Home Features 65kg down and more to go: A personal tale of weight loss

65kg down and more to go: A personal tale of weight loss

10 min read


One of the many stigmas that gamers face is that we gamers (and geeks) spend a reasonably large part of our lives sitting in front of a screen, lying in front of a TV or just generally being quite sedentary people. It fits right into the narrative of the badly socialised, overweight and unhealthy lifestyle that many paint us with. In truth, for the most part, we are guilty of much of this – we often don’t get enough exercise and opt for easy and unhealthy meals when we get stuck into a focused night or few days of gaming after a new release we’ve been looking forward to.

Gaming is a particularly time-consuming hobby, and that means that we want to squeeze as much time out of every day as we can to enjoy it. Especially those of us with 9-to-5 jobs, we tend to forego much of what constitutes a balanced healthy lifestyle to get a couple more hours of gaming in. Usually, this means we sleep less, don’t exercise and eat poorly.

I know I certainly did.

How I Got This Way

To understand why we need to worry about lifestyle and why my story is important, you should know how I ended up at my worst.  I’ve struggled to a large part with weight for most of my adult life, going on various diets and lifestyle plans or even to weight-loss programmes and managing to bounce between somewhere in the region of 150 and 130kg. I’d diet really consistently for a few months and slowly lose interest, either because I got bored of the exercise or I stumbled in the eating plans and couldn’t mentally recover from it – or meet a pretty girl and stopped worrying about it.

One day just before Christmas in December 2015, I stood on a scale.



I’d let myself get to a point where getting off the couch was a struggle and barely able to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time without feeling fatigued and on the verge of narcolepsy. I’d lived for so long on KFC and litres of orange juice and Coke and without paying any attention to myself or my weight and appearance that I’d unintentionally reached rock bottom.

I say unintentionally but that’s not entirely true – I knew I was doing harm to my body and I knew I was gaining weight, but I never quantified it to the degree it was actually happening at because facing that truth meant making real changes, and I was an addict to food and laziness – and it would mean sacrificing time from my first love – gaming.

The simple truth was that while I maintained a reasonable balance between a social life and gaming, I maintained no attempt at a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s Talk About Diet

To this day I consider reaching that weight and that point in my life as a good thing. It allowed me a stern and harsh reality check that I desperately needed to finally do something real about it. I had finally, after years of ignoring the issue and taking it far too lightly it was finally as real as “do something about it or die.”

So I did.

I downloaded the Real Meal banting food lists and on the first day of 2016, I hit the ground running. I don’t want to focus too much on the precise method and diet I used because I don’t believe in the cookie cutter one-size-fits-all approach to this.

I went shopping and bought an entire month’s food supply and spent the whole of Sunday cooking individual meals that I put into plastic containers and froze – 30 individual meals, one for each day of January. And I did this again in February. And March. In fact, I managed to keep doing this for the whole of 2016, and all the while I did no exercise.


My weight flew off – in 6 months I was at 150kg and another 6 I was down to 130kg. It was dropping so quickly that I started weighing other things on the scale to make sure it wasn’t broken. A year later I was 55kg lighter and mentally I was bouncing between severe imposter syndrome and incredible self-pride.

It was “meal prep” – preparing a month’s worth of meals in one day and simply defrosting and eating them in the evenings – to which I attribute my success. I designed the changes to my diet and lifestyle around minimising the impact on my life and subsequently my free time and maximising the return on my efforts, which was the most important thing to me because it meant not having to give up time spent watching my favourite series or playing my favourite game.

To date I have lost 65kg, putting me at 120kg, which is still overweight of course, but I’m not done yet.

Let’s Talk About Exercise

I consider not exercising in that first year as my biggest failure. I kept making excuses to myself all the way through 2016 – rhetoric like I’d do damage to myself if I exercise now and I should rather wait until I am thinner before I start were the excuses I used and I regret not starting with exercise sooner.
Sometime during 2016, I decided that I needed something to motivate me to start exercising, so I signed up to hike the Fish River Canyon in Namibia in May 2017. Even still, I put off starting for another few months using the same rhetoric I’d been using.

