The slimmer and healthier version
Smith sheds 100kg – and he’s not finished
Last year Petranoff Smith ate 16 slices of bread, 16 eggs, a packet of bacon and a heavy smattering of cheese for breakfast. Now, 100 kilograms lighter, he eats three Weet-Bix and is planning a fivekilometre walk.
Everywhere Smith goes he carries a folder of photos, as a reminder of how far he has come and the people who have helped.
‘‘I was so embarrassed,’’ he said. ‘‘ I stayed in my car mainly because I was too embarrassed to show my face in public. ‘‘Today I walk standing tall.’’ A year on from beginning his dramatic weight loss regime, he is planning a 5km walk on November 15 to honour his brother, who died from cancer last year.
It’s a far cry from the day everything changed, when Smith stood outside his home and attempted to walk 150 metres.
‘‘I started to do something about it. Once I got home I collapsed, but from then on it didn’t stop me. I kept on walking the same distance. Every time I took one step forward I’d be back on my butt and take 10 steps back.’’
At the time, Smith weighed more than 280kg, had leg braces, relied on crutches and was facing having to have his left leg amputated.
‘‘It didn’t bother me if I lost my leg. I wanted the pain to stop.’’
The 48-year-old’s battle with weight began in his early 30s, when he was injured playing rugby for Porirua’s Norths team.
Though he suffered many sports injuries, his worst one was his left achilles heel.
‘‘I love my sports. I think I had the mentality that it would come right, but it didn’t.’’
He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and ulcers, and his weight skyrocketed.
‘‘I was eating the wrong food and not training. I was hurting every day and food was my comfort.’’
A Titahi Bay boy at heart and brother of Henry Smith, he moved to Palmerston North, afraid of dying in Porirua.
The ulcers meant he had to wear special shoes and all his clothes were specially made.
Smith said that when he looked back over his life, he was amazed he was still alive.
‘‘Today I can see I’m not ready to go and I can expand my lifespan.’’
But it was not easy. It took eight months just to get the goahead to enter a pool.
‘‘You have got to learn to crawl before you can walk. From there on the magic started to happen. I blocked everything out.’’
Smith credits his success to a Massey University programme, U- Kinetics, and to cutting out junk food.
Now 188kg, he still has 40 to lose to reach his weight goal, but the braces and crutches are gone and he no longer suffers from ulcers.
After 15 years off the field, he wants to play one more game of rugby next year for Norths’ presi- dents team.
He would like to eventually get back to work too, hopefully as a motivational speaker.
Smith’s walk will take him around Porirua. He will raise money for Mary Potter Hospice and the Child Cancer Foundation.
Big feed: Petranoff Smith used to wade into a mountain of food for breakfast every morning.
Heavyweight: Petranoff Smith at his heaviest.