A weight loss ma­chine

Weigh­ing in at 140kg, Jackson Ryan de­cided to change his life for the bet­ter, and boy, has he shed some num­bers.

QT Magazine - - IPSWICH PEOPLE - DAR­REN HALLESY DAR­REN.HALLESY@QT.COM.AU

JACKSON Ryan from Ip­swich has lost weight the old-fash­ioned way, and he can’t be­lieve the dif­fer­ence it has made to his life.

Af­ter a fam­ily mem­ber got ill, it made him re­assess his life, and at 140kg he de­cided it was time to make a change.

To date, he has gone from 140kg to 97kg, yet af­ter shed­ding 43kg he’s not fin­ished yet, with the goal of 85kg in sight, without any form of surgery.

But that’s not all, as when you add in his wife Kaitlin’s loss, the cou­ple are cur­rently sit­ting on 90kg lost be­tween them, with the big ton of 100kg not too far away.

“What changed for me was when my dad was di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal cancer and I made a few tough de­ci­sions about my life,” Jackson said. “I wanted to go back to uni and be­come a para­medic, so I knew I had to lose weight for that. My dad was only 59 when he got ill and I re­alised how young that was.

“I put on the weight through lazi­ness to be hon­est, I didn’t re­ally train at all. I played footy when I was 18 but with work com­mit­ments and start­ing a fam­ily, my pri­or­i­ties shifted, so I didn’t do much in the way of sports." Jackson de­cided to give a fit­ness gym a go, and walked through the front door of his lo­cal CrossFit gym at Black­soil.

“I went to the gym, I walked in and I’ve been go­ing five or six days a week for about eight months straight now. At first it was ter­ri­ble, I nearly threw up sev­eral times. “Re­cently I ran a mile in un­der eight min­utes, and yet eight months ago I couldn’t even run 600 me­tres. If you think about it for some­one like me who has an of­fice job, you’re not do­ing much for eight hours a day. The only en­ergy you spend is what’s out­side of work, so go­ing to the gym was it for me. At the start I tried fast­ing to con­trol my in­take. I didn’t eat af­ter train­ing at night un­til 11am the next day, then I started count­ing calo­ries. I found the My Fit­ness Pal app very handy, as while the fast­ing helped, it was all about get­ting con­trol of my food and my in­take.

“For in­stance, if I have a big meal say on a Satur­day night, I’ll count that as my cheat meal. Then I’ll work out ex­tra Satur­day or Sun­day to ac­count for the dif­fer­ence.”

Today Jackson is 43kg less than he was eight months ago, and loves the dif­fer­ence it has made to his life, his wife’s and his son.

“I lost about 10kg in the first two months, then an­other 10 in the next three months, and the re­main­ing 20kg in the fol­low­ing months. I even went veg­e­tar­ian at one point, but I changed my diet and just ex­er­cised ev­ery day. I’m sit­ting at 43kg so far, my wife has lost over 50, and she now comes to the gym with me, which is good qual­ity time to­gether. She works night shift and I do day shift, so it’s great for us to be to­gether, nor­mally we don’t see enough of each other.”

Even though he couldn’t run at all, now it’s some­thing he en­joys, and en­cour­ages any­one to get into it.

"I now love run­ning be­cause I’ve learnt to en­joy it. It’s some­thing that’s not com­pli­cated, any­one can do it. You just put one foot in front of the the other and run. Just like For­rest Gump!

“Ide­ally, I’d like to get to 85kg. I don’t care about hav­ing a six pack, this now is all about keep­ing fit and be­ing healthy for the rest of my life. I do wish I’d have done it ear­lier, I’d made mul­ti­ple at­tempts to lose weight, but I never found the right thing that worked for me, and that turned out to be in­tense group ex­er­cise. “Sur­round­ing your­self with peo­ple who say, ‘you need to do this’ makes a big dif­fer­ence, it’s like be­ing back play­ing footy, you’re part of a group. I don’t think I could have done this on my own, it’s too easy to give up when it’s just you.”

So what ad­vice would Jackson give to any­one who wants to lose weight?

“I’d say to any­one that you just have to be con­sis­tent. It’s not about be­ing the best, or the quick­est, or any­thing like that. It’s about the peo­ple who turn up ev­ery day. I was never the strong­est or fittest at the start, and here I am 15 months later mak­ing mas­sive strides in my fit­ness. If you are con­sis­tent, you will con­sis­tently im­prove, that’s my feel­ing.

“I was read­ing about be­com­ing an ad­dict to fit­ness, I think for me I’m at the point in my life now where if it don’t ex­er­cise I miss it. I’m not ad­dicted, I just en­joy it.”

I put on the weight through lazi­ness to be hon­est ...

PHOTO: DAVID NIELSEN

Left: Jackson Ryan from Ip­swich has so far lost 43kg in 15 months.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS: AMANDA ROSSOW

Jackson Ryan, who has be­come a hu­man weight loss ma­chine. Jackson wanted to be more ac­tive with his son Jackson Ryan’s 12 month progress. : Jackson uses car­dio, weights and diet to shed the kil­sos

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Jackson be­fore his quest (right).

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