‘ I’M FITTER & HEALTHIER THAN EVER’
Martin Kelly has a new body shape and a new outlook on life
‘At the start of 2011, I accepted a position working away from home for six months, with prospects for promotion. At 4am every Monday, I’d leave my wife, Vicky, and daughters (then seven and nine), sometimes not making it back at weekends. I was putting in 60-70hour weeks and as a result of the stress, along with doing no exercise, eating rubbish and drinking too much, my weight ballooned to 18.5 stone. Six months turned into 10, but the promise of promotion vanished and I returned home feeling like a failure as a father and a husband, and ashamed of the way I looked.
I started jogging to try to shift some weight, but I was no good and my motivation waned. Then I saw an advert for a 105-mile adventure race across Scotland (running, kayaking and cycling). I remarked to Vicky that I’d love to be able to do something like that, and to my surprise she replied, “Do it then. Stop wishing, and get on with it.”’
‘As absurd as it sounds, I decided it was the way to win back some respect – from myself and from Vicky. I pledged to do it for charity so I couldn’t back out, and began training. My first goal was a fivemile race and I’d already lost two stone by the time I did it, just through increasing my activity levels. But I needed to address my diet, too, and started a Herbalife weightloss programme. My next race was a half marathon. I’d put down 2:45 as my estimated time but by race day my fitness and weight loss had gone through the roof and I ran 2:15!
When I lined up at the start of the Coast to Coast adventure race in September 2012, 10 months after I’d starting jogging, I was more than four stone lighter and had reduced my waist size from 40" to 32". My youngest daughter, Georgia, told me that when she wrapped her arms around me, her hands met at the back! I finished in the top third. I’ve gone on to do ultras, duathlons and other adventure races.’
‘People have been so supportive and the impact on our family has been 100 per cent positive – Georgia now loves running, too. I’ve vowed never again to sacrifice my health or time with my family in pursuit of my career. I am fitter and healthier than I have ever been. I'm also more confident and resilient. When I contracted a parasite in September 2014 that left me quite ill, robbing me of my fitness for months, I knew I had the mental strength to get back to where I had been. My ultimate goal is to do the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc [166km]. By pushing myself beyond my perceived limits, I hope I’ve shown others they can do the same.’
NAME MARTIN KELLY HOMETOWN GLASGOW HEIGHT 6FT WEIGHT BEFORE 18ST 7LB WEIGHT NOW 12ST 7LB WEIGHT LOST 6ST