Chris Cramer’s weight loss journey has been inspiring to all around him. After making the decision to improve his health and dropping 28 kilograms he’s sharing his story in the hope that others can be encouraged by his efforts. One of his best mates Alex (read more about our Secondary Green Team Leader here) sat down with him to reflect on the commitment and dedication it took to make this positive change. Read ‘Cramer’s’ thoughts below and watch the full interview at the bottom of the page.
Tell us why you decided a healthy change was needed and how you got to that point?
Having lived in London for five years now I got caught up in the London lifestyle. The ‘Heathrow Injection’ crept up on me. I had a great social group and slowly but surely the extra food and drink associated with having a good time with good people ended with me packing on some extra kg’s.
In terms of realising a change was needed; I was actually at Hogmanay in Scotland for New Year’s Eve. It sounds like a ‘New Year New Me’ cliché but I just felt at that point, for whatever reason, I was living like Peter Pan. I’d pretended for too long that London was ‘Never Never Land’ where my health wouldn’t catch up with me in the long run. I needed to do something about my health.
How did you lose the extra weight?
I pretty much went cold turkey with any un-healthy stuff from that point. The first step was Dry January; then I had to set myself a whole bunch of extra goals. It was hard to say no to things as I have pretty bad FOMO (fear of missing out) but completing that first goal was actually a bit of a catalyst to show me that I could sacrifice things and succeed. It gave me the confidence to move on to the next steps of my journey.On top of that was a lot of hard work. I started training six days a week at Fitness First Hammersmith and at F45 Ravenscourt Park. I also changed my diet significantly and did a lot of research on healthy eating. So that I could see progress I set targets that I could achieve and tick off daily (e.g. 100 push-ups a day for a month). In my opinion that’s crucial to staying motivated. Mine were to hit specific weight goals by certain points in the year. As a sociable guy I used Vibe social functions as my benchmarks for weight limits.
The big thing that I took away from this was that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; there are people who’ve achieved these goals before, so you can use their skills and experience to help you achieve yours.
What were the hardest and best parts?
The hardest part was the initial fear that I’d lose my mates because my attitude towards social situations had changed. Rather than going out for a beer, a burger or brunch I’d push for us to go to the gym to catch up. To their credit, my mates were all super supportive and loved living my weight loss journey with me. You can forget that your real friends aren’t those who love you for what you do; they’re your mates regardless -- they like you for who you are and encourage your positive choices.
One of the best parts has been being able to buy new clothes. It’s awesome being able to chuck the skinny jeans back on and grab a medium sized shirt rather than an extra-large. I’ve also got heaps more confidence (not that I struggled with that before 😊) and it’s just a great feeling to have made such a personal and positive achievement. An added bonus is people noticing a change and making nice comments!
What is your advice to anyone looking to make a healthy lifestyle change?
The easiest part is making the choice to change. The difficulty is maintaining a consistent approach and being held accountable. I’d recommend telling those around you your goals to make sure they keep you on track. I was lucky that I had a great support network at Vibe who would constantly tap me on the shoulder to get down to the gym for a session or check up on my progress. Even the Teachers that I work with, who are great mates too, would push me to get down to PT sessions in the park over half-term.
The other part of accountability is to be accountable to yourself. I think it’s important to make a choice that you are happy with, own that decision, and stick to your guns.
How has your outlook on life changed and (apart from physical) what’s the biggest difference others have seen in you?
In a way I’ve reset my outlook on my London experience – it’s like I’m starting my journey here afresh! What I’m achieving, what I want to achieve and what I’m here to achieve has had to change in light of what this journey has shown me I’m capable of. Training has now become a core part of my life too. I went on a Sail Croatia this year and had an awesome time but still needed to get my training sessions in around all the social parts.For others, I think they’ve noticed that my outlook on life is brighter. I’ve got heaps of confidence back and always have a smile on my face. I’m enjoying being around people more and I think I’m more fun to be around. I think people have enjoyed tagging along on my journey too and have taken a lot from it. My biggest hope is that my efforts have made people realise that if Chris Cramer can make such a big change, they can too.
Chris Cramer is a long serving Viber and Team Leader of the Secondary Blue Team. He’s a mad WWE wrestling fan and a hilarious dancer. Read more about his Teach In London story here.
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