Simple way Sam shed 120kg
A 27-year-old engineer from Melbourne has revealed how losing his mother to suicide pushed him to shed more than 120kg.
Samuel Brereton, who at his heaviest clocked 184kg on the scales, said he was depressed and unhappy following his mother's death in 2014, and admits that food was a comfort mechanism" during times of grief.
"I was often left to my own devices when choosing what to eat," Mr Brereton said of his diet following his mother's death.
"It (food) just made the pain go away. I didn't have a job due to weight, and the fact that employers were generally dismissive of overweight candidates, (meant I) was often at home playing video games all day and lounging around.
"I never used to exercise, or even attempt it, often catching the taxi to the shops to pick up junk food."
Mr Brereton told news.com.au he didn't grow up with weight problems and was often called "stick boy" by his mum at a young age because of his slight frame.
"It was only when I became a teenager that I got lazy and the weight started piling on," he said.
"I put this down to the fact that my mother always used to control my eating. She eventually stopped as she began battling her own depression, so she couldn't concentrate on dealing with me."
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Mr Brereton says despite his unhealthy diet of fried foods, ice-cream, chocolate and litres of soft drink he didn't care about his weight.
"I would often eat a whole tray of meat sausages in one day, with bread and tomato sauce," he explained.
"I'd then polish it off with a mudcake and thickened cream, chocolate and then Coca Cola.
"I didn't really care. I couldn't fit into normal clothes, and my clothes were often 7XXL and above, so it was very hard to buy me anything. I was constantly stretching my shirts because they still didn't fit comfortably.
"It sounds disgusting to me now."
Following his mother's death, Mr Brereton decided to change his lifestyle, and lose the weight he'd put on over the years.
Swapping daily servings of fast food, soft drinks and sugary snacks, Sam started making his own home-cooked meals, eating more fruit and vegetables as well as drinking more water.
It was a change that helped him shed 120kg in two years.
What made him want to change was the reality of entering fulltime work while he was so heavy.
"I started a full-time job, and it was not being able to fit into work clothes and the bus seat comfortably, as well as my perception to others."
"As I was depressed, it got to a point where it was no longer tolerable. Other factors such as my mother passing away, and how it must have made her felt while she was alive, was a big motivation for me."
His dramatic change started with counting calories, investing in a food scale and walking as much as possible.
"I started recording all the food I ate in a diary, and counting the calories of it," he explained. "From there, I set myself a limit of calories to whatever was recommended to lose weight in the calorie tracker app.
"I then started walking 10,000 steps a day without fail. No matter the weather or the circumstances, I always aimed to do that many.
"If I didn't reach my goal normally throughout the day, I would go for an extra walk in the evening to make up for it and reach the required steps."
Admitting the hardest part of the shred was sticking to a schedule and "resisting temptation," Mr Brereton - who now weighs 80kgs - said he would once order three large pizzas for lunch. Now, he sticks to three meals a day which mainly consists of vegetables.
"The diet was often restrictive at times," he explained.
"I had to cut out a lot of my favourite foods. The exercise initially was hard, as I had a lot of fat around my legs so often I would get sweat rash/chafing which often got very sore. I would also get blisters on my feet due to my weight from all the walking.
"But once the diet kicked in and my metabolism began burning off the weight, the exercise got easier as I got lighter."
Never turning to diet pills or surgery, Mr Brereton says his diet now consists of three healthy meals and sometimes a protein bar after the gym, which he only started recently to gain muscle tone.
"My day consists mostly of high quality protein such as chicken breast, fish and eggs," he said. "I mainly bulk up on vegetables like broccoli, green Beans and legumes."
"For breakfast it's usually eggs with spinach, or something involving eggs and chicken.
"For lunch, I'll usually have chicken or fish with fresh vegetables and some seeds, almonds or fruit.
"Dinner is a low-key affair, with some baked fish or chicken with lots of veggies. I find sticking to the same sort of theme keeps me full and not craving unhealthy foods.
"I ditched processed carbs like white bread, chips and chocolate as I find it often makes me crave it.
"Unfortunately this also meant white rice and potatoes as well, although I do enjoy brown rice occasionally."
Since losing the weight Mr Brereton says he still feels a bit of hostility towards his body because of the excess skin.
"I feel I have a lot more energy and a more positive outlook on life," he explained.
"Before I was unhappy, often comfort eating and feeling sorry for myself. Now I feel I can talk to people in public, and not be seen as a fat slob with sweat stains on his shirt, and baggy clothes due to stretching them out.
"I do however still feel a bit of animosity towards my body as I still have a lot of excess skin. I know I can never afford the surgery on my current wage, so it is a bit of a downer when I still don't have the confidence to go out in public with no shirt on.
"I still think of it as something holding me back from feeling truly happy with my success."