This Man Literally Ran For His Life To Lose Weight And Dodge Diabetes

At age 30, Mark Redelinghuys's lifestyle left him dangerously close to diabetes and danger

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

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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.

Related: There’s Actually a Way to Reverse Diabetes—Here’s How You Can Do It

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.

Related: Sprinter Akani Simbine’s Training Schedule Might Surprise You

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.

READ MORE ON: belly off diabetes health risks motivation Running transform

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