'Morbidly obese' man loses 55kg and becomes personal trainer
The shock of being told he was on a fast track to diabetes led a young Manawatu man to shed 55kg.
Josh Everson, 20, once weighed 135kg, but lost 55kg in his final year of high school after he was told he was morbidly obese and likely to get type two diabetes.
Three years later and he is running his own personal training business.
Everson said it was the shock of being told he would get diabetes that prompted him to turn his life around.
"It was the 8th of January. I'll always remember that day. I was tested for type two diabetes – that was a really big shock."
He did not have diabetes, but the test was enough.
"If I had kept on the track I was going, I definitely would have [developed diabetes]."
The former Palmerston North Boys' High School pupil said he was eating takeaways four to five times a week.
"I had no regard to a healthy diet.
"I used to sit at the back of PE class because I was big and did not want to be judged. I wanted to be accepted."
So Everson took it upon himself to join a gym.
After 10 months, he had lost 55kg.
"I just went for it, basically."
However, he was so self conscious about his body that he would exercise at 3am.
"You feel like you are being watched all the time and you are being judged. It just plays on your mind so much."
The experience had made him want to help others struggling with the same issues.
"I just want to help other people do the same thing.
"Because I have been through it, I know what they are going through.
"I learnt the hard way that it is not just about doing weights at the gym.
"You've got to have the will power to push through."
He recently completed a course in exercise and sport performance and has now set up his own business, Catalyst Personal Training.
Everson said he could relate to other people's struggles and remind them of why they wanted to lose weight.
"When I tell them my story, it really breaks down that barrier."
He now works out of the Soul-full living studio on Cuba St.
"It just takes all that image consciousness out of there. They can just be themselves."
Everson said he would never have thought he could run his own personal training business when he was 135kg.
But losing the weight had opened doors.
"It is a bit cliche to say it is life changing, but it is."
Contact details for Catalyst Personal Training are available on his Facebook page.