Success story

An unexpected journey

My name is Michael Dale and I have been a Kick Start Fat Loss member for just over a year. I have previously blogged about Sindy and my experience at KSFL so I’m not going to cover the same ground. I’m here with a brief before and after blog to show where I’ve got to so far in my journey.

The photos below were taken exactly a year apart, in the same setting, with the same clothes, so you’ve got the best chance of seeing what changes really took place. Firstly I’ll fess up and admit the trousers were actually my wife’s exercise kit. I’m not normally into wearing my wife’s clothes (though she has stolen one or two jumpers from me), but I needed something tight and I wasn’t the type to wear tight fitting clothes. Another confession is that I could have taken the after pictures way back in June and they would look exactly the same. I have maintained the same weight since July, never having realised quite how successful and effective following KSFL would be in weight loss, and finding a point at that stage where I was happy to introduce more food into my daily diet.

I was nervous about taking the after shots, and nervous about sharing them alongside the before, because let’s face it, they’re hardly glamour shots! But I think with anything that purports to give results, or change lives, you need real world examples to help. I also know that when I look at the average before and after pictures, they are sad and dowdy in the first, and well-lit and smiling in the second,so we can’t do a true comparison! Once I knew I was on to a good thing, I knew I had to stand in the same place, wear the same clothes and see what had changed.

I have to say, I had kind of been putting it off, and the anniversary was a reason to force myself to do it. In my mind, despite knowing I had gone from a waist that was approaching 34″ to a 28″ and gone from medium tops to XXS, there was this irrational fear that photos would reveal it was all a sham, that I still had that paunch. It just goes to show how we can become unhealthily obsessed with ‘perfection’. In my mind I thought I should look like a pro-athlete before I took the second set of photos. We don’t really know what ‘average’ people look like any more, because clothes cover us, and what we see are media images of toned, honed celebs, with great make-up, lighting, and so on!

It was daft to think I had to compete with what I saw on TV, and I knew it all along. I have been on, and will continue to be on an amazing journey that has seen increased energy, a new found love of exercise, and the ability and desire to wear tight clothing. I bought a pair of skinny jeans for goodness sake! And I happily wear XXS t-shirts! I love clothes shopping now, because I have a size that will work across all shops and designs. Before trousers, jeans, and tops would all vary in how they looked on me, and there was no consistency on the size. Once upon a time I may have felt shy that I was going for the smaller size, but now I’m proud that I’m the size nature intended!

Best of all, I feel like I have hit the point where I have reset my physical template, so to speak, and what happens next is entirely in my hands. I still follow the KSFL food lifestyle, allowing myself to eat more than before, all clean of course, with the occasional guilt free non-KSFL meal or cake. I’m a guy, so sure I want to build up my upper strength, that’s pretty normal I reckon. I’m using a 16kg kettlebell and have done for several months, so I know I’m ready to step up and try a 20kg, so that’s step one. Beyond that, I have increased fitness and strength, which brings with it increased confidence to try tougher challenges, so I’ll just have to see. I’ll certainly stick with KSFL, and see what the next year brings me. I’m certainly not willing to go back to my old lifestyle of watching fit people on TV and wishing it were me.

Here are the pictures. Am I happy with the changes? Of course! It’s amazing, dramatic and these pictures only show half the story. Clearly I have become more toned, and I now have ‘apples’, as the wife calls my biceps. Maybe by next year I’ll be brave enough to take the top off…




