Nathan McDonald lost 23 stone in 18 months – and gained a new lease of life

FORTY stone and nearing 40, Nathan McDonald went on to lose 23 stone in 18 months – and gain a new lease of life.

Nathan took a three month sabbatical off work and hired York personal trainer Mike Gray to transform his health and fitness.

Fast forward, he now weighs just over 17 stone, is fitter, happier in his personal life and planning physical feats he never previously thought possible. He wants to go skiing, when circumstances allow, and do a parachute jump before his 41st birthday.

Nathan, from Acomb, York, who is a director at Deloitte in Leeds, said the topic of his weight came up during talks with a leadership coach as part of a work promotion.

The sessions affirmed that he was successful in his career doing a job he loved. “But that wasn’t a reflection of my personal life. I wasn’t very happy.”

His coach questioned what was different about how he approached personal goals to work objectives, and asked: “If you were doing this for a job, wouldn’t you just make the time?”

“It got me to pause and have a real think,” he said. “I was 38. I thought ‘you’re right, I can do this’. I have always wanted to have someone to spend my life with and have children. I needed to do something to make that realistic.”

That December, having achieved his promotion, he took a sabbatical to work with Mike Gray, of MGPT Nutrition and Fitness.

Together, they created a plan to significantly cut Nathan’s calorie intake, while still including foods he enjoyed, improved his knowledge of nutrition, and committed to a fitness routine.

Due to his size, he swam up to four times a week initially to avoid pressure on his joints. Mike also introduced him to resistance-based training and cardio work to improve his fitness.

Nathan returned to work part-time initially to ensure he could integrate his lifestyle change with work. “I wanted a clear enough head-space to be able to understand what I needed to do and how.”

Nathan now does two PT session each week and six targeted activities, each lasting up to 90 minutes, such as cycling.

“I feel like I have a new lease of life. I never used to pay into my pension scheme at work because I didn’t think I would live long enough. Now, I am going to live to see those years and beyond, hopefully. I feel so much better, physically and mentally.”

Nathan said he now fills up on food which is lower in calories, like grilled chicken and vegetables, rather than heavy carbs. “I used to have bread with almost every meal, lots of sugary, fatty food, chocolate. I still eat those things but in moderation.”

Mike, who works with his clients at the Definition Body Coaching studio in York, said: “Nathan’s motivation and determination over the last 18 months has been incredible which makes this amazing achievement so well deserved. His drive through lockdowns hasn’t slowed at all.

“We’re now looking at what fitness challenges Nathan can take part in.”

York personal trainer Mike Gray offers his top 5 tips to lose weight and be healthy:

1. Find a time to exercise and enjoy it – run, dance, swim, yoga, spinning – whatever you enjoy is the right exercise for you.

2. Drink 2 litres of water per day.

3. Sleep 8 hours per night.

4. Do a little research into energy balance and how the body loses fat and find a method that works for you.

5. Be patient. Learning to adjust your lifestyle and make healthier choices takes time to put into place. Make small changes one at a time.

York Press | News