At the beginning of 2017, at 130kg I was finally mentally ready to start exercising. I started by doing the C25K running programme, which slowly over 8 weeks leads you into being able to run a 5K. I highly recommend it – its 20 to 30 minutes three times a week and gives you a really great introduction into some real cardio exercise.

In March 2017 I did my first 5k in a time of 52:40. By May I was hitting 38:00 pretty consistently. In May 2017 I finished the 87km Fish River Canyon hike.
I wanted to tell you what I’ve managed not as a vehicle to boast, but rather because I want you to know that even if you think you that can’t do it or that it’s out of reach for you, you’re wrong. If you had told me in December 2016 that I’d hike 90km through a desert, I’d have laughed in your face.

My Lifestyle Now

Don’t think that you have to make extreme changes for life – rather focus on aiming to get to a sustainable lifestyle. These days I don’t take everything to extremes like I did last year. It’s the reason why it’s taken me 6 months to lose 10kg compared to the 55kg I lost in the 12 months before it.

I’ve incorporated other people in my lifestyle, like doing the Parkrun every Saturday morning with my parents or hiking with friends. Having the support structure that comes along with having those people around you is utterly critical. They make you accountable and they encourage you to do better and keep going.


I still run three times a week and I still try my best to stay off carbs and eat under about 2000 calories a day, but I am starting to shift from an extreme diet to a sustainable lifestyle, while I shift my mental focus from life-or-death to do-it-because-I-enjoy-it-and-its-keeping-me-healthy. This is the most difficult shift I’ve had to do because it creates guilt when I eat something I shouldn’t or if I miss a run day because I’ve been so on point until now.

I still play games for a good few hours a day, but now spending an hour on getting fitter or a few minutes making sure I eat better is part of life.
I also haven’t been to bed past 11 pm on a weeknight in months because sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.

The Harsh Truth

Studies available to us around the subject of dieting and weight loss are intensely contradictory. I’m never going to be able to convey the minefield that is weight loss, both physical and mental, in 1000 words. There is a reasonable amount of evidence, particularly based on studies from the American National Institute of Health (NIH) around the genetics and effects of rapid weight-loss on metabolism and your body and its eye opening. It deals with how weight loss will slow and why so many people put weight back on after losing it, and being armed with this knowledge up front can help you fight off the want to give up once you hit that inevitable plateau and keep going.


It’s incredibly difficult to find any real and solid facts or direction from this information and I’ve long since given up trying. The real truth is that it’s only by trial and error that you’ll find something that works for you – remembering one simple golden rule – Calories in must be less than calories out. No matter what diet you’re following, whether it’s low carb, low-fat or any number of variations thereof, you’ll never get anywhere if you consume more calories than you burn. Fact.

There will be days where you will feel like you haven’t accomplished enough or you haven’t accomplished anything. These are the hardest days. Making sure you stay mentally happy and healthy while you undertake this monumental task is difficult and it will tax you to the absolute extreme.

There will be days that you don’t succeed. There will be days where you don’t eat what you’re supposed to or just can’t bring yourself to go to the gym or go for a run but don’t beat yourself up about it. I always find that people judge themselves far too harshly when this happens. You can succeed 19 times out of twenty and you don’t pat yourself on the back for it but you mentally beat yourself up for that one failure. Don’t call it a failure because it isn’t – you just didn’t succeed that day. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and hit the ground running again.

Even If I never lose another kilogram in my life I’ll never go back to the way I was before I started this journey. I’m infinitely healthier and infinitely happier than I’ve ever been – all for an hour of work a few times a week. That’s a no brainer.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: August 15, 2017


  1. RinceThis

    August 15, 2017 at 13:14

    Nice share man.


  2. Sageville

    August 15, 2017 at 13:15



  3. Geoffrey Tim

    August 15, 2017 at 13:19

    I’ve started Parkrun as well – not especially for any sort of weightloss (thoguh it’s probably going to help in that regard), but rathe rbecause my heart is in imminent danger of conking out and I need to keep Geoff alive.


    • RinceThis

      August 15, 2017 at 13:20

      Keep at it man!


