100kg drop: "If I didn't lose weight I would have died"
WEIGHING in at 262kg, Gary Wheeler knew his life was at risk.
"If I didn't lose weight, I was going to die," he said.
Six months ago, the 55-year-old began a dramatic physical transformation process. Just days before Christmas, Gary weighed in at 155kg.
That means he has lost more than 100kg; that is an average loss of about 20kg a month.
Now Gary breathes better, has more mobility, can see his feet, and is happier.
Holding up one of his old shirts, the size difference between Gary's size then to now is difficult to comprehend.
"I can buy shirts from a shop now, but before had to have them custom made," he said.
The move to make the life change started when Gary lived in the Boyne Valley and his brother Phil developed grave concerns.
"Not many people are able to live at 260kg," Phil said.
"I really wasn't sure how long he would be around."
Phil invited Gary to his River Heads home where they began the lifestyle change.
The moment Gary stepped into his new room was the moment he left junk and unhealthy habits behind.
His impressive weight loss was done entirely through diet.
Starting off, he ate about 800 calories a day. That number has now been lifted to 1200 calories a day.
"It's not a fad diet or anything, just healthy eating of healthy portions and no alcohol," Phil said.
"We know the weight loss will plateau at a point, but it hasn't yet and has just been melting off."
Gary's meals compromise of foods including fruit, vegetables and some meat.
Gary has a breakfast, lunch and dinner with lunch being the biggest meal.
"I haven't actually been hungry," Gary said.
The journey has not been without its challenges to keep everyone on edge.
Gary spent much of November in hospital and at one point, his heart stopped.
Overcoming all odds, he made it home and went back to the routine.
The next goal weight for Gary is to reach 130kg; that would literally make him half the man he used to be.
"And the ultimate goal is to be 90kg as that's what I was back in my 20s," he said.
Gary's current weight is allowing him to start incorporating exercise and he is walking daily.
So if Gary has been at a healthy weight as an adult, what caused the significant gain?
"Just not caring," Gary said.
"I would always be in a hurry to do everything and end up buying lots of things."\
"My weight has fluctuated over the years as I've dieted, but the weight had always come back plus more."
However, it's not coming back this time - Phil will make sure of it.
Gary has considered surgery before for which he is an eligible weight now, but he is going to stick with the healthy lifestyle approach due to the nature of how quickly the kilograms are disappearing.
This is what 262kg was like for Gary
- It took seven people to pick Gary off the ground.
- Once, he got stuck in a car for half an hour.
- When he went grocery shopping, store staff would come to his car and serve him through the car window.
- Gary was unable to fit into most normal furniture.
- Clothes had to be custom made.
- Hospital visits were very difficult, due to sizes of beds.
- Gary was unable to walk up flights of stairs, including houses of relatives. He is still working on this one.