Justin is embarking on a cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for four charities.

Justin, aged 43, said: “I have had a problem with my weight since I was a teenager but it accelerated after my children were born. I already had an unhealthy appetite for food, but that combined with working from home and finishing off the children’s meals, meant my weight gradually crept up to 19 ½ stone. My parents had been concerned about my health for years and after they passed away, both my brother and my sister took on that worry. The problem was I was a bit blind to it all, and even my wife never accepted how big I had got. I never realised at the time how much my weight was affecting my family life, I found all forms of exercise a struggle and therefore I couldn’t play with my children as much as I would have liked, my wife and I slept apart for 11 years because of my snoring, and we would rarely do any family activities together.”

“I remember vividly the day, towards the end of 2013, that I went shopping to buy a pair of jeans in a high street shop. I tried on the largest size available and they didn’t fit. When I asked the shop assistant if they sold any bigger sizes and she said no. I knew instantly I couldn’t be blind to my size and weight any longer.

“That Christmas a friend and I discussed losing weight. I’d heard lots about LighterLife and recommended the programme to him. To my amazement he started the diet straight away, and three months later when we met up again and he had lost a fantastic three stone - I signed up to the programme that afternoon!”

Justin joined LighterLife Counsellor Tina Rahman’s group in Northampton. Justin undertook the Total programme, where conventional food is replaced by a nutritionally complete Very Low Calorie Diet of four Foodpacks per day. This was paired with LighterLife’s behaviour-change programme including Transactional Analysis (TA) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) delivered through weekly counselling groups. These group sessions helped Justin understand why he had unhealthy food habits and helped change his mindset towards food in the future.

Justin said: “So 16 weeks later, I had surpassed my target weight and had shrivelled down from a near 20 stone middle aged man (heart attack material) to a 13-and-a-half stone new husband for my dear wife of 12 years and new father to my two children. Life had become a lot rosier and to celebrate I set myself a challenge and walked from coast-to-coast of England – St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay.

“From that moment I fell in love with exercising. I now run 5k every day and swim 20-30 lengths in the pool a few times a week. I am now able to run around and play with my children and tire them out before they tire me out! After two weeks of losing weight my awful snoring had stopped and after 11 years my wife and I now share a bed again. My whole family and I are over the moon, our family life is better now than it ever was.”

“So for my sins I have decided to embark on my next challenge. On 3rd June myself and a team of 11 middle-aged men called Team Numbnuts are donning Lycra and cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for four fabulous charities: Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Charity, Mind, Cynthia Spencer (hospice) and Sarcoma UK. We aim to raise in excess of £100,000 for these charities! None of this would have been possible without LighterLife in my life; I owe a new life to the company and my counsellor, Tina.”

Justin’s counsellor Tina said: “Justin was very committed to his LighterLife programme and started to make lifestyle changes during the weight loss stage. Now he is managing his new weight through exercise and different food choices. Justin has brought me immense job satisfaction as I often see him jogging around town. The most inspirational thing is that others will now benefit from his new lifestyle as he is about to take part in an epic bike ride from one end of the country to the other.”

To access Justin’s fundraising Virgin money page visit – uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/numbnuts2015