A Rathangan man has turned his life around in the last 12 months. After losing 10 stone he is now planning to complete his first half Ironman.
39 year old John Casey, a dad of two, was an active and sporty young man but work and life took over in his early 20s. But when he started driving a taxi six years ago, the weight just piled on. He was a 23 stone man with a 44 inch waist.
He’s now 13 stone with a 30 inch waist.
The secret? Well, it’s not really a secret. John says it may be a cliché, but exercising more and eating less is the only way to do it.
Initially he was too heavy to run or ride a bike, so he went to the K-Leisure gym where they did a program for a him.
“They were great in there,” John’s wife Anne told the Leinster Leader. “They were very good to him.”
John recalls losing three stone within a matter of a few weeks, which spurred him on.
“I was fairly determined I suppose.”
It got harder once he hit 15 stone.
“It started to get really hard. I wasn’t overly worried about it, but a really had to watch what I was eating.
“I’m still eating really well – chicken, pasta, fish, a minimum of potatoes, cutting out rubbish and junk.
“It’s just plain old hard work. It’s a cliché, but that’s what it takes.
“You have to get out for an hour in the evenings. I was a divil for eating at night, but now if I’m hungry, it’s a pear or a peach, stuff like that.”
His wife says that the family had no life with John when he was so heavy.
“He would just sit there.
“But then one day last September he just got up out of bed and left, saying he was going to the gym, and never looked back.”
“I just had to cop meself on,” John explains. “I thought, I may as well lose it now., because in another 10 years I could have health troubles with the weight.
“Now is the time to do it rather than in in ten years time.”
John was lucky to meet up with a good group of lads who are part of the Clane Wheelers cycling club.
They cycling between 120 and 150 on the bike at the weekends, and he runs with a number of them as well.
“It’s a great group of guys. I’d recommend getting involved with a good group. It makes all the difference.”
For the half Ironman, which will be on September 2, he’ll need to swim two kilometres, cycling 90kms and run 21.
He’s not worried about being able to do it, but he’s conscious there’ll be no speed records broken.
But for him, the achievement is getting from 23 stone to doing an Ironman in a year.
- Conor McHugh