The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

A friend and inspiration

A little over 11 years ago, I weighed 275lbs (19st 9lbs, or 125kg) which, at only 5 feet 6 inches tall, put me into the seriously heavy category.

To get down to my "ideal" weight, according to the BMI height-weight ratio charts, I would have to lose something in the region of 112lbs, which in UK Imperial measurements is a hundredweight, or 8 stone.

About 3 years later I almost got there, then climbed a bit and since then have hovered back and forth around the 13 stone mark - 182lbs or 85.5kg.

In those first few years I had a blog which ran parallel with this one, called Losing a Hundredweight, and it wasn't long before comments started coming in from other weight-loss bloggers. Soon there was a small community of people posting their weights and offering support when the going was tough.

Into this came Kepa from New Zealand - a young man in his early 20s who used the monika, Fat Lazy Guy. He was big. How big, he wasn't sure, because his scales didn't go that high. Eventually he discovered he was 504lbs.

His goal was to lose 100kg - 220lbs, which seemed like an impossible task. I couldn't even begin to imagine how he could go about it. But I offered as much insight and support as I could. Periodically he would start to lose weight, then disappear for a while, then come back and confess it had gone back on again.

And then something clicked - he got focused and took control. A couple of years later he weighed less than 100kg - he had lost 285lbs.

Kepa had lost more weight than I physically weighed when I was at my heaviest.

Let that sink in for a moment.

It was mindblowing.

When we hear of people who achieve these near-impossible feats, we think they must be "other" or cannot really be human. And yet, with Kepa, I was there at the beginning through all his self-doubts and false starts. I knew he was all too human.

We've stayed in touch over the years and recently he told me he was coming to the UK.

On Sunday night we met up in a pub in Moffat, face to face for the first time - a guy I'd first met online nearly 9 years ago.

It was wonderful - an instant connection. I'd swear we'd only been chatting for an hour when we were asked to leave because the pub was closing. It turned out we'd be talking non-stop for over 3 and half hours.

I had my camera in the car, although by now it was dark and street lights were the only source of illumination. I rested my camera on top of a bin, set the timer and went round to stand next to Kepa.

That was when it dawned on me how much taller he was than me - sitting down at a table, the height difference hadn't been so apparent.

So I re-angled the camera and this time stood on a bench

Much better.

To say he's an inspiration is an understatement. But more than that, he's a really lovely guy - thoughtful, intelligent and creative.

I'm proud to call him a friend.


Pat said...

Two lovely guys. You both look great and so you should because you both have beat your demons. Examples to us all. Hats off!

Allen Capoferri said...

Wonderful post!

Theanne Crossett said...

Fantastic Kim...I'm proud of both of you...and so happy you were able to met. How special is that?!!! :) Great photos he is a tall man :)

hope said...

Proud of both of you!

(And you'll always be a giant in my eyes for your you still have me by 7 inches). :)

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - You're a love :)

Allen - thank you :)

Theanne - I've never yet been disappointed by any of the people I've met online first :)

Hope - strange, I always imagined you as a 6 foot Amazonian type... ;)

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