Real life weight loss: How this woman lost 100lbs in less than a year (and kept it off)

Londoner Martyna lost 100lbs in a year after placing a bet against herself online

Martyna reflects on her dramatic weight loss
(Image credit: Future/Truly)

Crying herself to sleep after trying what felt like every diet going and losing no weight, Martyna couldn’t see a way out. She describes her relationship to food as an "addiction that was ruining her life". The change in her weight loss journey came when she focused on finding foods and exercise that she actually enjoyed. She placed a bet that she would lose 100lbs within a year, and she did just that. 

Binge eating had been a part of Martyna’s life since she was a child. From age 19 she went to an Overeaters Anonymous support group but stopped after a number of years: it wasn’t so much the desire for food itself that was the problem but more how she used food as a solution to her problems in life. Quite simply food was in control of Martyna. “It ran my life," she said. 

A familiar cycle started to repeat itself: a couple of days of eating healthily, then days she would eat non-stop (as much as 10,000 calories), or binge on a whole pizza or cake to herself at night. And then back to the beginning again. 

Watch Martyna's inspiring weight loss story here:

Martyna came across an accumulative betting scheme called ‘Healthy Wage’ where she would bet £70 a month that she would lose 100lbs in a year and if she did she’d end up with £3,000. But on day one of her new regime she got home from work and ordered a massive pizza. So far, so bad. Martyna realised the only way she personally was going to manage this was to start calorie counting, exercising portion control (you can check out our portion size guide for more on this) and slowly shift what she was eating, rather than do a 180-degree turn on her eating habits. 

At the beginning she’d still eat McDonald's and Krispy Kremes, but alongside salad. And then lockdown hit and Martyna realised it was the perfect time to lose weight - she didn’t need to go out, could drink water at home and phase in a more healthy diet - she became vegan and now eats a predominantly plant-based diet. 

Every single morning before she had a chance to think what day it was, Martyna would put on her trainers and at 6am go for a long walk. Walking to lose weight is a great, low-intensity way to fit movement into your day. 

She also discovered she loved at home weight workouts with adjustable dumbbells and completed personal training sessions in the park once the UK's lockdown eased. Martyna set up an Instagram account as much as anything to keep herself accountable - she has even started coaching a couple of other women in their own journeys.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.