    • Magoo

      August 15, 2017 at 13:27

      Geoffrey > Vic


    • Matthew Figueira

      August 15, 2017 at 15:10

      I’ll see you one Saturday 😛 awww yiss!


    • Doge Man

      August 15, 2017 at 16:54

      Same reason I started. I regret chugging Monster energy the whole of university.


  4. Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

    August 15, 2017 at 13:24

    Well done man !!!


  5. RinceThis

    August 15, 2017 at 13:24

    Wow, 65kgs… I weigh 66.1 (as of last night). But then again I am the size of a gnome…


    • Kromas Ryder

      August 15, 2017 at 13:30

      Well you are a hobbit so basically all is good. 🙂


    • Original Heretic

      August 15, 2017 at 13:45

      Sounds like me when I was at my unhealthiest. I’m a strange creature, when I shove nasty crap into my body, I lose weight so quickly, it’s actually frightening.
      And no, it’s NOT a good thing. When you’re 6′ tall, have broad shoulders and have had a life of being fit and toned due to playing loads of sport, suddenly weighing in under 70kgs is kinda scary.


      • Matthew Holliday

        August 16, 2017 at 15:07

        6’1″ and have never weighed more than 67kg.
        Thats with me at my most active, sports/activities 6 days a week, to now, smoking and sitting in front of my screen all day.
        Got back into gym 2 years back, and being healthy, but still only managed to put on 2kg in a year.
        Putting weight on is a really slow process. Losing weight though? I have no idea, it never really happens.

        “Scary” is pretty accurate.


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      August 15, 2017 at 13:48

      So according to my maths and noetic science you weigh in the region of 7 billions souls.


    • Unavengedavo

      August 15, 2017 at 14:29

      It’s because of all those second breakfasts you hobbits eat


  6. Kromas Ryder

    August 15, 2017 at 13:30

    Well done. I am not overweight but I am not living a decent lifestyle at the moment. I might just try something like this.


  7. Magoo

    August 15, 2017 at 13:31

    Great stuff man! I also found that I needed to make dietary and exercise changes and it was very difficult to get into. It was a schlep to get on the bike or make my way to gym, and I love pizza with all my heart. But as soon as I woke up one day and realized HOLY BALLS I’m fitter, I’m thinner, I’m happier – it got 1000% easier. Never go back.


    • RinceThis

      August 15, 2017 at 13:34

      Totally agree with you. The initial start is hard.


  8. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 15, 2017 at 13:33

    Cool piece, Richard!

    That second last paragraph is important. Need to take the pressure off yourself and relax. What works for me is not measuring anything & everything I do, eat or weigh. Far as I’m concerned as long as you’re doing the right stuff 90% of the time you’re fine. Balance in your lifestyle, eat in moderation, find exercise you enjoy – then you’ll stick with it. But if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, or don’t actually want to do it in the first place, you won’t.


    • Richard | Beetle001

      August 15, 2017 at 13:48

      It’s probably the most important advice and biggest take-away from this that I’d offer if I had to offer just one. Be ok with failing sometimes, just be strong enough to keep going.


    • Anon A Mouse

      August 15, 2017 at 14:10

      Wise sagely words from the Emperor.


    • miaau

      August 16, 2017 at 11:44

      You know, when you write things like this, I do believe you are a nice guy!

      You know, not a guy that, seemingly in a random fashion, insults people on this site in interesting,, varied and above all out the box ways.


  9. Anon A Mouse

    August 15, 2017 at 13:39

    Well done on taking the journey to a healthier lifestyle (it is a lifestyle not a diet). Have a look at the truth about exercise. It was a BBC documentary a few year back. Being healthy and exercising are mutually exclusive. Exercising is good for toning and an all around good feel, but if you have to exercise to lose weight then you are not eating correctly.

    Also have a look at Brian Berkman’s journey, he lost over 70kgs in 4 years while banting.

    Cudos again.


  10. Original Heretic

    August 15, 2017 at 13:40

    Good on ya, mate. As long as you have a goal and are actively working toward it, you can consider it a success.
    Too many people lose sight of the fact that merely working at something puts them ahead of most people out there. Laziness is not an option!


