Mark Redelinghuys, 30 dodged diabetes by lacing up his running shoes

WEIGHT BEFORE 123 WEIGHT AFTER 94
,
OCCUPATION Software tester
HEIGHT 1.86m
TIME TO GOAL 12 months

The Gain During high school I was a keen runner and in good shape, but after school the reality of adulthood set in. Trying to juggle work and new challenges meant my health and running took a back seat. I was on the road constantly for work and, without planned meals, takeaways took over. During this time, I met my wife and we got married in May 2008. To put it plainly, I let myself go. By 2009 my weight was at a whopping 123kg, but my self confidence was at an all-time low. It was a huge effort just getting out of bed in the morning.

The Change Coming from a family with a history of diabetes, cholesterol and other heart-related diseases, I knew I was at serious risk, even though I wasn’t even in my thirties yet. The truth was – I was fat, and speeding towards many of the hereditary ailments that most of my family suffers from. I didn’t want to end up like that, so I made the decision to start living a healthy lifestyle. My waist had ballooned to 105cm and I was wearing XXL shirts.

The Strategy In September 2009 my wife joined Weight Watchers and started packing me healthy snacks and lunch. I thought to myself: healthy eating can be fun, too. At the same time, I also started researching real-life Belly Off stories and got inspired. I slowly started running again, just around the block, three to four times a week. At first it was running, stopping, coughing, walking and then some running again. It did get easier and I built up my distance slowly. Now I can easily run seven kilometres. In January last year, my wife and I joined the gym and started to go at least five times a week. Going back to gym gave me more energy – I felt great. I also invested in a training watch, which helped by telling me when I wasn’t pushing hard enough, and when I needed to slow down or stop.

The Reward I enjoy inspiring other people and showing that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. I haven’t felt this good in years!

The Result In just 12 months I lost 29kg and dropped my pants size from a 42 to a 36 and shirt size from XXL to a L.