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Joshua Irwin

By: Joshua Irwin

Imagine lifting up a bag of cement onto your shoulders and having to carry that burden with you throughout your day. Imagine the toll on your muscles, your feet, your lungs and your heart. Imagine weighing 126.5kg! Well, that was my reality about a year ago. Back then, I was morbidly obese and such I had a very negative perception of myself. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wasn’t happy. I even grew my hair long in order to unconsciously hide my face. If I accidentally caught my reflection in a mirror, seeing what I looked like, I was repulsed. I avoided mirrors on principle. Being that overweight limits your life experiences and to get by, you lower your expectations. I was tired of lowering my expectations and of feeling permanently negative about myself. I wanted my inside to match my outside. I had to change my life, and I did. I lost about 53kg and I now weigh 73kg.

To lose the weight I sought the advice of my doctor who referred me to a nutritional coach. She educated me on what was actually considered normal in terms of food intake and enlightened me on what my body realistically required in order to survive. I realised that, for my whole life, I had been eating almost three times of what I actually needed. Society has geared people to putting on weight and such I experienced an epiphany about my relationship with food and understood that I needed to change. So I did and I have been doing this, religiously, since November last year (2011) up until now.

The most important aspect of losing weight is nutrition. The basics of weight loss is that I had to create a calorie deficit. Burn more calories than I took in.

Joshua Irwin & his friend in late 2011.

Where people get this wrong is they believe the answer is to gym a lot more but this is not entirely true. You can gym twice a day but if you don’t eat healthily you’ll steadily gain weight. Rather than becoming an irritating gym bunny, you can lose weight just by cutting back on all the junk food, eating more vegetables and measuring your protein intake. It will be hard at first but with the increased vegetables you will notice your cravings for junk food quickly disappearing as your body is getting more of the nutrients it needs.

Exercise maybe 2 – 3 times a week, using high intensity interval training for cardiovascular exercise and some simple weight training, so that you maintain your muscles as you lose weight. I did not have a gym membership to lose weight. Go for a run and do push ups. Its that simple!

Throughout the entire process I learned that you should never give up, it doesn’t matter if you are sick, depressed or swamped with work. If you can’t exercise, then don’t, but don’t let that serve as the starting point for giving up on living healthily. Never let one mistake derail your whole plan.

Also, you should lose weight for the right reasons. If you do it to get that beach body, to be attractive to other people, sure, you might end up achieving that but it’s superficial. It wont lead you closer to love or real intimacy, rather it will just lead to more insecurities and bitterness. This is because some people may change their minds about you. I’ve personally seen that some people have treated me differently after I lost the weight. It brings up unsettling questions about what matters to them, your looks, or who you are.

But back to the positives, the main benefit I have discovered of weight-loss, besides looking better and being fitter, is that you’ll be happier. It won’t automatically make everything okay, but in terms of your happiness, you’ll be functioning at 6 out of 10 everyday instead of a 3 out of 10. That makes it all worth it!

A healthier & stronger Joshua Irwin in early 2012.

So good luck, never give up and if you do fail, use that as inspiration to try succeed even more next time.

Oh yeah, Be Prepared To Buy An Entire New Wardrobe! 😀

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Marianne Frey: 083 389 4122
Dr A’s Clinic: 011 646 2220

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