“It has been life-prolonging. To lose all this weight and gain all this energy and happiness is something I didn’t expect. I feel great when I look in the mirror!”

It was the “last throw of the dice” for severely overweight father-of-three Mark.

The 42-year-old, who suffers from haemophilia, says his weight gain had spiralled way out of his control.

And it was placing his blood clotting disorder under dangerous stress and strain.

With the warning lights flashing bright red, Mark knew he couldn’t afford to ignore his failing health anymore, spurring him on to join Ultimate Performance.

Right from day one, Mark’s trainer addressed his haemophilia and the arthritis in his right elbow.

It put Mark’s mind at ease. He felt comfortable training hard without having to worry about injury.

And the end result? A gargantuan 49kg weight loss which he believes has added years to his life.

After years of hiding away in oversized clothes, Mark is now comfortable taking his shirt off, and feels like he’s become the perfect role-model for his three young children.

But the list of benefits doesn’t stop there. He’s sleeping better, he wakes up easier, and his immune system is noticeably stronger.

How did Mark get to this point dropping almost 50kg? He explains here…

 Marks M42 57wk Pt Che - Outstanding Front Ultimate Performance

How long have you struggled with your weight and what was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

We’re going back to when I was eight or nine years old. In terms of being a grown-up, from being 16, 17, 18, I would see it as ‘puppy fat’ and I would lose it. I’d shed a few stone, but with the pressures of being young, peer pressure, going out, drinking, and eating certain things, I would never get around to training or eating properly.

My diet would yo-yo so often that I got sick of doing it on my own. I would lose a stone and feel good again because certain clothes would fit, but then Christmas, a birthday, or a wedding would set me off again and I’d put another stone on.

With the way my mind was working, it was either stay really big, eat and drink whatever I wanted, and struggle through my middle ages, or the complete opposite, which was the transition with U.P. There was nothing in between. It was like a plea for help. I was unhappy and I needed something different. It’s been a last throw of the dice for me.


What were the biggest struggles or challenges that you faced throughout this process?

I’m a severe haemophiliac, I suffer from a blood clotting disorder. As a kid, I got a lot of bleeds in my right elbow, which led to arthritis. I’ve had two operations in recent years. One was in May last year and the other one was four years ago.

My arm improved a little bit, but it is still weak and the flexibility and range of motion is minimal. I realised that it’s better to have one good-looking arm than none at all! That’s the irony, and it’s typical of me, that when my arm was able in my 20s and early 30s, I never got around to doing anything like this. I’m pleased with how it is and I would’ve taken it if you had offered me this a year ago.

I’m on a new drug, which I inject myself with once a week, which has prevented me from having a lot of bleeds that I might otherwise have had. The new medication has allowed me to have a more normal life. Rugby or boxing is far too dangerous, but something like this was a no-brainer.


When did you start to see progress and how did that affect your mindset?

It’s amazing having this conversation with my wife, Dawn, who’s been training with U.P. for four months after my success spurred her on. It motivated her and we both said in the early stages that we had the mentality of a healthy person.

You might only have lost a stone, you still don’t look the best, you’re still big enough, but clothes that were previously too small are now starting to fit and then, before you know it, they’re too big. That’s when you start to notice. I went on holiday to Cyprus, six or seven weeks into the program, and I’d nearly got two stones off, which was still a long way from the finish line.

I ate really well, I had a couple of meals involving beer, and I went to the gym a lot at the hotel. We’d done a lot of work on my legs and I remember doing the leg press with my son and thinking ‘wow, these legs look amazing’. It felt great and it motivated me.

I would be quite proud of losing three stone, but, here I am now, nearly eight stone down, which shows the intensity of the program, how seriously you’ve taken me as a client, and how seriously I’ve taken you as a PT.


What differences has this process made to your everyday life?

It’s my all-round energy. When I wake up, I get up straight away. I’ll get up with my youngest son, who’s five, at around 5-30am, and it’s not a problem. I love that. I have much earlier nights, but I’m finding that I don’t need as much sleep.

If you are eating well or living well, your quality of sleep’s much better. You go into a deeper sleep, and your time in bed’s more efficient. So I only need six hours’ sleep or even less. I’ve had a better sleep than in the past where I’ve been asleep for nine hours, but it’s been on and off and restless. The kids are getting bigger, but I’m able to carry them more and I have the energy to play with them.

It has been life-prolonging. I wasn’t going to keel over and have a heart attack, but I do often look back and think what this year would have been like if I hadn’t done U.P. The kids are getting older, and they’re starting to notice the change, so it’s good to motivate them and be a good role model for them.

They’re learning what’s good and bad to eat. It’s been amazing. It’s been tough. It’s not been easy. Sometimes, you do question why you’re doing it, even when you’re seeing the results. But then that feeling after the gym, that buzz you get when you’re having a cold shake and you’re going home and you feel great. To have lost all this weight and gained all this energy and all this happiness, it’s 100% worth it.


You’ve decreased your body weight by a staggering 49kg during your time at U.P. What kind of impact has that had on your confidence and your general mood/demeanour?

It’s nice to feel confident about myself and wear certain clothes, feel good and look good, wearing tight-fitting tops, and do stuff that I never thought I’d be able to do, certainly not in middle age. I’m 42 now. I always used to bemoan the fact that certain clothing brands didn’t cater to bigger guys.

Plus, when you’re that size, you always have to get sweaters, t-shirts, and polo shirts slightly bigger because you can’t have it too tight. I’ve worked hard for this and, as the phrase goes, ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’.

I hope people don’t think I’m arrogant for the way I’m dressing now, but I’ve worked hard, and this is what I can now wear. My boys are looking in the mirror and trying to see if I’ve got a six-pack, they’re seeing the shape of my torso, the fat is going away and forming all these muscles. It’s good for them to see.

I feel great when I look in the mirror. In life, there are days when things aren’t going well, you’ve had some bad luck, you’re bemoaning life, or the weather’s rubbish, but just by looking in the mirror, you remind yourself that things aren’t so bad, you look great, and your health is great. I’ve had no illnesses, yet when I was bigger, I used to catch everything. My immune system was weak. If there was a cold going around, I’d have it worse, and I’d have it the longest.


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