Name: Raymond Fan
Job: Hotel catering manager
WEIGHT BEFORE: 114.5
WEIGHT AFTER: 83.5kg
In my teens I remember seeing a doctor after dislocating my finger – but my finger was the least of his concerns. He ran a diabetes test on the spot. I’d thought about trying to lose weight for a long time, but I honestly figured it was something I would never be able to do.
Growing up in Ireland, I was fat from the word go. My parents ran a Chinese takeaway in Waterford and because I was putting in long hours at the restaurant it was convenient that I ate my meals there. Sweet and sour pork was a favourite. Given my portion sizes were massive, it was a recipe for disaster. By primary school, I’d already accepted that I was the “fat guy”. I didn’t exercise or play sport. My weekends were spent lazing around the house or going to the movies.
I studied hotel management and always wanted to work at the most luxurious hotels. As part of my studies I had to get on-the-job experience, but nobody would take me on because all they saw was a lazy, fat guy. I’d had enough. I wasn’t going to let my weight hold me back from my dreams.
I joined a gym, and I remember being too afraid to talk to anyone or ask for help, so I just jumped on the cross-trainer. I was exhausted after 15 minutes, but kept adding five minutes to my sessions until I was smashing out 40 minutes, seven days a week. I also slashed my carb intake and steered clear of booze.
I saw an advert for a local soccer team and started training with them, which is when I first started weights training. I needed it! In two years I’d become a skinny kid, having lost more than 45kg.
My university lecturers witnessed my transformation and perceived character in me. That, alongside high marks, ultimately saw me crowned student of the year. It wasn’t long before I started my dream career at the Four Seasons chain of hotels.
Four years ago, aged 21, I migrated to Australia. I was scrawny at 69kg and not thrilled with how I looked. After meeting two trainers, who are now my housemates, I was able to direct my newfound determination towards stacking on muscle.
I remember always wanting to bench-press 100kg, just once. After piling on 14kg of muscle, I now warm up with 100kg, and my body-fat percentage is sub-10.
Nutrition is a huge part of my life. My girlfriend runs a pre-packed lunch business, so I’m fortunate to have portions of chicken, brown rice and avocado, as well as other clean meals, ready to go at all times.
These days, I have so much more focus and energy. My family and friends are proud of what I’ve achieved, and the change in people’s first impression of me makes me feel great.
Don’t be scared. We’re all human and we all started in the same place: the bottom.
Figure out what you want to achieve and why. You now have the motivation and focus to change.
How Raymond’s food swaps made him dump fat
Large serve of fries = 2142kJ
1 cup of brown rice = 915kJ
Serve of sweet and sour pork = 970kJ
1 x skinless chicken breast = 444kJ