Following His Heart
Rikus Visser recovered from a heart attack scare to lose 65 kilograms and redefine his health
THE GAIN I was morbidly obese from a very young age. I was a good sportsman, but always justified to myself that I looked and felt just fine when I wasn’t. The real damage happened after school when I left to study at Stellenbosch. It became all about partying and eating the wrong things and with the lack of a balanced lifestyle my weight shot out of control. Before I knew it, I was clocking in at a morbidly obese 180 kilograms. I had lied to myself for years and justified why I was so big, but now there was no way I could justify the number on the scale.
THE CHANGE I made the decision to change my life. I’m an avid golfer and it was one Sunday afternoon on the 17th hole that I got a terrible pain in my chest after a steep climb. It was a massive scare and I realised that if I didn’t do something about my weight I might die of a heart attack. A week before the incident I’d got engaged and I knew I had to shed weight in the 12 months that remained before the wedding.
THE STRATEGY From the start I knew that it wasn’t going to be a quick fix, and I made a conscious decision not to follow any crash diets. I started working out in a buddy’s garage with just a few home gym machines and followed what I thought was a good balanced diet. I started seeing results immediately and then I challenged myself to lose three to four kilograms each week. My determination grew exponentially as I lost weight and soon I started working out in a gym with a personal trainer.
THE REWARD I feel fantastic and I’m the fittest I have ever been. My health has improved in all aspects. It’s also rewarding to see that you have made an impression on others to get their bodies into shape. I feel fantastic and am addicted to exercise and the gym. I am continuing my weight loss journey and I am motivated to transform my body. I want to tell others how much better I feel and that the journey to looking and feeling better is a mind shift. There is no medical or physical reason why you should stay obese.
THE RESULT My total weight loss is 65 kilograms. My waist has dropped from a size 52 to a 38. I’m still a big guy, so I’m focusing now on increasing muscle mass and decreasing my body fat percentage.