At 22 years old, Sam found himself living a life filled with constant takeaway, binge drinking, and the number on the scale displaying 160kg. It was at this moment that Sam realised that something had to change, otherwise his future could be facing dire consequences. “I realised that if I didn’t start looking at doing something, I wouldn’t make it to 50 and that was a scary thought for a 22-year-old. I had goals, ambitions, and dreams, and I was throwing them down the drain if I didn’t at least try.”
During this time, Sam’s mother was one of the first in Queensland to undergo the Lapband surgery, and it worked! She started losing large amounts of weight and was looking fantastic, but at a cost. Sam knew if he was going to lose weight, he wanted to do it naturally.
“A diet is duck tape on a PVC pipe, a quick fix, not a long term solution,” Sam said. So at the start of 2014, Sam set out to lose 20kgs by committing to a lifestyle change. “I started to make small changes in my eating habits, e.g. having 3 teaspoons of sugar in a coffee, going to 2 then 1, then none. I allowed myself the freedom of eating pretty much anything in moderation, except for alcohol, which I gave up for 18months. Within 3 months, I had lost 25 kgs, smashing my year weight loss goal out of the park.”
“I was making the impossible happen, that is what kept me going. I smashed my first small goal and kept achieving more health goals along the way. The day I could do a full set of push-ups on my toes, I shed a tear. Those small steps forward remind you of where this path could take you, and that’s what I kept coming back to; that no matter how long it would take, I would continue to push forward.”
Not wanting to stop, Sam continued with his amazing lifestyle transformation and reached a total of 40kg weight loss by the end of the year. And after pushing through some hard times and becoming an expert at the gym, Sam reached a total weight loss of 80kgs. But despite this amazing weight loss, Sam’s battle with his weight wasn’t over yet.
“When I looked into the mirror, I despised my body more than I had ever before. Everyone around me saw the new Sam, saw all the weight I had lost. But, all I saw was the roll up on rolls of excess skin that covered my body.”
This is a common problem for people who lose large amounts of weight. The cure is a costly surgery that is considered ‘cosmetic’ by the Australian government, so it’s not covered by Medicare. This left Sam desperate and broke while he scrounged for enough money to have this life changing surgery. But, after going broke and family generously contributing, Sam was finally able to undergo Body Contour surgery. “This operation saved my life, in more ways than one, and I am now able to stand in front of that mirror and smile wide”
Despite this massive weight loss, Sam still continues to reflect on what he can do to keep improving his health. “As I was doing this journey slowly over multiple years, it would have been great to keep my everyday life and health information logged in one place, to look at what I need to work on to improve my journey and workouts. Even though I have lost the weight, I am a shocker when it comes to keeping track of my calories. But it would be helpful to have an app that could help keep me organised and workout harder to keep my fitness levels intact.”
When looking back through the challenges and hard times, Sam realises that everything he’s accomplished is for the best. “Health is life. It’s as simple as that. I knew I had to get healthier to ensure I was best equipped for this crazy thing we call Life. But it goes beyond that. Becoming healthy has made me realise who I am, and has given me the confidence to love that person thru and thru. Becoming healthy has also made me mentally healthy and happy with my new body and my achievements. It’s insane how losing weight can change your outlook on life and your well-being.”
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