This Man Used CrossFit To Transform His Body And Lost 24KG, Here’s How

The 30-year-old has shredded 24kg and improved his lifestyle over the past three years. This is his incredible weight loss journey.


Thaaqib Daniels, Photography by Mpumelelo Macu |

Defying The Odds, And The Scale

When applying for a new phone contract, the sales consultant usually gives you payment options that you can make from 24-36 months. Sounds like a good deal, right? Replacing your outdated device with a new one that you can pay off over three whole years. That’s exactly what Neil Washington did, except that it wasn’t his smartphone he upgraded – it was his body. The 30-year old has shredded 24kg and improved his lifestyle over the past three years. This is his story.

Neil Washington

neil, washington, weight, fat, challenge, exercise, diet
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Occupation: Sales Manager
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 1.82m
  • Weight Before: 104kg
  • Weight After: 80kg
  • Time To Goal: 3 years

The Problem

“When I moved up to Johannesburg eight years ago, I secured my first job as the manager of an Italian restaurant in Sandton. The unlimited supply of indulgent cuisine at my fingertips proved difficult to resist, and the operating hours of the restaurant restricted my time available to visit the gym. I’m young, and a sociable person, so the Jozi nightlife was also very challenging to turn down.”

The lesson: Although exercise is a crucial element of a balanced lifestyle, following the correct diet goes a long way. What you put in is what you get out. Cheat meals, in moderation, are part of the balance.

Related: Our 14 Step Weight Loss Guide To Losing Fat In 24 Hours

The Change

neil, washington, weight, fat, challenge, exercise, diet

“I’ve always been an athletic and sporty person especially at school. My fast metabolism in my early years worked in my favour. Reality hit me a few years ago when I stood on a scale while on holiday in Australia. I was sure the scale was faulty, or that they operated backwards down under – I couldn’t believe that it read 104kg. As soon as I got off the scale, I went to the nearest running shop, purchased a pair of shoes and hit the road.”

The lesson: Don’t take your metabolism for granted, as it slows down with age. Exercise is important – even if it’s just 20 minutes a day.

Related: This Man Traded In Bar-Hopping For Barbells And Lost 43Kgs

The Strategy

neil, washington, weight, fat, challenge, exercise, diet

“Later, I was convinced by a friend to a start a 12-week weight-loss challenge. But once again the Joburg nightlife got the best of me, and I failed to complete the challenge. However, I did see an improvement, and was impressed with the results. Later on I decided to join a CrossFit gym, and devoted my time to learning about different foods and diets, and healthier alternatives. I also started trail running, and joined an indoor football league.”

The lesson: Learn what works best for you, then create a routine. A balance of both weight training and cardio will burn fat faster.

The Result

neil, washington, weight, fat, challenge, exercise, diet

“Today I’m proud of my progress so far, and I feel great. My energy levels are through the roof, and I’ve realised that living and feeling healthy is all the motivation you really need. I challenge myself every day, be it at the local Parkrun or improving my PBs at CrossFit. Waking up early and exercising every morning ensures that I’m fully attentive and prepared for my work day ahead; this also allows me to sleep soundly and feel fully rested for the next day.”

The lesson: Surround yourself with like-minded people. Rest well. Go for hikes. Stick to your diet. Challenge yourself every single day.

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