Transformation Story: From Fat to Skinny to Fit
I’ve been obese, skinny, injured and surgically repaired. I’ve experienced bullying, pain and depression. Despite all of that, I never gave up and I got back up every single time. There are obstacles, there is negativity and life will find a way to knock you down. But you need to push past it by believing in yourself and forging forward. Through my life story, I want to motivate and inspire people. I may not have the best genetics, I may not be the strongest guy in the gym or have the best body in the gym but to me the most important thing is to be the hardest worker in the gym.
I live by the philosophy “Blood, Sweat and Respect”. First two you GIVE, last one you EARN.
~ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Growing up I was always fat and I was fat shamed throughout my childhood and teenage life. I became so identified with the word “fat” that anytime I heard someone say “Mote”, I instinctively turned my head because I figured they were calling me. I was bullied a lot because I was fat. I was made fun of, laughed at, pointed at and harassed for almost 15 years. I was bullied on a daily basis and in many ways, but 2 cases stand out because it still haunts me till this day. I was a fat boy and had “moobs” aka man boobs and friends used to harass me by grabbing my chest and making fun of me calling me “Chakka”. Shopping was another agonising experience for me. At my heaviest, I had 47 size jeans so trying to find clothes that fit my size was very hard. I remember people staring and shop owners laughing and saying that there was no way they would have clothes for a guy my size.
In all of this chaos, food was my one comfort and I buried my sorrows in food. I don’t even know how much I weighed when I was at my heaviest because I was too scared to step on the scale. But 5 months before I started my fitness journey, I had to weigh myself for the doctor and I weighed 120kgs. The doctor said that I was the worst case of an 18 year old he had ever seen. I was obviously a mess physically but more than that I was a complete wreck mentally because of all the bullying. A certain incident changed me. It reached to a point where I started having nightmares about getting bullied which kept me awake at night. I spent a lot of nights crying wishing I was never born. Then I got hit by 2 heart-breaking nightmares. In the first one, my friends took me to a club to dance but when we got there, they made me dance alone in the middle of the dance floor while the whole club watched and laughed at me. In the second one, my friends didn’t let me play FIFA because they said I was too fat, I’d eat the controller, destroy the chair by sitting on it and they didn’t have enough room to accommodate me. That was my breaking point. It was in that moment that I decided to get rid of the weight. I wasn’t doing this for me or my health. I had only 1 goal in mind: “To prove everybody wrong”. The nightmares however traumatized me for life. Since then, I stopped playing FIFA and I don’t dance. I’ll probably never dance or play FIFA ever again because of it.
So the next day I started dieting and joined a gym where I did an hour of cardio every single day. I didn’t make any excuses or exceptions. I weighed myself after 6 months and I weighed in at 95kgs. For the first time in a long time, the scale showed 2 digits instead of 3. I was in cloud nine. I continued for a few more months and got down to 90kgs. Despite losing 30 plus kgs, I was still fat compared to the normal person and the bullying never stopped. That’s when I decided to lift weights because I wanted to look like someone you didn’t want to mess with. When I started weight training, I didn’t know what I was doing because I didn’t have anyone to help me. I just copied what others did and started reading fitness magazines. I did it for a year and results were amazing. I lost a lot of fat, gained muscle and looked and felt so much better. But I started getting injured a lot, consulted several doctors and everyone said the same thing. I had a condition where I had weak joints which turned out to be genetic because my mum and grandmum suffers from the same. I finally found something I loved but professionals were telling me not to do it. I went into depression and used food as a coping mechanism and piled on the kilos. A few months went by and I decided to play football after college to take my mind of it. But when I stepped into the pitch, a guy told me to be the goalkeeper because my fat body could cover the whole goal post and I just needed to stand there and we’d win. That broke my heart and everything went black after that. Despite working so hard and losing the weight, I was still made fun of. I’ve never cried so much in my life. I was already depressed and that pushed me over the edge.
