Richmond rider Steve has lost 30lbs with regular classes at Digme this year and by his own admission has turned has life around this year. Read his story...

I’ve been coming to Digme since January and it really has helped turn my life around.

It was the old cliché of reaching 40 and not being that guy who used to be able to eat what he wanted without worrying about putting weight on. It was a gradual process over a few years that I think lots of people will be familiar with. 

I was constantly upsizing my clothes, buying jeans with another inch on the waistline and throwing out stuff I thought I would never fit in to again. 

One day my youngest son, my nine-year-old, said he could run faster than me. I said no way, but embarrassingly he beat me. That was the realisation that I needed to do something. 

I’ve never been particularly into sports or fitness as an adult, but it dawned on me how sedentary my life was. I would jump on a bus from Richmond Hill down to the station, get the train to Waterloo and take the tube to London Bridge where I’d sit at a desk all day. I must have only been walking a total of 400 metres all day.

One of my friends tried Digme and told me about it, so I thought I’d give it a go. I had no idea how to pace myself in that first class and I nearly died at the end! But I was hooked. I bought a pack of credits and started doing classes every week.

It was so encouraging seeing the incremental improvements every single week. I got better and better and took massive steps forward every week. It was very encouraging having proof of my progress.

Then in May I found a Fitbit on the ground outside my office. I left a notice saying I’d found it but it was never picked up, so I started wearing it. That really drummed in how sedentary I was. Despite the regular classes at Digme, most of my life was still very inactive.

So I started walking to the station instead of taking the bus, and then I began walking from Waterloo to London Bridge along the Southbank, which was lovely in the summer. I felt so much better.

One day I was talking to friend who had started commuting from Kew to Canary Wharf on his road bike. He has diabetes but said he couldn’t believe how much better he felt from his daily rides. He was on top of it so much better and his blood sugar levels were much more under control. I remember thinking it was such a long way and I’d never be able to do that.

In the summer we went on an active holiday to a Mark Warner resort in Sardinia, which was a change from the very relaxing holidays we’ve always done. They had road bikes there, and one day I cycled 100km. 

I realised that I was actually pretty good. It was 42 degrees but it was easy, and I loved it. Suddenly a 20km commute to work didn’t seem so out of reach. 

When we got back, I started cycling to work every day. I feel great. I haven’t had a cold or been ill since because I don’t sit on a train with everyone else coughing and sneezing. It’s so much more enjoyable.

Since January I’ve lost 30lbs. I’ve had to throw away all my big clothes and buy more, but that’s a good problem to have.

It’s inspired my family too – my oldest son has got into rowing and my wife has a Fitbit and is losing weight. It’s been a massive change in lifestyle and it all started at Digme only 11 months ago.

Next year I’m doing Ride London, so I’ll definitely be needing more classes to get me ready.