How This Chubby Guy Lost 49kgs By Entering A Cycling Competition

Walter van der Walt found his love for exercise from the saddle of a bicycle and lost 49kg.



While he was at university, Isak Jacobus van der Walt (Walter), quickly picked up weight. All he ate was junk food. But when he started working his boss offered him a chance he couldn’t refuse – an all expense paid trip. The caveat? He had to partake in the Argus Cycle Tour. This is his story of how that offer changed his life.

Height: 1.76m
Weight before: 137kg
Weight after: 88kg
Time to goal: Almost six years

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The Gain

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.

The Change

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 cycling was something I would be able to do. One Sunday afternoon a mate and I went for a very short run and after about 600 metres I could barely breathe. Cycling seemed almost impossible after that.

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The Strategy

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.

The Reward

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.

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The Result

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.

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