Monday, February 15, 2010

Weight loss on unimaginable scales

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Most people who want to lose weight, want to get rid of something like 15 to 20 pounds. For some, the idea of losing more than 3 stone, or over 40lbs, would be daunting to say the least.

Once you start getting above more than 50lbs overweight, the problem is not greediness or laziness – it’s indicative of deeper underlying problems where food is being used for far more than just physical sustenance and the occasional celebration. At this point we are into realms of addiction, emotional instability, self-medication and, in some cases, even self-harm.

The a-bit-overweight person might be showing the signs of occasional greediness or laziness – of being human. But the extremely overweight person is showing the signs of problems that run far deeper.

My own battles have been mentioned throughout this blog, and documented weekly on my other blog, Losing a Hundredweight. The fight has never been with the food as such – it’s been with my mental states and the reasons I use food to self-medicate.

5 years ago I was 275lbs (19 stone 9lbs). Today I am 186lbs (13stone 4lbs) – still overweight, but not as bad as I used to be.

It took 2 years of focusing on healthy eating to lose 100lbs, in the following 3 years I gained 25 back, but in the past few months I've been moving back down again. I am still 14lbs heavier than my lightest point, a little over 2 years ago, and about 28lbs over my “ideal weight” according to the height-weight charts

When you have the likes of 100lbs to lose, you are in a realm unoccupied by most people. But when you blog about it, you begin to discover there are people out there who make your 100lbs look insignificant.

Three years ago I started trading blog comments with Kepa - a young man in New Zealand who went by the moniker, Fat Lazy Guy. He wasn’t even sure how overweight he was because his scales didn’t go up that far. Eventually he discovered he was over 504lbs.

His goal was to get under 100kg (220lbs – 15stone 10lbs). It seemed like an impossible task. We swapped words of support and insights and he would start to lose a few pounds, but periodically things would go quiet and he would return to confess he’d lost it again.

There was even talk about the possibility of medical intervention – stomach stapling and the like, but fortunately he decided this wasn’t a route he wanted to go.

And then, towards the end of the first year, things started to come together and he found a combination of eating, exercise and mental health that enabled him to find a path that worked.

A few days ago, Kepa reached his goal. He stood on the scales and weighed in at 99.5kg.

He has lost over 285lbs – which is more than I weighed at my heaviest.

When we hear about people who do achieve these unimaginable feats, it’s easy to think of them as unreal. Surely these people cannot really be human. Or if they are, they are so far on the fringes, we cannot relate to them.

But with Kepa, I was there at the beginning. I followed him through all his self-doubts, false starts and feelings of overwhelming helplessness. To me, Kepa’s journey has been so very real.

So to see him succeed literally brings a tear to my eye and my heart swells with pride for him.

Here’s a wee video he put together showing how he has changed since the beginning of 2007



Kepa, Fat Lazy Guy no longer, you have my total respect.
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25 comments:

redhead83402 said...

WOW!!!! My respect as well!! Talk about dedication ~ You know I see things like this, and I think, wouldn't it be awesome if we all had things like this we were this dedicated to in our lives? And then I think, you know, I think we do ~ it's just that we all have a different, unique focus. Kudos to this awesome acheivement!!! And Kudos to you, too Kim ~ afterall, you have also focused & lost quite a bit, I know. It's something you can always be proud of. Most people don't give what it takes to do that. You have my respect as well.
~Red

Roschelle said...

OMG!!! This dude is AWESOME!!! My sister is weigh weigh...(check out the word) overweight.

She's dieting again for the unkteenth time. I'm going to show her this little video for motivation.

This is so great. Congrats to him!

Pat said...

That leaves me speechless with admiration. You've been a shining example to him I'm sure and your support must have been invaluable to help him to achieve the impossible.
A truly brilliant feat.

Claire said...

Ah...this as I watch my husband work his way through a crumble and a chocolate cake entirely on his own in a few days...

Hindsfeet said...

This was a really helpful perspective.....Looking beyond the food, the second cause, to the true triggers...

...I lost fifty pounds a few years ago in the space of 9 months (compliments of Atkins) and have kept it off, but, as you describe here, it is a daily choice for health, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally speaking...

...I still fall off the wagon at times...hurl myself off is more like it....but now I know the way back.....

...thanks for sharing this, Kim...Timely inspiration and perspective on my end...

expat@large said...

At 130kgs, I look like he did at 180kgs. Please explain!

What a champ - truly inspiring! No more beer for me! Well, less beer for me...

Kim Ayres said...

Red - good to see you still about! I do believe we all have it within us to achieve great things, but it is our self doubts and fears that hold us back.

Roschelle - the problem is with diets is they don't work. between 95 and 98% of all people who go on a diet put on all the weight again within 2 or 3 years, and most put on more. The biggest cause of this is that the reasons for over eating are never addressed, so as soon as the diet is over, the old eating habits return - whether that is just poor food choices, or underlying mental or emotional problems.

