NAME Daniel Byrne
JOB Heavy machinery operator
WEIGHT BEFORE 88kg
WEIGHT AFTER 67kg
Being a fat teen is tough. I remember walking home one day with my best mate when some girls approached. They were all over him, while I was basically non-existent. It was one of the many things that made me feel inadequate. I decided enough was enough.
From the age of nine I just couldn’t stop eating. And the more I ate, the more overweight I became, which made me depressed . . . which made me eat more. On the way to school I’d stop and get packets of chips and chocolate bars to snack on. For lunch I’d have a burger or chips on a roll, and dinner was usually included a huge serve of mashed potato or macaroni cheese. I was hooked on sugary carbs and had no trouble wolfing down a litre of ice-cream. I was never a kid who played much sport to begin with, so as I grew larger and my confidence diminished, exercise became non-existent. By the time I was in my final year of school, I was 88 kilograms and unequivocally obese.
I started waking early, riding my bike to a nearby mountain. I’d put a 10kg rock in my bag and hike up the mountain and back. It’d take a little over an hour, and I did it every morning and afternoon. I also overhauled my diet, cutting my gargantuan portions by two-thirds and never eating after 7pm. I also started incorporating chilli into most of my meals, as I read in Men’s Health that it can burn kilojoules by inducing thermogenesis. After losing the first 10kg, I had enough confidence to join a gym, where I’d swim laps for an hour every morning. In the afternoons, I used a high-rep, low-weight program combined with cardio machines to create my own HIIT workouts. After two years, I’d shed 30 kilos of fat.
Altering my routine to include more weights, I’ve since stacked on 10kg of lean muscle. I feel like a new person – in fact, I’ve walked past old classmates who haven’t recognised me. My energy levels are through the roof, and for the first time in my life I’m happy and confident being “me”. I’ve booked a trip to Nepal later this year, where I’ll try to fulfil my childhood goal of climbing Mt Everest. People are finally paying attention to me and treating me with respect.
Crazy diets are not sustainable. You’re best off approaching weight loss slowly and comfortably, knowing it’s going to require consistent effort. Find your motivation, and know that nobody can lose the weight for you, so figure out what works for you and keep at it.