It’s a whole new life

The following was posted on the private KSFL Facebook page by Matthew, who wanted to explain to the members how he ended up joining Kick Start Fat Loss. It was such a wonderful piece of writing I asked if I could use it as a guest blog on my website and he graciously agreed.
It all looks so daunting from the outside. But where people are is often less interesting than how they got there, I think. This is how I got here.
I’m a journalist & travel writer. On 13th June this year, there was a small launch event in Banbury for one of my guidebooks. In the audience that day was local writer and novelist Mike Dale – we’d never met before, and we chatted a bit about writing and social media.
I looked him up on Twitter when I got home, and clicked through to his blog – here it is:
– where I started reading a bunch of articles he’d written about Banbury life… and this thing called Kick Start Fat Loss.
I’ve always been fat. My family has always been fat – my mum, my dad, my brothers. I’m sure it’s genetic, but then again, food was also a big issue in our house. I remember being fat as a young child. I was fat all through school. I was fat in college. There was a short time in my 20s when I was a bit slimmer, but – even if I wasn’t quite fat – I’ve always been a big bloke. I hated exercise. I wasn’t sporty at school – though I reckon I could have enjoyed sport more, given the right encouragement. My body has always been a part of me I never felt proud of.
I wasn’t unhappy, exactly. I was just resigned to it inside. That’s who I was – big. I loved cheese, I loved bread and crackers, I loved muesli for breakfast. I often overate.
I’ve also been blocked, creatively, for a while now. I was writing, but I was increasingly wondering what for.
Earlier this year I suddenly realised that, at some point, I’d become allergic to gluten. My poo was the giveaway – it just wasn’t right, and hadn’t been for, well, years maybe. I don’t know how long. Sludgy. Smelly. Finally, after a lot of procrastination, I did something about it. I wondered if it might be gluten, so I tried cutting gluten out. Suddenly, in a day or two, I felt loads better. Not heavy. Not bloated after every meal (I stopped taking the Rennie anti-bloat tablets I’d been necking almost daily for years.) Proper poo again. It was a revelation. We started buying gluten-free bread and gluten-free muesli. Expensive, but OK. I thought wow, this is good.
Then I found Mike’s blog, and KSFL.
That brought together a whole bunch of thoughts and unspoken emotions that had been swirling below the surface for a while. We’ve got two young kids. I wanted to keep up with them. I wanted to set a decent example to them. I wanted them to gain the kind of self-understanding and autonomy around food I never had. I wanted to do the best I could for them, with them, and around them. I wanted them not to be fat.
Being fat, sweaty and a bit moody myself wasn’t helping. Big belly, big double-chin… I wanted my kids to see something better than that every day. I’ve never had a jaw-line. I wanted one. I wanted to be the kind of dad who cycles.
A doctor pointed out to me once that you don’t see very old fat people. But I want to be very old, to spend as long as possible with my kids. And when I get old, I want to be an old man with a scrawny neck, not a wobbling double-chin. I love scrawny necks on old men.
I’m lucky to have a wonderful, sharp, clever, perceptive, incredibly hardworking woman as my wife. She’s grappled with body issues all her life. I wanted to be less unattractive for her. I wanted to head off that visible future of letting go, letting things slide, and try harder instead. I wanted to do something good.
Mike’s blog about KSFL led me to Sindy’s website. It all looked a bit dauntingly sporty and gym-y – things I didn’t enjoy, at places I didn’t go to. Lots of lycra. Very off-putting. But Mike had written very persuasively about Sindy, and about KSFL. It knocked around inside my head for a while.
That same week, in June, I heard I’d landed an amazing assignment. In January 2016, I’m being sent to Antarctica for the BBC. It’s an epic trip – two weeks at sea on a working ship out of Cape Town, a week at Britain’s remotest Antarctic base, far out on a moving ice shelf making a documentary for Radio 4, another two weeks at sea to the Falklands, then an RAF flight home to Brize Norton.
It’s once in a lifetime.
I had a bit over six months to get ready. Getting ready meant feeling a bit stronger and more confident.
Mike’s blog about Sindy kept rattling around in my head.
I saw from the KSFL website that Sindy was running classes four days a week at Woodgreen Leisure Centre (ed. this has since changed to Banbury Twenty Cricket Club). And in the end, that was the clincher. Woodgreen is three minutes’ walk from my house. If it had been further away, or somewhere I’d have to drive to, I think I would have ruled it out. Too much hassle. Not enough time in my busy life. But it was Woodgreen. With the gluten thing in my head, with the kids thing in my head, with the Antarctic thing in my head – with all of that, I knew that if I couldn’t get myself to flipping Woodgreen, at least once, to have a look, it was just never going to happen. Ever.
So two weeks after I met Mike, in the middle of the turmoil that is 6pm on a weekday night with two small kids and a dog at dinner time, I somehow got myself out the door and walked to Woodgreen. I had no workout gear, and I wasn’t ready in my mind to start anyway, so I just went in jeans and a hoodie, to see.
And it looked right. Why? Because it was fun to meet new people – like Rachael Willson, who I recognised from her photo in the local paper after she’d lost 3 stone. She encouraged me.
Because you could work for 20 seconds, then stop (I liked the sound of that). Because people were smiling and laughing, actually enjoying the workout (that was new to me) – and enjoying being together. Because it was cheap. Because it was nearby.
But actually, because of Sindy. The energy coming off Sindy that day was something amazing – the way she was supporting the people in the class, her enthusiasm for the workout, her grin. That incredible grin. It could light a city.
I went home, found some shorts, and made it back at 6.15 next morning for class number one. I weighed 17st 1lb.
Today I weigh 15st 1lb.
It’s a whole new life, suddenly.

Help a girl out!


Congratulations to Carlie Goode who has now lost 15lbs (over a stone in weigh)!! This is a lot harder for Carlie. 

Read Carlie’s story.

Carlie is 30 years old, a single mum to her little girl who is 8. From the age of 15 something wasn’t right. Carlie was overly tired, slept 12 hours and still needed more sleep. She didn’t socialise like her friends did and was always poorly. She would ask to go to bed at half seven – what teenager does that?! Then came the panic attacks and depression. She tried counselling, CBT everything possible. By 18 things just got worse and she tried to work but kept getting sick so had time off and would lose her job. 

In 2006 Carlie gave birth to her little girl, and it should have been the happiest time of her life but that’s when things took a turn for the worse and her body finally completely gave up. 

