HOME: Springwood, Qld
JOB: Personal Trainer
THE WEIGHT GAIN
Growing up, Stuart was a “big-boned boy” who loved his sport, turning out in soccer, rugby, cricket, basketball and Aussie Rules. “I liked anything that got me out of class,” he says.
But sports fell by the wayside when he began studying animation at uni. It turned out to be a fitting choice: staring at a computer screen all night left him as strung out and red-eyed as Ren and Stimpy. “I was sleeping around 5-15 hours a week, bashing triple-shot coffees, caffeine tablets and Red Bulls,” he says.
On weekends he continued to play soccer but chose to be goalie so he “didn’t have to run any further than the 18-yard line”. The rest of the weekend he sat on the couch watching footy, working his way through two, sometimes three, cases of beer.
HOW HE CHANGED
One day in 2009, Stuart tried to get on a ride at an amusement park but couldn’t fit in the seat. “I had to walk all the way to the back where the larger seats were,” he recalls. Although red-faced, he was still in denial. “I thought it was the ride’s fault.”
When his wake-up call did finally come it was a blow that laid him out cold: his girlfriend of four years moved out. “The day she left was the day everything changed,” says Stuart.
Instead of hitting the bottle as he usually did when things weren’t going his way, this time he went and confronted his podgy physique in the mirror. “I hated what I saw,” he says. “I said to myself, ‘Look at you, who’s going to want someone like this? You have to lose weight or lose the girl’.”
Stuart began running 3km up a hill in his neighbourhood and rigged up a home gym in his garage, working out four mornings a week. He eliminated fast food from his diet and reduced his weekend alcohol intake to two or three beers.
THE WEIGHT LOSS RESULT
Over the past couple of years, Stuart has lost 45kg, a transformation that was enough to help him win back his lady. They’re now engaged. “She loves the new, fit me,” says Stuart. With the weight went any inhibitions he had about trying new things.
This year he’s run the Gold Coast Marathon, the Stampede in Brisbane and Tough Mudder outside Sydney. He’s also started rock climbing, is looking to get back into Aussie Rules and is keen to take on a cross-country triathlon. “I’m trying to make up for the time I wasted when I was overweight,” he says. After previously working in a bottle shop, Stuart recently earned qualifications in fitness and massage and began work as a personal trainer.
“Because I lost the weight on my own I know how hard it can be,” he says. “I want to help others in their fitness journeys.”
WEIGHT LOSS ADVICE
Remember why you’re doing this. “If you don’t have a good reason, you won’t have the motivation to stick at it,” he says.
Try anything. “There’s a thousand ways to lose weight,” Stuart notes. “Give everything a go to find out what works and continues to work for you.”
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