Isak Jacobus van der Walt (Walter), 28, Mokopane, Limpopo, Meat wholesaler
Height: 1.76m
Weight before: 137kg
Weight after: 88kg
Time to goal: Almost six years

Isak Jacobus van derWalt
Isak Before

I have always been chubby, but I played rugby in school. When I finished school in 2003 and went to TUKS, I just ballooned. I didn’t do any exercise, I smoked and lived on a diet of McDonald’s, KFC and rum and Coke. I quickly reached 137 kilograms.

When I left university in 2007, I started working for some really great people. My boss was a cyclist and said he would pay for all his employees’ travel expenses if we would like to do the Argus Cycle Tour in 2008. Being a bit heavy, I was very sceptical as to whether I would be able to do it. One Sunday afternoon a mate and I went for a very short run and after about 600 metres I could barely breathe.

I quit smoking the next day and started following a high protein diet. I bought a bicycle and started training for the race. It took a lot of hard work, but by April 2008 I weighed 120kg and completed the Argus in less than six hours. After that I realised I liked running as well and completed my first half marathon in May 2011, and a full marathon by November in the same year. In 2012 my wife and I completed the 94.7 Cycle Challenge.

Since the Cycle Challenge I’ve got off the road and into the gym with a good personal trainer and have lost a further 14kg with weight training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). I can honestly say I’m a little addicted now.

My total weight loss is 49kg and my waist dropped from a size 44 to 34. I feel awesome! There’s no other way to describe it. I’m even more self-confident than before and know that I’ll be around longer to enjoy my wife and
play with my kids.