Running For His Life
Mark Redelinghuys, 30 dodged diabetes by lacing up his running shoes
WEIGHT BEFORE 123 WEIGHT AFTER 94
OCCUPATION Software tester
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.