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‘I ate there five times a week’: Dad loses SEVEN stone after he stops spending £200 a month on McDonald’s


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    Russell Edwards, who tipped the scales at almost 20 stone, said he ate breakfast at the fast food restaurant five times a week

    Russell Edwards weighed almost 20 stone before ditching his fast food habit

    A dad has revealed he lost a huge seven stone after he stopped spending £200 a month at McDonald’s.

    Russell Edwards, who weighed almost 20 stone, realised his fast food habit was getting out of control after he looked at his bank statements and noticed how much cash was being spent on burgers and chips.

    He says he was eating breakfast at McDonald’s at least five times a week.

    However, the 37-year-old soon turned his life around after swapping McDonald’s for power walking on his lunch breaks.

    “When we had our son, things started to change in my life and I didn’t realise it at the time – but I started to struggle with my weight,” Russell told Wales Online.

    “Having a new child meant I had no time for fitness and I let myself go.

    “He was a poor sleeper, so I’d stay up all night watching Netflix and started eating chocolates and biscuits at around 2am.”

    Russell says he had a shock when he saw his bank statements

    Russell said things started to get worse after he left his job as a health club manager at The Miskin Manor Hotel & Health Club and landed a new job at a water treatment company – which was right next door to a McDonald’s restaurant.

    “The job was office based and right next door there was a Greggs and a McDonald’s.

    “I was so big that I started to get lazy – which meant I’d sleep late in the mornings and wouldn’t have time to make breakfast.”

    It wasn’t long before Russell started stopping in McDonald’s before work.

    “It’s lethal having a contactless debit card – because I didn’t realise what I was spending there,” he said.

    “I was having breakfast there around five days a week.

    “I was having breakfast there around five days a week,” he said

    “It started with a coffee and then coffee and a breakfast meal and then all of that and a wrap as well. And sometimes I’d even have lunch there too.

    “One month I remember checking my bank statement and I’d spent £200 at McDonald’s. I couldn’t believe it!”

    Russell added: “It wasn’t McDonald’s’ fault – you can make good choices there these days, but I was just making the wrong choices.

    “It was my own fault – I chose to eat it and I slipped into a bad habit.”

    Russell said his weight at the time – which was around 19 stone 4lbs – was not only effecting his physical health, but his mental health too, making made him desperately unhappy.

    “I came home from work one day and my son said to me ‘Dad, Dad – come and play with me’ and I had to say no because I was too tired.

    “Seeing his face all upset made me think – what are you doing? I wasn’t tired I was just overweight.”

    Russell said another experience which played a huge factor in his decision to lose weight was when he travelled to Toulouse to watch Wales during the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship.

    He’d sometimes even head back for lunch

    “I hadn’t tried on any of my clothes, so before the game I realised none of my Wales tops fitted me and I couldn’t button up my 44-inch waist shorts.

    “I had to go out and buy XXL clothes.”

    “Looking back at photos from two years ago, what stands out is the shirt I wore to the games,” Russell said.

    “It was the biggest size I had ever had to buy and although I knew then that I had to do something about it, I couldn’t.

    “I was in a rut and it was really hard to get going.”

    He added: “I told my brother – who was with me in France at the time – I’m not going to be like this next year.”

    When he returned from his trip, Russell – who left his office job to return to work at the health club – started running in the lane behind his house.

    He also bought a Fitbit watch to track his steps.

    “I was too self-conscious to go to the gym. I was worried people would laugh. So I started running in the lane behind my house.

    “And I was very unfit. I could only run for around three minutes.

    He lost seven stone after taking up running and getting out more

    “I was also only managing around 1,000 steps a day on my watch, and 800 of those were just walking to and from my car to get to work.

    “So, I set myself a target of reaching around 10,000 a day.”

    Russell also made an effort to change his diet in conjunction with the watch – which meant cutting out his McDonald’s breakfast and lunch.

    “I knew the watch wouldn’t work miracles on its own, but I understood it would make me accountable for my activity, or lack of it,” he said.

    “I started focusing on healthy meals and cooking more at home – things like spaghetti bolognese and fish.

    “I still had the odd treat too, but I cut out McDonald’s totally.”

    Despite his lifestyle and diet changes, Russell says it was running that really helped him transform his life.

    So much so, that last year he completed his first 10k race and has signed up for this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon.

    He’s now hoping to inspire others to follow suit.

    The route for the Miskin Mile

    As well as setting up his own beginners’ running club, Russell has also organised a new charity event called The Miskin Manor Mile, in which he is encouraging people to take their first steps towards fitness.

    “When I started running I was so overweight that I was very anxious about being seen. A 5k or 10k seemed light years ahead of me at that time.

    “So, I thought a one-mile fun race would be the ideal distance to help people like me to achieve something that they may not have attempted since they left school.

    “Running saved my life and I want to push its immense benefits to anyone reading my story.

    “It’s such a convenient form of exercise that is beneficial for both your physical and mental health.”

    The Miskin Mile takes place at the Miskin Manor Hotel and Health Club on Sunday 1 July. There will be events for all ages, with plenty of trophies, medals and certificates up for grabs.

    To enter or for further details, visit www.bespokeentries.co.uk/events/miskin-manor-mile-2018

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