Monday, April 19, 2010

This is what 38kg look like

What does 38kg or 83.7lbs look like? Almost Two bags of Tile Adhesive or two of these kayaks at 19kg's each.

With Ironman South Africa less than 7 days away, one tend to think back a lot during the week leading up to IM at what you've done the last couple of weeks or even a year to take on one of the greatest one day challenges there is.

But not often do one think back more than a year ago and realize how your life has changed. As I said before I believe and I think a lot of people will agree you don't train for an Ironman but you start to live an Ironman lifestyle and the training just comes with the lifestyle.

Now to get back to the heading, what does 38kg or 83.7lbs look like. You may wanna ask why the question, well that's the amount of body weight I lost since I started my journey towards living an Ironman lifestyle (which will hopefully be number 5 this weekend).

This is what I looked like in 2003, weighing a massive 116kg or 255lbs. After looking at this photo on our trip to Germany in 2003 I realized that is not the person I wanna be for the rest of my life and need to do something.

The road to "recovery" all started in 2003 when I just couldn't take it living in this huge overweight body. I had high cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar and the doctor told me I must start living healthy. Being a very active sportsman (Wrestling and Judo) for more than 16 years I took a 10 year sabbatical from sport and gained more than half my body weight as I was at 74kg when I stopped being an active sportman.

Hard to believe but from this, an active wrestler (photo was taken just after I won the National title in 1988) to this a beer drinking, take away freak. At one stage I had KFC EVERY day of my life. It was my standard lunch order at the KFC across the dealership

Then the loooong and hard road started to get back into shape. At that stage I only wanted to loose some weight and didn't realize that it was the first step towards a new lifestyle.

At first I started walking, shuffling and then it became a slow jog which later but very later became a run. I can still remember how for months I just could not run more than 30 minutes. Whatever I tried I just bonked at 30 minutes. One day I decided to push to 40 minutes and had to walk for a minute and run for a minute but I got there. It was if I broke that barrier and from there on I increased the kms gradualy but very slowly.

To think nowadays my Friday night easy run is a 40 minute run and I hardly break a sweat. It is just an easy run I do before the weekends big mileage.

One of my first road races in 2004, of which I was part of a relay team and my part of the relay was a massive 5km at that stage.

I then started doing some 10km races which became 21km races and I ended up doing my first marathon in 2005.

I sort of got bored by only running and started looking for a new challenge and was introduced to cycling as we know it. Cycling was nothing new to me but in the commute form not the sports equivalent. From Grade 1 to Grade 12, during my whole school career I biked to school and back home. The bike was also my transport mode to my friends, sport practise and any or every function there was.

After completing my first ultra marathon and cycling the odd race here and there a friend introduced me to Triathlon and as they say the rest is history.

Amazing to think back at my first sprint distance triathlon where I swam the whole 600 meters breast stroke and had to hang on to the life guards surf board from time to time and suffered like crazy on the run to where I am today. With some luck but also very hard training I was able to compete at the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii last year

Anybody can complete an Ironman and start living an Ironman lifestyle, it just take some time to get there but most importantly you must enjoy it!

Ps: I am now weighing 78kg or 171.6lbs, not where I wanted to be as my race weight is 76kg but I will get there some day.

Pss: Below is some pictures out of my passport from the different visas I needed over the years. It starts at 2003 to 2007. I always get the funny look at Customs when I present my passport.


  1. I love these kinds of posts! What a change, that is amazing!

  2. Great post! I've been following your blog for a couple of months (which is when I discovered training_blog_world) Nice to know your story week of IM! Congratulations on the weight loss that is fantastic, and the level you are now performing at is great! I'm also a PFG...down 50lbs in 3 of luck this week!

  3. FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I finally get to see "the fat guy" pictures. I didn't think this day would ever come. I'm buying a lottery ticket tonight.

    Man, I love your story and the photo's are amazing. You've never really went into detail before. What a transformation, it's day and night.

    Johan, you have done an AMAZING job. Not only getting in shape but becoming an elite age grouper in the process. Man, you are such an inspiration.

    I hope you don't mind, but I'm linking this post to my blog, people have to see what's possible. Great post!

    P.S. Nice blue dress you wore in high school. haha.

  4. i found you through another blog and find this post amazing. You have done some phenomenal things. GOOD FOR YOU -- ROCK ON!! I love stories like yours -- it encourages me to keep on. You are awesome!

  5. Adena
    thanks, glad you enjoyed it

  6. Derek
    Wow that is Amazing 50lbs, keep it up.
    Thanks hope I don't diappoint all my friends come Sunday

  7. B
    Thanks man, no problem sharing. You have such a big following and if just one person can become a PFG as result of my story I am happy.

    So much more to tell but then the post will be a book, maybe must write a book. So many ups and downs to get where I am.

    Thanks for all your inspiration also, helps a LOT to keep going.

    Yip now the secret is out, been a Lycra lover since a very young age. Just love that feel against my body. haha Nowadays it is nothing but back then I was teased a lot about my wrestling outfit.

    Now you can go out and buy that lottery ticket


  8. Running Diva Mom
    Thanks, appreciate it. Discovered you blog now, amazing blog with awesome stories. well done

  9. Dude, I love it. I have a similar story but being a shorty I can boast uglier fat pictures than those. I haven't got to Hawaii yet though and I have promised to "go public" with the pictures when I do - there's one particularly "attractive" one of me in a pair of speedos. haha.

    But man, having made the journey too I know what it takes and how hard it is so great job, well done.

    PFG's rock!

  10. Simon
    Can't wait to see yours. I also have a very scary picture of me in a speedy. Don't know what I was thinking being that fat and walk around in a speedo but I guess it was the beer talking.
    maybe will post that pic one day when I have the courage

  11. Inspiring testament to your courage to change and find what matters within! Thanks for sharing your story.

  12. Athena
    Thanks, glad you found it inspiring.

  13. Found you through Mark Allen's tweet yesterday-- so glad I did! After years of procrastination, I am just starting out and signed up for my first (sprint) triathlon this summer. You are an inspiration and motivator, and I'm looking forward to following you. Thanks!

  14. Maylene
    Glad you enjoyed it. Best of luck with your first triathlon, and looking forward to follow your progres.

  15. Amazing post & story