Every day has been a fight and a battle just to do the normal things people take for granted. She was diagnosed with ME also known as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. 

Not many people know about these silent illnesses, Carlie looks ‘normal’ so for people to understand has been hard. What is it? Debilitating fatigue, muscle pain, muscle weakness, blurred vision, mood swings, depression. People think it’s just being tired. This overwhelming fatigue affects cognitive function, every little thing she does has a price to pay. From getting out of bed, getting dressed. Washing your hair. Some days these tasks aren’t even achievable.She can’t take her little girl to the park, the zoo, etc. 

It’s a silent lonely debilitating condition with no treatment other than to live with it. 
No amount of sleep makes the fatigue go away, it’s there 24 7. Carefully having to pace what you do every day with rest periods between and lengthy sleeps just to be able to complete the most basic of tasks. 
She is still here fighting because she has to because she has an amazing little girl that needs her mum, but it’s no easy task, it’s hard and there’s so little understanding or knowledge so many are suffering in silence.

Would you mind helping someone you don’t know and doing a good deed? I have a request (well two actually) to help Carlie to move house. Light hands make less work, strength in numbers and all that. I don’t know when she is moving yet. She is waiting for the date to view the property… but if you can help out or know anyone else that could help that would be fab. Please feel free to invite people/friends & family too. If you are not sure what ME is see the picture below. it is impossible for this girl to move house alone. If we all muck in this will be a very quick move.

Carlie will get to view the house in the next few weeks, she will be given the keys there and then. The house has no carpet!! She has been quoted £850 which needs to be paid for before Christmas Eve. Being a single parent with ME and not able to work, Carlie does not have this money readily available. So, here is my second plea. Would you be happy to make a contribution? I will ensure that the funds are sent to a secure account where the money can be accessed and spent on the carpet and to Carlie.

Any excess money raised i.e. more than the cost of the carpet, will be donated to BYHP.


If you would like to help Carlie move or make a donation please contact me on the details below:

Sind Matthews

Mobile: 077363 09921

Twitter: @SindyMatthews3
Instagram: @sindmatthews

MUM of 8 (yes, 8 children) goes from a size16 to a size 6 with Kick Start Fat Loss

MUM of 8 (yes, 8 children) goes from a size16 to a size 6 with Kick Start Fat Loss


Michelle Morton (43) has lost a staggering 4 1/2 stone and gone down from a size 16 to a size 6 since joining a Kick Start Fat Loss Club.
The KSFL Franchise is run by Sindy Matthews in Banbury

“ I had another baby 2 years ago (making a total of 8 children) and then broke my neck in December 2012. It took doctors 7 months to diagnose and my life pretty much ended there and then.
After it was operated on in 2013 my healing process was great but I had gained alo t of weight and felt stuck,” says Michelle.

Michelle’s diet became really bad after the horrendous ordeal as she used food as a comfort blanket.

She consumed a constant stream of takeaways, processed food, kids’ leftovers and, being the world’s fussiest eater who did not like fruit, veg or fish, her nutrition was pretty awful.

“The last straw was looking in the mirror every day and not liking what I saw – well hating what I saw to be honest,” says Michelle.

Michelle had attended Sindy’s fitness classes in the past and knew Sindy would have her best interests at heart and be able to coach her with the most up to date nutritional information and care.

In 5 months Michelle has regained her figure, her confidence and her life. It’s an amazing transformation for this super busy mum of 8.

“Now in a typical day I eat (for example) – smoked salmon, poached egg, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms for breakfast, smoked mackerel pate and salad for lunch,
KSFL pizza with desired topping and butternut squash chips, peas and green beans for tea – a lot of my inspiration is from the KSFL recipe book and most of those
I have made, tried and adapted.”

Michelle’s future goals are to remain as she is but continue to get fitter.

“I could not, no matter what, go back to the old way of eating and living,
it is now a very big part of my life and one that I could not give up.”

Michelle is also looking at becoming a Kick Start Fat Loss coach and help others change their lives.

“KSFL has changed not only my life but my family’s life so much and for the very better,

I can empathise in so many ways about how people might be feeling  and how

difficult it can be to make the change but I can honestly say it is so worth it and with the right coaching and leader you can achieve anything.”

Kick Start Fat Loss Lifestyle clubs was created in 2007 by Rachel Holmes and has helped 1000′s of people

all over the UK.

The newcomer on the slimming club block KSFL now has 50 franchisees all over the UK & is 
working with the NHS in Suffolk on new pilot programmes for combating obesity.

Jemma HIIT’s 6 Stone Mark!


Last week Jemma Hawtin was in the Banbury Guardian. She has now lost 6 stone and over 66 inches. Jemma joined KSFL Banbury when it launched back in September 2013. Her journey has been amazing. Before Jemma lived on 2 litres of coke a day and heavily prcessed food. She had no job and zero confidence. She was also over 17 Stone and a size 20.

Here is Jemma today! Size 10 and 11 Stone 6lbs!!