Age 39, Sydney
Ú FITNHEALTHYCHEF A natural disaster prompted his life-changing decision. I was always the fat, happy kid. However, behind my smile, I was a depressed.
Teased and bullied, I never changed my clothes for sports day in front of anyone. I changed in the bathroom cubical, but bullies would break the door open to expose my body and fat shame me. I hated sport and school.
I was called useless by my soccer coach. To make me feel better,
I ate excessively.
This continued into my twenties until a trip to visit family in Greece changed my life. Severe bush fires surrounded our village. There was no escape. For two days we battled fires that killed 78 people and destroyed many houses and farms. With no running water, I had to run to get water from the well, one bucket at a time. For the first time in my life I felt wanted and needed. I wished I was able to do more but my weight stopped me. This was the wake-up call I needed.
In the past I’d tried every fad diet apart from the simple formula of eating less and moving more. I’ve always had a massive appetite, so I designed my own eating plan: low calorie foods high in protein and low in fat. I managed to lose 50kgs without the gym, but I was skinny fat.
Then I hit the gym and really transformed my body. I had lots of postural problems to correct. I’d developed a hunched back caused by always rolling my shoulders forward to hide my man boobs.
To celebrate my 10th year not being obese, I had a photo shoot with Christian Scott. Half way through, I looked at myself in the mirror and was shocked by what I saw. I was so proud of my achievement. I felt confident and comfortable in my own skin. I decided I wanted to help and inspire others to achieve the same.
Once I used food as comfort. Now I use food as fuel to feed my body.