I am off to fat camp thanks to my brother

16 December 2009

A HENGROVE man whose broken heart caused him to pile on the pounds has been given a chance to lose weight – by his big brother. Matt Alexander, 35, who runs The Brunel Wine Bar, on The Mall, Clifton, is paying to send his younger brother, Louis, on a week-long military boot camp, run by Bristol company
Prestige. It is the first time the company, which has held several successful camps for women, is allowing men to take part and the opportunity has helped give Louis a much-needed wake-up call. The 24-year-old, who lives in Hengrove Lane, used to work-out regularly but started piling on weight 18 months ago when his fiancee called off their wedding two weeks before the big day. Louis, who works for school inspector Ofsted, said: “It wasn’t a good time, I started going out more, drinking heavily on benders and my weight just grew and grew. “I’ve always been quite big, at my heaviest I was probably about 23
stone.” But help was at hand when Iain Reitze, director of Clifton-based Prestige, became a regular in the pub. “We found out about the boot camp through Iain when he told us about the sorts of things he was doing.It sounded really interesting but I thought it was just for girls,” Louis said. “Then he said they were doing a mixed one and my brother said he would pay if I wanted to go.” Matt said: “He’d been in the doldrums since the relationship ended and I didn’t see how he was going to get out it. He was drinking every day and smoking and he’s only young. “He really needed a bit of focus, when we talked about it he was behind it 100 per cent – it was as if he was yearning for a challenge.” The incentive of the boot camp, which uses military-style training along with a calorie-controlled diet, has already given Louis a boost to stop drinking and smoking and he has started running a few miles every other night. He said: “I’ve known I was going to go on the camp for about five or six weeks and the motivation has already helped me loose a few stone. “It’s going to be really tough but I’m excited and a little bit nervous. Its also an excuse for me to try some things I’ve always wanted to do like abseiling.” But the challenge does not end there and Louis has also decided to put his pain to good use, asking people to sponsor him to complete the boot camp. He added: “I’m raising funds for Help for Heroes and, thanks to gen- He ain’t heavy: Brothers Matt and Louis Alexander at The Brunel in Clifton. Matt is paying for Louis to go to boot camp to help him lose weight Heartbreak drove me to pile on pounds I’m off to fat camp, thanks to my brother.