The Mental Aspect of Losing 350 Pounds: Guest Post 3 from Gaz

02.23.2012 | 7:30 am

A Note from Fatty: This week, Gaz, who blogs as ” The FORMER Super Morbidly Obese Cyclist” will be taking over my blog. He’ll be describing his journey from fat to fit, as well as answering your questions about how it’s possible to lose a lot of weight (in Gaz’s case, hundreds of pounds) by riding.

Welcome to my final installment! I just wanted to start by giving HUGE thanks to Fatty for giving me this forum to reach out to you guys, Hopefully it will have helped a few of you on the road to recovery.


  • I USED to suffer from a TOTAL lack of confidence
  • I USED to suffer from a TOTAL lack of self-worth
  • I USED to suffer from a TOTAL lack of self-belief

The thing is, and this may sound CRAZY, I didn’t know I “Suffered” from the above at the time.


However, looking back, I cant help but get excited at how I have changed, I have been promoted at work, I walk round with an assuming air of confidence, going as far as to give a motivational talk on weight loss, to adults who needed it.

I said to myself at the start that I could, if I worked REALLY hard, lose 200 pounds, but I’d still be obese if I did, but it was better than not losing anything.

I didn’t have the confidence at that stage to say “I can and will do this.”


A question I get a lot is “what’s your diet?” My answer is that I don’t have a diet, diet is an EVIL word, people in my situation don’t need a diet, diets don’t work!

What we need(ed) is a change of lifestyle, you need to look at what you are putting into your body and then what is leaving your body via exercise.

What If I go over one day?

It’s REALLY not an issue, if one day you want cupcake, muffin, or any other treat. It’s FINE to do so, don’t ever restrict yourself. It will just make the cravings and ensuing binge even worse. All you need to do, is have your treat but make sure that after it you work it off!

A few more tips on food/weight loss I can give are:

Smarter Shopping: The golden rule here is to NEVER EVER go food shopping hungry. You make the decision to eat biscuits and crap food’s when you buy them in the shops, not when you take them from the cupboard. Don’t buy them in the first place.

Make a Goal list: – write down achievable goals.

And by far and away, the simplest tip ever is: “Eat less and move more” – Common sense I know but it’s what every single weight loss plan is based on, trust me!


Where am I now, mentally?

  • I am currently filming for a national TV show in the UK relating to my weight loss and issues around my skin. A few years ago, I wouldn’t even have spoken on the radio, never mind get on a prime-time TV show.
  • I have hit over 220,000 hits on my blog, wherein I go into as much detail about weight loss as my readers ask me to.
  • I have done motivational speaking and am putting myself out there to do even more.
  • I have given interviews to many UK newspapers and cycling magazines, again, in the hope that I can inspire just one person, who was like me, to save their life.
  • I now know if I say I will do something then I WILL DO IT and will be successful at it.
  • I also understand the importance of saying to myself “WELL DONE”, it took me a while, to stop, review what I had done and then acknowledge that what I had

And something that people might not get , cycling related, is that when I am sat on someone’s wheel, if I say that I will drop them, either on a climb or in a sprint, then 90% of the time I will do it, that or die trying.

But then, there is nothing wrong with giving your best, not quite making it and then going back and having another go.

Ok, enough of my ramblings. Questions from the floor.

Byg Papi

Q. Hey Gaz, thanks for being an inspiration. At 360 pounds last year I rode my old bike until I lost enough weight to get my current bike. Although I have more gears now (21 instead of 7), I still have difficulty breathing. My question is did you have asthma or difficulty breathing and how did you handle it?

A: No, I never suffered in that way, I’d suggest that you seek medical advice, that way, if your body needs any help then it will get the help it needs.

Obstinate Roadie

Q. I just want to say I’m inspired, in a general way, by how you overcame your fear and shame, and fulfilled your duty to your children. Well done, sir.

A: I know its not a question, but you make a great point about fear and shame, the only thing people should be ashamed of is not even trying in the first place.


Q. Gaz you are a true inspiration and I have lots of respect for you. My question is: How did you “get up” the courage to do that first ride? I’m sure it was hard, but I’m positive you are happy you decided to take it.

A: That first ride was hard and it was around 4 weeks after I got the bike, it had gotten to the stage where if was now or never, so I hooked up my MP3 player, to drown out any abuse , got on it and off I went, I couldn’t be any more happy in the choice I made that day J


Q. Fantastic job Gaz. You are an inspiration to all of us. What was your diet during the weight loss? Did you fuel for riding?

