Matthew loses 8st and helps 30 others start their slimming journey

Matthew Applegate pictured left, in November 2019 before embarking on his weight loss journey, and right, in December 2021

Matthew Applegate pictured left, in November 2019 before embarking on his weight loss journey, and right, in December 2021 - Credit: Matthew Applegate

A business owner from Ipswich who ate through the contents of his company's vending machine in lockdown has transformed his life after losing more than 8st.

Matthew Applegate, 44, the founder of the Creative Computing Club, weighed in at 21st when he started consciously dieting in May 2020, after realising in lockdown that he needed to change his unhealthy ways.

“When we shut down in March 2020, I more or less ate through the entire contents of the vending machine," said Matthew, whose business offers technology-based learning sessions to people of all ages.  

"I was sitting down a lot, teaching online, and I was quite sedentary, like many programmers.” 

He continued: “I was about 300lbs. But then, I woke up one day and decided I was going to make a change."

Matthew started by walking, which gradually progressed to running.

“I decided to buy a treadmill, but then I realised that I actually had to get down to 120kg just to get on it.” 

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By changing his diet and maintaining the exercise he was able to meet and surpass this target.

In October 2020, he began weightlifting, feeling that he’d become “too skinny”. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. 

But according to Matthew, losing weight was as much a mental as a physical challenge. 

“I couldn’t publicly admit that I was starting a journey of weight loss, because I felt ashamed that I'd let myself get to a point where I needed one.

"People come to me for problem solving. I thought, what if they start wondering what other things I’ve done wrong? So, I disappeared for a bit, and came back having lost all the weight.  

“People were shocked. I realised then that this was a real problem in the tech community, and office life in general. People just sit down all day.  

“So, I started this thing called ‘Tech Walk,’ to encourage people in tech industries to get out and about on a Thursday night to get them walking up and down the docks in Ipswich, talking, networking, helping them get their confidence back.

"It seems to have worked. I think I’ve helped about 30-40 people start their own weight loss journey.  

“A lot of people feel they almost need permission to go and exercise."

He continued: "I used to think being a weightlifter was the opposite of who I was as a programmer. 

“But it’s not about other people, it’s about you, and an investment in your health. You can’t let anybody have power over you and your well-being.” 

Matthew hopes to resume his Tech Walks in February.

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