HOME: WAGGA WAGGA, NSW
HEIGHT: 178 CENTIMETRES
A former security manager, Wibawa could never find the time to exercise after a hard day at work – at least that’s what he told himself. “You use work as an excuse. I’d say, ‘I’m so tired, I’ve had a long day’ and just flop down on the couch.”
He also devoured takeaway food in large portions, often scoffing two serves. “I wasn’t weight conscious, I wasn’t fitness conscious and I was complacent about my health."
In 2009, Wibawa went back to uni and moved from the south coast of NSW to the inland town of Wagga Wagga. The distance triggered the break-up of his eight-year relationship and he became depressed. The compulsion to indulge in comfort eating was strong, but after reading a story on overcoming heartbreak, Wibawa decided there was another way he could deal with his demons.
“A lot of people cope with a break-up by eating and drinking,” he says. “I decided to exercise.” Every time Wibawa felt “crappy”, he hit the uni gym or did sit-ups in his room. “It was my way of keeping my brain distracted,” he explains. “I found exercise really does release feel-good hormones. I was doing it for my mind. The weight loss was a bonus.”
The mobility of uni life helped his cause, too. He walked 3-4 kilometres a day around campus, finding new routes to lecture theatres. Being a mature-age student surrounded by younger, fitter blokes added further incentive to get in shape. As a big lad, “I stood out”.
His motivation paid off. Wibawa lost 32 kilograms in two years, rebounding from heartbreak in the most positive way possible. A mark of his increasing confidence is a video he posted on YouTube, documenting his journey from chubby to chiselled. He also tracked his progress by taking photos along the way – something he felt he needed to do, as friends weren’t always encouraging. “Because my weight loss was gradual, if I told someone what I was trying to do, they’d say, ‘You’re still fat’,” he says. “The photos were a way of telling myself, ‘I am on this journey and it’s not over’.”
The next stop on Wibawa’s weight-loss express? He’s considering posing nude for a Movember fundraising calendar.
Find motivation within. “Don’t compare yourself to, or compete against, other people – just try to better yourself.” And stick with it. “I don’t want this journey to have a destination. Training and fitness are part of my life now.”Lost the lard? CLICK HERE TO ENTER GUTLESS WONDERS