Pat - the achievement is entirely his - I take no credit at all. It has been wonderful to see his spirit grow in strength and confidence :)

Claire - perhaps he's a mutant shapeshifter - see this cartoon :)

Hindsfeet - I'm writing this reply absolutely stuffed from far too much party food and cake. When faced with help-yourself spreads of food my appetite doesn't have stop button. It doesn't get easier - I just get wiser at avoiding putting myself in such situations. Usually...

Expat - he also happens to be well in excess of 6 feet tall and is naturally broad shouldered, which helps a bit

mapstew said...

Just fantastic! What a journey. :¬)

Eryl Shields said...

Crikey! I'm astonished, impressed beyond words and slightly teary eyed. And he's such a lovely looking boy.

hope said...

Amen to what Eryl said!

I've lost weight, gained some back and am losing it again...for health, not vanity. And moderation is the key...just sometimes, the key gets lost. :)

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!

Katie Roberts said...

An inspiration, a beautiful young man. No matter what the scales say, its a joy to see him smiling, letting himself shine through :)

Fay's Too said...

Good on ya!

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Ah mate... I don't even know what to say.

Pat said some of it. Your example and your support have meant so much to me over the years. Thank you for showing me that it was possible to find ways of coping with the mental issues behind why we gained so much. And thank you so much for sticking with me, even when I disappeared for extended periods of time.

Thanks for all the advice and comments, mate. And for this post :)

Ruth said...

Just the inspiration to tackle life that I needed tonight!

emma said...

Amazing determination and will power!! 3yrs(?) of changing diet, habits etc, I don't think I could do that.

My hubby has been visiting a dietician since sept and is just about to stop the visits having reached the target weight - this is when the real deal starts... and I don't think the reasons for overeating have been dealt with, so it's going to be tough. May have to check out the blog!

V said...

What an amazing acheivement! I don't think we can ever underestimate the power of putting your goals out there, making them real, and seeking partners in crime. Stating the obvious, but a network of support and knowing we're not alone on whatever journey makes the world of difference. Sounds like you guys have got it sussed. Fabulous to hear about what you've both achieved. Congratulations!

Mary Witzl said...

That is INCREDIBLE! I remember you telling me about Kepa back in 2007, how you were really hoping for him.

I have friends and family members with this problem and I can only guess from watching their struggles how hard this is. But Kepa has my TOTAL RESPECT.

If you think he might be interested, tell him to contact Prevention Magazine and let them know about this (it will help that he has documented it). They include stories like this in their magazine and they're really an inspiration to people who are trying to lose weight or change their bad lifestyle habits.

Tiffin said...

Kim, that was breathtaking, watching that beautiful face and healthier body emerging in that video. I'm going to think of him when I don't feel like going to the gym and get my sorry self out the door. Thank you.

erika said...

Wow! I'm impressed. Isn't it cool that you were there supporting him throughout the process? Thank you for sharing his amazing story.

savannah said...

well done, (formerly) fat lazy guy! and thanks to you, as well, kim for posting his video! xoxox

Helen said...

Hey Bearded One - thanks for this post - Fat Lazy Guy is truly amazing!!
I couldn't help but have an immature snigger at the title of your post. My "unimaginable scales" would say "don't even bother getting on here, you're perfect just how you are. And by the way, you're not old, short or wrinkly".....heh heh heh.
If only they were real.

Hayaah said...

That was fabulous! To watch his changes... Indeed a motivation to watch someone else achieve bigger fiets that one themselves needs to... Perhaps this would help me to get my ass into shape too, instead of procrastinating over it so much!!!

thanx for sharing this :)

Open Kitchen Concept said...

OH wow.. the 2 of u are just awesome.. Now I feel really ashamed. I have hypothyroidism and have been putting on wait.. After about 3 months.. I havent lost so much as 1 kg! I'd remember this in my efforts!

Kim Ayres said...

Mapstew - it is, isn't it :)

Eryl - he is a damn fine looking lad, isn't he? I don't think any of us realised the extent when he started.

Hope - the key is making healthy eating a way of life, so it doesn't stop when you reach a healthy weight

Katie - it's been wonderful to see his confidence in himself steadily growing :)

Fay - :)

FLG - it's generous of you give me some credit, but it's all been down to you, my friend :)

Ruth - he's an inspiration to all of us :)

Emma - the only way to succeed in the long term is to make healthy eating a way of life. Don't diet - that's dangerous, unsustainable and usually boring food too. Choose healthy eating as a positive option :)

V - one of the biggest problems with any struggle we have, is the feelings of isolation, especially if those around us don't really know what we're going through. To find or create a network of people who really do understand, is bound to be a help

Mary - if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Although it's in the interests of the diet industry that we try idiotic short cuts that will fail

Tiffin - add his video to your favourites on YouTube for when you need that boost :)

Erika - it's been wonderful to be able to share his journey over the years :)

Savannah - nae bother lass :)

Helen - I'm glad you had the snigger, I deliberately chose the title so it could be read in a few different ways :)

Hayaah - it's a testament to what the human spirit is capable of in all of us

OKC - when the thyroid goes funny, weight is nearly always affected. Hope you get it stablised

Restaurant Gal said...

Just saw this. Amazing. I had no idea. He deserves all the congrats and respect shown by your great readers and beyond.