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Location: Cape Town
Occupation: Financial Accountant
Weight before / after: 214kg / 93kg
Time to goal: Almost 4 years
I was always a big kid and I grew up accepting it. I played sport throughout school, but was never as fit as my teammates. I started gaining more weight towards the end of high school but didn’t see it as a problem. Once I started at college things got out of hand, junk food became a staple along with two new hobbies, drinking and smoking. I couldn’t find clothes to fit me and before I knew it I was over the 200 kilogram mark and heading downhill fast. At 22 I was severely obese, hypertensive and borderline diabetic.
It happened just like in the movies. I was walking back from a meeting and stopped in front of a mirror. For the first time in my life I truly saw myself and I didn’t like the person I was looking at. All the conversations with doctors and family members finally made sense.
I went cold turkey. I stopped drinking, smoking, cut out all junk food, sweets and the biggest culprit: fizzy drinks and juices. I started eating proper meals and drinking up to three litres of water a day. Things were going really well until I hit the 150 kilogram mark – I had reached my plateau and had to start adding in an exercise routine. I started walking and light jogging in the beginning and within weeks I was back on track. In 2011, I had to have spinal surgery – I had four herniated disks from all the years of being overweight and the added impact of playing sports with that bulk. It was a tough period to get through but with the help of my family and pure determination I soldiered on.
Fitting into normal clothes is a simple pleasure that I will always treasure. I’ve been given a new life and I’m going to make the best of it. Today I’m a fitness freak, I gym at least three times a week, run twice a week and try to fit in some MMA classes if there’s time.
I lost a total of 121 kilograms, my waist went from a size 54 to a 34 to 36 and my shirt size went from 4XL to a medium. I have my confidence back and I’m dedicated to living healthily. I want to help people to achieve their goals because it isn’t easy and help isn’t always freely available. I really owe a big thank you to my family and friends who have supported me on my journey. To all of those who think it’s impossible, it’s not!