    • Anon A Mouse

      August 15, 2017 at 13:41

      Is that why Lazygamer got re branded?


      • Original Heretic

        August 15, 2017 at 13:43

        I…um…crap I walked into that one…


  11. HvR

    August 15, 2017 at 14:05

    Good on you man,

    Also started taking a hard look at myself, at least me eating habits are decent but an inactive lifestyle which as more to do with work than gaming the last couple of years is taking its toll.


  12. Yolanda Green

    August 15, 2017 at 14:41

    Well done <3 You are so strong, and truly I admire you for fighting these battles.
    – They're inexplicably hard –

    I've had a decade long battle myself, and it's been many years of ups and downs. Reading this has made me realise that I need to get my shit together again.

    I'm in the "slipping back into old habits" phase right now 😐 Thank you for sharing your story.


  13. Matthew Figueira

    August 15, 2017 at 15:10

    Great piece 🙂 well done on what you’ve achieved dude!

    Parkrun is honestly one of the best habits I’ve ever adopted. I’ve been going pretty consistently for 2-3 years now 🙂 10/10 would recommend more people do it!


  14. Dr Bro Hammer

    August 15, 2017 at 15:26

    That Fish River canyon hike is amazing – I’m actually keen to do it again – especially now that I’m an older fella

    But awesome work, Richard! Keep it up!


  15. Happy Meal

    August 15, 2017 at 15:36

    Respect………….. Just inspirational bookmarking this for my motivation to get up and do something


  16. Admiral Chief

    August 15, 2017 at 16:00

    Whoa, good read!

    Well done and good on ya!


  17. Doge Man

    August 15, 2017 at 16:53

    Well done man, its always good to see people take care of themselves!
    You have probably inspired others along the way, so good for you man.


  18. WhiteRock

    August 16, 2017 at 07:39

    Bloody well done – that is exceptional! Been a bit of a lifestyle change myself -20 kg’s down; I can feel the difference in mood, sleep, time spent with my son and general all round day to day, so making that change is Hard in the short term, but rewarding in the long term!


    • Richard | Beetle001

      August 17, 2017 at 08:55

      Nice job! It’s pretty amazing how quickly you feel the good changes… and when you let yourself slip a bit how quickly you start to feel rough again.


      • WhiteRock

        August 17, 2017 at 09:14

        Thanks! Ah man – that is so true! For me, especially when it comes to refined carbs and sugars, I can feel the difference in my immune system withing 48 hours; since changing my diet I’ve been sick a lot less and my sleep is a lot more effective(2 kids so 8 hours is a luxury). And then exercise – after a week of none my back starts to hurt, I get agitated, etcetc. But I’m grateful that I could make the change and love seeing the results!


  19. miaau

    August 16, 2017 at 10:46

    WOW, Richard.

    What a story, 1.6 years in the making. That is very inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing.

    AND, on a side, note, you, sir, can write an engaging article where I did not find nit-picky issues of grammar of spelling (there may be some that I missed).

    Also, this site, perhaps since Zoe left, has put up several articles where the grammar and spelling could be better.


    • Geoffrey Tim

      August 16, 2017 at 11:38

      It’s a case of corellation!= causation I’m afraid. oe only hopped in to edit when I asked her to. In truth, I’m largely short staffed right now and have to do a lot more writing, which means less time for cop and sub editing. Unfortunate case, but it’ll improve soon. 🙂


      • miaau

        August 16, 2017 at 11:42

        orellation!= causation, fair enough I cannot pretend to know what happens in the innards.

        And about being short staffed….. yes, I understand that all too well. I need at least 3 new staff, for various positions, but the cost, the budget…. So, we all learn to make do.

        Good luck!


    • Richard | Beetle001

      August 17, 2017 at 08:54

      Thanks for the kind words! And thank you for reading!


  20. Han Cilliers

    August 16, 2017 at 17:03

    Just wanted to drop in and salute you for writing this. Hope you keep going and I wish you all the best. Respect.


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