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When Ryan Bowles wanted to lose weight, he had to school up on healthy habits.
WEIGHT BEFORE: 127 | WEIGHT AFTER: 88
VITALS: Ryan Bowles, 27, Fort Beaufort
OCCUPATION : Vice-Principal and Hostel Master at Wings Aviation Academy High School
TIME TO GOAL: Six months
THE GAIN: After I finished school, I went to the UK for a working holiday, but because of the long working hours, no exercise, heavy drinking and unhealthy eating, I put on a lot of weight. I lost about 20kg a few years ago, but I went back to my unhealthy eating regime and I put the weight back on. I didn’t think my weight was a big issue until I was getting sick a lot and the doctor told me that I needed to change my unhealthy lifestyle.
THE CHANGE: I was getting tired easily and had no energy. I was on holiday in July and decided that it was now or never and planned to start a diet and exercise programme when I got back to work. I was given good advice from a few friends and everybody around me gave me plenty of support.
THE STRATEGY: A family member who owns a nutritional supplement shop in Cape Town and is a competitive body builder, gave me a high protein/low carb diet and advised me on what supplements to take. I stuck to it and I started riding an exercise bike and an elliptical trainer for the first couple of weeks. Marcell le Roux, who runs the gym at the school I work at, started helping me with weight training and he really pushed me. The more I exercised the more I started to enjoy it, and the more weight I lost the more motivated I became. I started mountain biking after losing the first 10kg and after one week’s riding I competed in the Kat Challenge in Fort Beaufort and finished third in the 25km in 56 minutes. I set realistic goals throughout, but my biggest goal was to break 100kg.
THE REWARD: I have more energy for work and physical activities. I’m more confident and I’m enjoying life socially. I haven’t been sick since I started exercising and eating healthy. I’m more positive about life, which makes me a lot happier. I also cook quite well after having to make my own food.
THE RESULT: My total weight loss is just under 40kg and I have maintained my weight for the last two months. I have gone from wearing a XXL shirt to a medium and a size 40/42 pants to a 32/34.