A: Thanks dude, my post covers the “Diet” but as for fuel for riding, no I did what is called “Bonk Training” — riding on nothing but liquid caffeine in the morning.


Q. You are such an inspiration. I wish more people would make the decision to lose weight with diet and exercise and not surgery. You are living proof that it can be done! I also like that you did it for your kids. I think that is so important! You are setting a great example for your children in so many ways.

A: Thanks, that’s the reason why I made my story public and do all I can to publish it, not for personal gratification, but to show other people just what can be done.


Q. Brilliant Gaz, you are such an inspiration, I have 50Lbs to go. What was up with the dogma?

A: Sadly, it was fake, I got “Done Over” on it.

Thanks again to Fatty for allowing me this chance, with Fatty’s permission, I’d like to say, if there are any further questions, ask them here and maybe Fatty will allow me to come back in a few months to answer any remaining questions?

Good luck everyone and LIVESTRONG!


  1. Comment by Bryce | 02.23.2012 | 7:54 am


    Thank you so much for your honesty and willingness to share your story, hard work, results and success. Sounds like you’ve really transformed you and just not what you look like.

    Here’s to your future posts and updates for us!

  2. Comment by cece | 02.23.2012 | 8:14 am

    Hi Gaz! Thanks so much for your posts. Loosing weight and keeping it off, especially for those of us that have a lot to lose, is very difficult and you have modeled for us that determination and fight can achieve great results! Good luck in your future and I hope to hear more from you and I will also check out your blog!

  3. Comment by Ginger Schminger | 02.23.2012 | 9:15 am

    Gaz, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your entries here as well as on your blog. You’re truly an inspiration and I pray that you have a long and happy life.

  4. Comment by The Flyin' Ute | 02.23.2012 | 9:50 am

    Good work bro. Fun having you as a guest blogger.

    Keep dominating.

  5. Comment by Fat Monte | 02.23.2012 | 10:19 am


    How much is the skin surgery you need? I’m not sure how the healthcare system/insurance works in the UK, but I imagine this surgery is elective, and therefore not covered?

    Fatty…what if there were a charity ride somewhere that’d help get the ball rolling with the funds Gaz needs?

    Know anybody with the pull to get that started (hint hint, nudge nudge)?

  6. Comment by briebecca | 02.23.2012 | 11:09 am

    I would donate to Gaz’s skin surgery. It’s an unfortunate side effect of excessive weight loss and it’s a shame he can’t really show off his hard work.

  7. Comment by JD | 02.23.2012 | 11:09 am

    There is a guy at work here that appears to be a little bigger than you were at the start, and I overheard him saying something about trying to ride a bike.

    It made me wonder how to tell what the weight limit on bikes are. I very rarely have seen a spec for that. Is there a way of knowing what a bike can handle?

    Even at 225 plus cargo, I have to have better than stock rims or I break spokes. I can’t imagine 500+

  8. Comment by Lisa Eirene | 02.23.2012 | 11:18 am

    Confidence is a big one. At 250 pounds I used to settle for a lot of stuff because I thought I didn’t deserve better. A better job, a better relationship, better friendships…etc… now at 144 I speak up. I have a voice, I’m confident and I go for what I want!

    Thanks for sharing your incredible story!

  9. Comment by rsmullen | 02.23.2012 | 11:18 am

    Thanks for the insight and inspiration.

  10. Comment by Liz | 02.23.2012 | 12:05 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration this week, Gaz! Just what we needed for whatever competition Elden has cooked up for us.


  11. Comment by Jason P | 02.23.2012 | 12:28 pm

    Awesome encouragement for me. I’m about this weight now and am making a major push this year to get fit. What bikes are comfortable and can handle the weight of a big guy like myself? Also are seats a consideration as well.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Comment by roan | 02.23.2012 | 1:19 pm

    Gaz, thanks for the Fatcyclist postings…never before, well maybe a little when Fatty started his blog…has Fatcyclist been so true. I’m glad to know about you and have passed your postings here & your blogsite onto another person (last year) who has been in good weather riding her bike.
    For y’all on the west side of the pond, biscuit=cookie.

