I wouldn’t say that I was punishing myself with food, the truth is I love food & just wanted more of the stuff. I was constantly thinking about what food to eat OR which video game to play - my second vice. Sitting inside for most of the day every weekend, I would snack on a family pack of chips & play Tekken – a video game where I would play the role of a strong, muscular, fit man who could conquer his enemies with martial arts –someone I never thought I could be.
Growing up, I was the funny fat kid. A boy who would make up for his lack of self-confidence by being as loud & outrageous as possible. People loved me, thought I was hilarious, but I could always feel the pressure I put on myself to pretend to be this way because I felt the lack of being the person I really wanted to be.
Breaking point occurred when I had out outgrown 2 school shirts within a term and my parents noticed how big of a problem I had become, literally. It was scary to stop and think about where my life was heading and what would happen if I didn’t make a change in 1yr, 5yrs or 10yrs time. As my new size 26 shirt buttons were beginning to pop, my mother took action by signing me up for Weight Watchers.
She sat me down and prepared me for the challenge that laid ahead, acknowledging that it wasn’t going to be easy but that she would help every step of the way. And family support is priceless in this type of journey. Every week we would show up to a weight watchers session, where as a young man I would meet with middle aged ladies to share our results, tips and struggles. This I found to be the most important part of the process – being accountable to someone else and motivated to achieve by their stories and advice. I recall the hardest day of being on the diet was on Christmas where all of the family were enjoying a feast, piling their plates full of everything I loved! And there was I with my portion controlled small plate of protein and vegetables with a small side of gravy to indulge. It was heartbreaking to say the least but with my mother's support I stuck to the eating plan.
Nevertheless the diet worked – in 9 gruelling months I dropped 30kgs - which for a person at any age is quite a feat. I was looking GREAT. Everyone at school was impressed with the skinny kid who was getting a better response from the girls. My Weight Watchers team leader was so overwhelmed with the speed of my result she entered me in to become the Weight Watchers Slimmer of the Year …and I won! And it kept getting better. The Sun Herald heard my story and created an article around childhood obesity sharing my achievements. Today Tonight caught on to the same topic and ran a story on my results on national TV – I was becoming famous and was LOVING the attention.
This only comes from healthy eating PLUS a varied and intense exercise regime that increases fitness, strength and muscle in the body. I found walking around the block got boring pretty quick and after a short while was pointless as it no longer challenged my fitness.
As a first step I consumed myself with the teachings of the world’s greatest motivation leaders - Eban Pagan, John Demartini, Stephen Covey and Tony Robbins to name a few - who understand human psychology and taught me the mindset I needed to push away the excuses and push myself further to achieve greater goals with momentum. This motivated the most significant part of my success journey today – it inspired me to get serious about my fitness.
I put all of my savings into buying a weights set, exercise bike and workout books. I spent hours researching new workouts and growing muscle where I wanted it (on my biceps and shoulders of course). I was moving at unprecedented levels so I was eating A LOT, but thanks to my weight loss journey I knew what I could have a lot of and what I should steer away from. And for the first time in history – I felt ENERGISED! I had so much strength and I felt more like myself than I ever had before. My friends would come around and instead of playing video games we would all workout together. Guys began to really look up to me and would ask me for advice on how to build muscle. And for the first time, the pretty girls were chasing me. It really felt amazing.