From 22st junk food addict to Ultra-Marathon runner

Tipping the scales at just over 22 stone, estate agent and junk food addict, Trevor Binch was on course for a life of ill health and early death. Trevor knew he had to do something about his lifestyle when his brother sadly passed away from bowel & liver cancer at just 56 years old. Being 46 at the time, Trevor realised that this could also happen to him if he didn’t do anything about it, and fast.

How did you put on the weight?

An addiction to excess is the answer. I started to put weight on in line with how well my career/business was going. The better the career, the more I felt I could justify rewarding myself with more takeaways, more restaurants, more boozy nights out, more holidays, more chocolate.

My life became one long treadmill of working hard, growing my business, and completely neglecting my health and mental wellbeing. At my heaviest, I was living on takeaways for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacking on crisps and chocolate throughout the day.

I also led to bad sleep patterns. I would wake in the middle of the night feeling horrible, but would still eat during the middle of the night out of boredom. My biggest night time vice was a huge bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes with full fat milk... drizzled with double cream!

What was your motivation to lose weight?

The simple answer is that my brother passing away scared me. And I also felt terrible.

I was sweating first thing in the morning whilst getting ready for work. My digestion was awful: I felt bloated and constipated all the time. I was getting chest pains on a regular basis. I suffered from insomnia and would feel drained and tired literally all day long. My clothes were so tight on me, and I looked like a scruff bag as I had to buy whatever would fit me.

The big thing was my mental health. I was genuinely unhappy with the way my life was going. My business was going well, I was earning a good income, I was buying expensive watches and expensive holidays to try and make myself happy, but I knew that losing weight and getting fit was the only real answer.

How did you start to lose weight?

Through a friend, I was introduced to a weight loss and running coach called Rory Coleman. Rory has ran over 1000 marathons and specialises in helping fat people lose weight through correct eating and exercise, but (more importantly) sorting out what is going on in their heads before starting any sort of programme. That sounded like exactly what I was looking for.

I knew that losing weight meant eating healthily and doing exercise, but I didn’t know how to fix my mind to break all these bad habits I had gotten into. I met Rory on the 27th October 2017. I jumped on the scales and weighed in at just over 22 stone. He fixed my head, gave me a simple to follow diet plan, and got me walking a minimum of 15000 steps a day to start with.

At over 135kg, he wanted me to walk only for the first month to try and get some bulk off before even attempting to run. The first week was the hardest. I was suffering from blisters on my feet, chafing at the top of my legs, and even worse insomnia. However, this only lasted a week. After that, I was feeling healthier, my stomach got used to smaller portions, and the blistering and chaffing healed up.

I completed the whole of November, and dropped to 18 stone, 1 pound by the beginning of December 2017. I was itching to start running again, so on the 2nd December, I did the Coventry Park Run. Rory gave me a challenge to run the whole 5k without stopping. I could run as slow as I wanted, but couldn’t walk any of it. I completed that first park run in 37 minutes, 25 seconds.

How did the diet change?

At my heaviest, a typical day was a full English for breakfast, McDonalds/KFC for lunch, and then Chinese or Indian take away for dinner. I was eating virtually no greens. I was also binge drinking at the weekends whilst socialising with friends.

The new diet meant completely cutting out drinking and white foods. I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since. My diet now consists of a low carb diet with plenty of green foods, fresh meat & fish. My portion sizes have halved. I eat 5 small meals a day, and no longer feel that the quest for food rules my live. I no longer feel hunger pangs, and have so much energy. My insomnia has stopped and I sleep 6-7 hours uninterrupted every evening.

How did running play a part?

Running is now my primary hobby, and something I get amazing pleasure from! At the start, it was difficult and I was getting out of breath. Now, I can fly round a 10k course in under 48 minutes, have a park run PB of 22 minutes, and have done over a dozen marathons and half marathons in the last 18 months. I have also done 7 ultra marathons.

Within the last 12 months, I have:

  • Brought my 5K Park run personal best (PB) down from 37 minutes to a current PB of 22.16.
  • Brought my 10k PB to 47.59.
  • Ran the Kenilworth half marathon in 1 hour, 47 minutes (another PB!)
  • Ran a full marathon on the 22nd June 2018 in Torhout, Belgium. 3 hours, 54 minutes.
  • Completed seven ultra marathons. My longest run so far was the country to capital (45 miles) in January 2019.
  • I have also signed up for the Marathon des Sables in April 2019. This is my ultimate challenge.

I feel that having events booked in my diary keeps the motivation going, and gives me something to look forward to. I now look forward to race days in the same way I used to look forward to going on holiday.

The Coventry Half Marathon

Although I have done a number of ultra marathons, half marathons are my favourite events. Being a Coventry kid, I had to enter the Coventry Half Marathon. The course looks superb and takes you through some of the great areas and sights of Coventry.

I will be using the Coventry Half as training for the Marathon des Sables in April. If you see me running by in my desert gear and full backpack, give me a wave!

Any tips for our readers?

There is so much information out there about losing weight and getting fit, but also fad diets and crackpot schemes. Believe me when I say I have done them all.

My advice: get started by entering the Coventry Half Marathon, get a coach like Rory Coleman, or even join a beginners running club. From a diet point of view: give up the booze, have a low carb diet, plan for your food choices one week at a time, and drink plenty of good quality water.