  13. Comment by Denine - The Bicycle-Chef | 02.23.2012 | 2:40 pm

    Nice series of posts! I’m sure many of us can relate to your experience in some ways. I too was very over-weight and while I came to my weight loss via Weight Watchers, riding a bike became an integral way for me to continue the weight loss, tone up and become very fit. I had always been a bicycle commuter, riding to and from work, about 4 miles round trip. My cycling enthusiasm turned into a more avid vocation and has since become my passion and a big part of my creative and blogging life. Kuddos on the success and for paying it forward by sharing your story. For anyone wanting to start out, take it one ride and a few miles at a time. Before you know it, the miles will be adding up to some serious numbers!

  14. Comment by rich | 02.23.2012 | 3:06 pm

    great week of posts Gaz, thank you for sharing your story and keep up the great work!

  15. Comment by Frank | 02.23.2012 | 4:10 pm

    Great inspiration Gaz. I only have 40 more pounds to get to “Overweight”. Canada’s weather doesn’t let me ride more than 10 months a year though.

    Comment on the spoke and rims. I have broken spokes and hubs because they were built for speed – light weight and minimal parts. Go for something with more spokes if you are gravitationally challenged. Touring wheels are much more rugged than racing wheels – more spokes and more solid construction. Mountain bikes generally have tougher components, but pay attention to the build quality.

  16. Comment by Andrew | 02.23.2012 | 11:19 pm

    Gaz a great series of posts, I really appreciated them and found them very inspirational. How about a 4th? how about something on how everyone around you has responded, your wife, your kids colleagues etc?

    As per all Fatty’s guest bloggers the quality is tremendous. I’ll now be adding your site to my regular reading list.

    Now where is that competition Fatty is working on? Next post maybe.

  17. Comment by buckythedonkey | 02.24.2012 | 1:42 am

    Well done.

  18. Comment by Shep | 02.24.2012 | 7:48 am

    Sorry for putting another aside in here, but I just have to update you folks on my new bike. I bought an 09 Scott Speedster s20 a few days ago. I couldn’t ride it yet because it has clipless pedals on it and I didn’t have any shoes. Needless to say I remedied that last night, fitted the cleats to them, and at 5:30 this morning I was all ready to go. Let me add here that I’ve just recently (4 months ago) gotten back into biking after years away from it. I was riding a chromoly steel framed hybrid that weighed 30 pounds, but had still managed to work my way up to doing 50 mile rides over the last three weeks. So now, here I was, about to ride a road bike for the first time. I was a little nervous because of all the stories I’ve read about clipless pedals and falling. All that worry was for naught. I followed the LBS’ suggestions and was in and out of them like a pro from the beginning. Needless to say, once I got going on the local trail, I was in heaven. The bike is like riding a Porsche after riding a minivan for the last four months. After getting sufficiently warmed up, I found myself in the higher gears and moving along at 22 mph, then 25, then 27. I kept a steady pace of 22 going for the short 10 mile ride I did this morning, and all I can say is…’gin Daddy…’gin ‘gin!! Can’t wait to stretch her legs for real tomorrow and see if I can do at least 60 miles. Wish me luck!

  19. Comment by Skippy | 02.24.2012 | 12:48 pm

    One thing that is clear from Gaz’s blog is that a LIFESTYLE change is needed for those that are “Obese ” !
    Another inspirational Blogger is Colin Lynch of 637daystogo.blogspot who like Gaz and Eldon burned off the weight and in their new lifestyle set out to help others !
    Gaz , Colin lives down the road in Macclesfield so perhaps you can train with him as he prepares to medal at the 2012 Paralympics ! Often gone thru your neighbourhood on the way to the ” Cat & Fiddle ” so know what great rides are in your area .
    Still awaiting answer re: Airport Tunnels incident last year !

  20. Comment by Jeff Bike | 02.24.2012 | 3:25 pm

    For JD
    I once read an artical about a guy who got a custom bike builder to build a super duty bike. I think it was chrome molly (Nascar rollbar) tubing with wheels from a tandum.

  21. Comment by MrDaveyGie | 02.24.2012 | 9:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing. It is hard for me to comprehend an addiction to food such as this. I think the only way to beat something like this is to switch addictions, trade a food obsession into an exercise addiction. It works for me.

  22. Comment by Jeremy | 02.25.2012 | 11:35 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. What an inspiration.

  23. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 02.27.2012 | 11:54 am

    So as Gaz suggests, there’s NO shame in having a biscuit (OR DONUT, or 4) while riding the Utah Tour de Donut! You can burn it off afterwards by climbing Suncrest 10 times. Hope to see y’all there!


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