Over the past twenty years, he never really weighed himself. He just felt unhealthy. “At my heaviest I was lethargic, depressed, pretty unhappy,” he says. “I had no energy for my kids.” Then he cracked some ribs during a business trip, which left him even more inactive. “I had limited energy and was pretty depressed,” he says. “It was affecting my family life in a pretty serious way—I’m not sure how they put up with me.”
His heaviest, it turned out, was 125kg. His body fat was over 45 percent and he had a 51-inch waist. “I want to be a positive role model for my kids,” he says, “and I wasn’t. So I knew I had to act.”
He started training with UP Fitness. Three days a week, scheduled around his job, he worked out with weights and resistance, along with high intensity interval training (HIIT). They started with moving the large muscle groups—leg presses, chest presses, lat pull downs—and then worked into hitting less prominent muscles. But he also targeted his daily routines: he started walking more, aiming to hit 10,000 steps a day. Working in some long-distance swimming events (10 to 14 kilometres) two or three times a week helped increase his calorie deficit.
King also completely cut out drinking—well, other than some special occasions and work events, where he kept his alcohol consumption in check. He had a high-protein, low carb diet, mixing meat and fish with fresh vegetables and salad. (Lunch, for example, might be chicken salad and a king prawn stir fry.)
In 44 weeks he lost 52kg. “I have never felt or looked better,” he says. “Physically I am a different person. I just completed a swim in a relay across the English Channel, and I regularly run and work out or exercise.” His family is happy not just that he’s dropped the weight, but that, as he puts it, his outlook as changed. “I suspect I am a happier person to be around,” he says. He feels more balanced, happy to trade being inside at a bar for outdoor activities. Work colleagues who’ve always known him as overweight are still adjusting to his new shape.
His step is to build some more muscle mass. He’s still swimming, having just done an English Channel relay, and he’s looking forward to an upcoming 40-kilometre event. He credits his trainer with holding him accountable for his progress and getting him to this place. “It was the best decision I made,” he says. “I feel great and the results are more than I could have hoped for.”
This article originally appeared on Men's Health