Meet Marc Hogg
January 17, 2016
My name is Marc Hogg…
I am a 48 year old Sales Director from Berkshire who has struggled with being significantly overweight for around 20 years. When I say “Significantly overweight” it is probably easier to use my doctor’s terminology – “Clinically Obese.”
I have known that I have been overweight for many years, this did not come as a surprise, and I have tried every diet under the sun (Atkins, South Beach, 5/2, you name it I have tried it). Although I lost weight on all of them, I always put more back on than I had lost. I wanted to lose weight – but a weak will, sweet tooth and other excuses meant that I did not stick to anything.
The thing that finally focused my attention was a couple of health scares, one heart-related. This really got my attention. I knew that I had to find a way to get things moving in the right direction – by forgetting fad diets and getting back to the only real way of losing weight and being healthy – proper nutrition and exercise. Deciding on a way to exercise was quite a difficult choice. I have a number of old injuries, which meant anything involving impact on the joints was a no-go (as this, coupled with my weight, would result in me losing interest quickly – due to the pain that would result). I am not a big fan of swimming, or riding a standard bicycle – and I could not really think of another exercise that would meet my requirements – so the search was on to find something that would work for me.
I first came across the ElliptiGO on Youtube (about 3 years before making my life-change decision) when I was looking for something else. I was impressed by the idea – and the fact that there is no impact involved. The machine looked really solid and easy to get to grips with. After discovering the ElliptiGO I thought about buying one, but it was not until my health scares that I thought about it really seriously.
I discussed buying one with my wife, but she was not keen. To be fair, she thought this was potentially something else that I would buy and lose interest in within another couple of months. Justifying buying the ElliptiGO was a difficult job, but this time I felt that my viewpoint of making lifestyle changes was in a very different place – my mind was fully focused.
I purchased my ElliptiGO 8C, a shiny red one, in December 2014 – and had a couple of rides before Christmas. When I say “rides” I really mean down the road and back. A ride of a mile was difficult, due to the state of my health – and I lost a little bit of focus due to the cold and wet conditions.
It was in February of 2015 that the focus I had became intensified, when I started to work with a personal trainer (Joe Webb, from JW Training, in Bracknell). Joe helped me with my nutrition and helped to devise a training plan based around the ElliptiGO. Self-image and self-esteem issues meant that I really did not want to go into the gym, so the ElliptiGO was a perfect tool for the job. I started to ride the ElliptiGO regularly (4 – 5 days a week) and added other body-weight exercises.
I set myself goals and really started to move forward with my activities. My distances on the ElliptiGO started to increase and I devised several routes and options around Bracknell to enable me to vary the distance. I went from riding less than a mile to a regular ride of 14 miles, with an option to make it 16 miles. I found riding the ElliptiGO enjoyable and liberating – this made exercising easy and getting the motivation to GO out and do it was easy.
To push myself harder I set myself bigger goals on the ElliptiGO, with the aim of riding a 12 mph average speed circuit, then riding a marathon distance and then doing 50 miles – in a single ride. The changes in my nutrition and the additional exercise really started to take effect – and the weight started to drop off. This spurred me on to reach my goals. I completed greater than a marathon distance on the 19th July 2015 – with a ride of 27.75 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes (and an average speed of 10.4mph). The 12 mph average ride was finally achieved on a 14 mile ride on the 8th September 2015 (with an average speed of 12.2mph). I came close to achieving this several times before this, but everything needed to be perfect to do it.
Riding 50 miles was another story altogether
I had set myself a target of completing this goal before the clocks changed to winter time – and to be honest I did not plan it particularly well. I did not achieve the goal prior to the clock change, but woke up on the Sunday morning following the change in time and saw that the weather was good (dry – with some cloud cover – and not too hot). So, on the spur of the moment, I decided to GO for it!
To say that I completed this ride without any incident would be a lie. At 20 miles I wanted to go home. And at 35 miles I was lying outside of a local Tesco supermarket, in agony – trying to stretch the cramp out of my legs. Luckily, a friendly marathon runner who was shopping noticed my symptoms and gave me some advice (which got me through it and enabled me to get back on the ElliptiGO).
At 40 miles my whole mental demeanour had changed and every mile seemed to glide by smoothly. I completed this ride (50.79 miles in total), in 5 hours and 19 minutes. I was totally shattered – but incredibly proud of my achievement – and of how far I had progressed in a relatively short amount of time.
I think that it is fair to say that if I had not found the ElliptiGO I probably wouldn’t be where I am now…
At the end of November 2015, 9 months after starting, I had lost a total of 5 stone (70 lbs). The ElliptiGO, coupled with the support of Joe at JW Training – and Idai Makaya at ElliptiGO UK – have really helped to drive me forward and achieve my goals. I am just over halfway through my journey – and although it is getting harder to lose weight, I am looking forward to working harder to achieve the results.
I have set some new targets for the ElliptiGO, in respect to wanting to complete a 100 mile ride – and to also complete my standard 14 mile ride with a weight vest (loaded with the weight I have lost once I hit my target). The ElliptiGO has been away for most of the winter and I have concentrated on the gym and other activities. Whilst this has helped me to keep my weight stable, I have not continued to lose weight as I had hoped and I will be getting the ElliptiGO back out, earlier than planned, to forge ahead with my goals.
I will finish by saying that to a large extent the ElliptiGO has probably saved my life…
It is a great way to get a cardiovascular workout without stress on your joints – and it has been a real driver for me in losing weight. It is not a common machine – and, as such, is a real head turner. I have had so many really nice comments and this machine has opened up many a conversation. I use every comment and conversation as motivation for the next stage in my journey and I would recommend the ElliptiGO – coupled with a balanced nutrition plan – to anybody who wants to lose weight.