Jackson Ryan's 12 month progress.
Jackson Ryan's 12 month progress.

Weight loss machine loses 43kg but he's not done yet

Weighing in at 140kg, Jackson Ryan decided to change his life for the better, as he told Darren Hallesy

Jackson Ryan form Ipswich has lost weight the old-fashioned way, and he can't believe the difference it has made to his life.

After a family member got ill, it made him reassess his life, and at 140kg he decided it was time to make a change.

To date, he has gone from 140kg to 97kg, yet after shedding 43kg he's not finished yet, with the goal of 85kg in sight, without any form of surgery.

But that's not all, as when you add in his wife Kaitlin's loss, the couple are currently sitting on 90kg lost between them, with the big ton of 100kg not too far away.

"What changed for me was when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I made a few tough decisions about my life," Jackson said. "I wanted to go back to uni and become a paramedic, so I knew I had to lose weight for that. My dad was only 59 when he got ill and I realised how young that was.

 

Left: Jackson Ryan from Ipswich has so far lost 43kg in 15 months.
Left: Jackson Ryan from Ipswich has so far lost 43kg in 15 months. David Nielsen

 

"I put on the weight through laziness to be honest, I didn't really train at all. I played footy when I was 18 but with work commitments and starting a family, my priorities shifted, so I didn't do much in the way of sports."

Jackson decided to give a fitness gym a go, and walked through the front door of his local CrossFit gym at Blacksoil.

"I went to the gym, I walked in and I've been going 5 or 6 days a week for about 8 months straight now. At first it was terrible, I nearly threw up several times.

"Recently I ran a mile in under eight minutes, and yet eight months ago I couldn't even run 600 metres. If you think about it for someone like me who has an office job, you're not doing much for eight hours a day.

"The only energy you spend is what's outside of work, so going to the gym was it for me. At the start I tried fasting to control my intake. I didn't eat after training at night until 11am the next day, then I started counting calories.

"I found the My Fitness Pal app very handy, as while the fasting helped, it was all about getting control of my food and my intake.

 

Jackson Ryan, who has become a human weight loss machine.
Jackson Ryan, who has become a human weight loss machine. Amanda Rossow

"For instance, if I have a big meal say on a Saturday night, I'll count that as my cheat meal. Then I'll work out extra Saturday or Sunday to account for the difference."

Today Jackson is 43kg less than he was eight months ago, and loves the difference it has made to his life, his wife's and his son.

"I lost about 10kg in the first two months, then another ten in the next three months, and the remaining 20kg in the following months.

"I even went vegetarian at one point, but I changed my diet and just exercised every day. I'm sitting at 43kg so far, my wife has lost over 50, and she now comes to the gym with me, which is good quality time together.

"She works night shift and I do day shift, so it's great for us to be together, normally we don't see enough of each other."

Even though he couldn't run at all, now it's something he enjoys, and encourages anyone to get into it.

 

Jackson uses cardio, weights and diet to shed the kilsos
Jackson uses cardio, weights and diet to shed the kilsos Amanda Rossow

"I now love running because I've learnt to enjoy it. It's something that's not complicated, anyone can do it. You just put one foot in front of the the other and run. Just like Forrest Gump!

"Ideally, I'd like to get to 85kg, I don't care about having a six pack, this now is all about keeping fit and being healthy for the rest of my life. I do wish I'd have done it earlier, I'd made multiple attempts to lose weight, but I never found the right thing that worked for me, and that turned out to be intense group exercise.

"Surrounding yourself with people who say, 'you need to do this' makes a big difference, it's like being back playing footy, you're part of a group. I don't think I could have done this on my own, it's too easy to give up when it's just you."

So what advice would Jackson give to anyone who wants to lose weight?

 

Jackson before his quest (right).
Jackson before his quest (right).

"I'd say to anyone that you just have to be consistent. It's not about being the best, or the quickest, or anything like that. It's about the people who turn up every day.

"I was never the strongest or fittest at the start, and here I am 15 months later making massive strides in my fitness. If you are consistent, you will consistently improve, that's my feeling.

"I was reading about becoming an addict to fitness, I think for me I'm at the point in my life now where if it don't exercise I miss it. I'm not addicted, I just enjoy it."



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