Around this time I started getting into social media. I was searching for inspiration and found it in the form of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His posts were very motivating and his words stuck in my head. And as luck would have it, I came across another guy by the name of CT fletcher and his video “The Strongest Man you’ve never heard of. “ That was one of the most inspiring videos I had ever seen. I was in pitch black hell and it felt like they reached out to me and said to me that everything was going to be okay; that it’s okay to fail but what matters is that I believe in myself and never give up. They saved me from my darkness and that was the biggest turning point in my life. That was when I stopped playing the victim and decided to fight back. I became hell bent on losing the weight. I joined Rangasala and started jogging, running, sprinting, doing whatever I could. Once my joints started getting better, I returned to the gym despite doctors’ orders. I trained hard and ate a strict diet. I even spat out my own birthday cake for 2 straight years. There were no cheat days. There was not one day I felt that I was going to break. I was focused, disciplined and driven. And a year after the doctor told me I should stop lifting, I deadlifted 160kgs for the first time in my life. That was when I learned that even if people put a cap on your physical limitations it doesn’t matter because what matters is your mentality. Mental limitations don’t exist: If you train your mind, your body will follow.
I was 95kgs when I started again and got back down to 69kgs in 18 months. From 120kgs+ to 69kgs, I lost a total of 51 plus kgs and I finally looked like everybody else. I decided to take a picture to mark the occasion but I wasn’t happy with what I saw. I lost all the weight but I lost a lot of muscle as well. I finally realised that I was living a life based on other people’s opinion of me. That was when I decided to start lifting heavy again and eat like normal. It took me a year to get over my body dysmorphia and unhealthy relationship with food. I bulked up to a healthy 85kgs before I had to get surgery done on my shoulder because of all the past injuries. I rehabilitated and a year post-surgery; I’m bigger, stronger, healthier and happier than ever before.
Before – 17 years old, 120kgs+ - This was probably 5 months before I started my fitness journey. I don’t have any pictures at my heaviest because I was disgusted at myself.
Skinny – 22 years old, 69kgs – This was the lowest I’ve been in 10 years (I was around 70kgs when I was 12 years old). I became skinny, weak and I wasn’t happy.
Now – 25 years old, 87kgs – I’m at the point where the number on the weighing scale doesn’t matter. I’m Big, Strong, Healthy and most importantly Happy!
I may not have the best genetics, I may not be the strongest guy in the gym or have the best body in the gym but to me the most important thing is to be the hardest worker in the gym.
People tell me that I have so much will power, self-control and work ethic and they wish they had it. But I’m here to tell you that this is not something I wished for or something I was born with or even something that luck gave me. It’s something that I worked for; something I gave my blood, sweat and tears for. This didn’t happen overnight or by accident. I sacrificed my time, my effort, my sleep and the food I love to eat for this. This happened because I stopped running from my pain. I chose to embrace it and allowed my pain to push me from where I was to where I needed to be. And that pain is now a part of my product. I turned my tragedy into triumph. This happened because I refused to give up.
I’ve been obese, skinny, injured and surgically repaired. I’ve experienced bullying, pain and depression. Despite all of that, I never gave up and I got back up every single time. Through my life story, I want to motivate and inspire people. I want people to look up to me the same way I look up to ‘The Rock’ and ‘CT’. I want to show people that life is not always easy. There are obstacles, there is negativity and life will find a way to knock you down. But you need to push past it. Push past every obstacle and negativity by believing in yourself and forging forward. I suffered and failed numerous times but I overcame it every single time. And now, I can proudly say that I’m the first ever athlete for ‘The Physique Workshop.’ To think a gym would want me to be their athlete. Who would’ve ever thought at 120kgs that this would be possible for me. I want to show people that if your average person who knows nothing about losing weight, who knows nothing about working out can make it happen, so can you! Accept who you are, understand who you are, be the best that you can be and show the world what you’re made of. Whatever you got going on in life; be it fitness, work or anything. Always remember: Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, stay dedicated, stay disciplined, stay driven, work hard and most importantly NEVER GIVE UP!
5 years old: Sports Day - The only time I ran for something other than food.
13 years old - One of the most difficult times in my life as the bullying escalated significantly, I buried my miseries in food and ballooned up.
16 years old - I was and still am a huge Eminem fan. Also, that hairstyle was popular back then. Don’t judge!
20 years old - I was going through my old clothes and came across my old jeans. This was the first time I realised how much weight I’d lost.