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A British father of two was inspired to shed some pounds after he was told he was too large to accompany his kids on a theme park ride.
In May, 33-year-old Blake Lewis, along with his wife, Laura, 35, and their two children, Sophie, 5, and Toby, 6, headed out for a fun day at a theme park in Staffordshire. But when Lewis boarded a ride, he was mortified when the safety bar wouldn’t fit over his stomach. He was then asked to get off the ride for “health and safety reason,” SWNS, a British news agency, reports.
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Though Lewis said he was aware of the health problems that can come with being overweight — such as an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, among others — “it was not fitting in the ride that did it for me,” he said.
Blake Lewis and daughter Sophie when he weighed 322 pounds.
“My daughter Sophie didn’t understand why we couldn’t go on the ride because we had sat down alright. I knew I was big but when I couldn’t get the belt over my stomach I thought: ‘This doesn’t happen to people every day. Something is not right,'" he recalled.
“We were told to get off and Sophie was upset because she had to wait while her brother went on the ride with her mum. There were a few tears,” he added.
Blake Lewis and his wife Laura Lewis before he lost weight.
Lewis noted he didn’t experience any “nastiness” from anyone else on the ride, but quickly thought to himself, “I can’t let this happen again.”
“I imagined other people in the queue were thinking, ‘Oh, dear.’ I probably would have thought the same,” he said. “That's when I thought enough was enough and I needed to do something about my size."
Blake Lewis, 33, after his weight loss.
Soon after, Lewis put himself on a diet. He replaced junk food that often included burgers, fries, and chips with healthier options such as vegetables and lean meats. He claims he reduced his caloric intake from 5,000 calories to roughly 1,000 per day.
In addition, he began to walk to his place of work, located roughly a mile and a half away from his home. He also set up a gym in his garage.
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Blake Lewis wearing an old shirt from his pre-weight-loss days.
Eighteen months later, Lewis dropped just over half of his body weight, going from a 40-inch waist to a 32-inch one.
"I saw myself as addicted to junk food, mainly savory things like pies, burgers, fries and [chips]. I could devour three to five thousand calories a day, sometimes more. But now, I’ve gone cold turkey. I don’t get the cravings anymore,” he said. “It’s all about the will power, being disciplined and cutting out the rubbish.”
Blake Lewis, 33, with his daughter Sophie Lewis, 5.
Friends would often ask Lewis how he managed to lose so much weight. Those who were also looking to change their habits would ask him for advice, he said.
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“I tell them to do what I did and Google healthy foods and recipes. The key is meal prepping,” he said. “Every Sunday, I’d prepare healthy meals and freeze them or put them in the fridge.”
“Stick at it hard for the first few weeks then you’ll be encouraged when the pounds start coming off,” he continued. “I did it completely by myself. I’ve never been healthier.”
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