HOME: MELBOURNE, VIC
JOB: TRAVEL CONSULTANT
THE WEIGHT GAIN
In his early twenties, Haddad was hit by the one-two combination of alcohol and junk food. He’d go out drinking with his mates, binge on burgers and late-night kebabs, and follow it up with more greasy recovery food the next day.
From an average weight, he ballooned out to a whopping 146 kilograms, plunging him into a downward spiral that led to depression. “The more weight I put on, the more depressed I became, and the more I ate,” he recalls.
His wardrobe also suffered as he shunned stylish clothes for garments that had one prerequisite: they fit. “That was usually in the ‘Mr Big’ section of Target.” He was Mr Big all right, but not in good way.
In January 2006, Haddad’s dad, who had diabetes, passed away. “It was a huge shock and a big wake-up call for me,” Haddad remembers. “My dad had always been on my back about losing weight, so not only did I want to do it for myself, I also wanted to do it for him.”
He immediately joined a gym and began working out several times a week, his dad never far from his thoughts. Whenever he felt himself fading or needed to summon the extra effort required to push through a set, he thought of his old man. “It was probably part of the grieving process,” he says. “I kind of channelled my frustration and sadness.”
He also cut out all junk food and dodged oils, butter and anything high in fat. The results came quick, further increasing his motivation. He booked a holiday towards the end of the year, creating a deadline to aim for, and when he sensed his motivation beginning to wane, he hired a personal trainer to top up his resolve and push through plateaus.
THE WEIGHT LOSS
Haddad’s dad would be proud of his body transformation. His son now tips the scales at 85kg, a 61kg loss. At the same time, his mood has lifted. While he still enjoys the odd big night out, he’s now able to manage the fallout that comes with one. No longer Mr Big, Haddad approaches shopping for clothes with eagerness rather than dread. “I can actually choose something I like,” he says.
Haddad’s biggest challenge now is keeping exercise interesting. While he still attends the gym on weekends, he admits he finds it boring and recently joined a group cross-fit training program to keep his motivation levels up. His goal now: a toned-and-muscular 80kg body.
Find something that motivates you. “You’ve got to want to do it, otherwise you won’t be able to stick at it,” says Haddad. “That means keeping things fresh to keep yourself keen.”
And stay positive, says Haddad. “If you trip up, don’t get down and give up. Just hit reset and start again.”