Disclaimer: God is a huge part of my life, thus Christianity and god is mentioned several times in my story. Whatever faith you are there I hope that there are lessons in my journey to inspire you.
‘’Dalton, it is now or never.’’ I breathed in deeply, closed my eyes and got onto the digital scale. A few seconds later, I lowered my head and stared at the three-digit figure displayed on the scale. ‘’182kg’s!’’
I placed my right hand on my mouth and slowly shook my head. I went to my cupboard, put on my 6xl shirt and size 56 pants, grabbed my school bag and walked to school. During the last period, one of my learners showed me the Facebook feed of one of his friends. I laughed and said, ‘’ when were these pics taken of me? I look like Gumbo the whale.’’ I read the comments posted about me and shook my head.
The worst part was that I agreed with them, thus I did not report them. I was being photographed and laughed at regularly by learners and this was something that paralysed me. After school, I locked my classroom door and sat quietly at my desk. While marking assignments, tears wet my shirt. These children were cruel towards me.
It reminded me of my own high school experience. I was mocked, teased and bullied on a regular basis. I stood up and slammed my fist into the blackboard. I threw my kids assignments onto the floor and pushed a few desks around. ‘’ I am so sick of this! Dalton, stop allowing them to walk all over you!’’ After my outburst, I cleaned my classroom, waited until everyone had left and walked home slowly. When I finally got home, I was out of breath. Walking for more than 10 minutes was a very strenuous exercise and I was not able to run for more than a few seconds.
A few minutes later, I secretly devoured the NikNaks, large Milky bar and chicken pie I bought on my way home. The rest of my luxuries were added to my secret stash which was hidden away in my cupboard. After a binge eating session during the middle of the night, I sat down on the floor and spoke to myself, ‘’ You’re such a joke. Such a loser. Pathetic.’’ After my pity party, I prayed, ‘’Lord, please don’t take me to heaven yet. Please help me!’’
This was a typical day in my life. I would struggle with my emotions and overeat after being fat-shamed. Nobody knew why I was morbidly obese. Today I will share the reasons behind my morbid obesity.
Traumatic Event 1: Moving away from home at 5 years old.
During a certain season in my childhood, things were very tense at home. I was ill-treated by certain family members and this angered my mother. Due to this incident, my mother felt it was safer for me to move away from home. I moved to Paarl and lived with my grandparents. When I returned home, my mother told me that my unhealthy relationship with food had begun.
Traumatic Event 2: Boyhood Molestation.
I was molested as a child. I was not raped, but endured a few incidences that devastated me. This was one of the reasons for rapid weight-gain when I was a boy.
Traumatic Event 3: Man-boobs (moobs) at 13 years old.
My man boobs started growing and this became the start of a nightmare for me. Some of my bullies squeezed or rubbed my breasts, because they believed I was a milk producing science freak show. People in public places stared at my “moobs” and some of them made comments about it. The excess chest fat made me dislike my body.
Traumatic Event 4: Rejection.
Some of my own family members were ashamed of me. Some of them did not want to be seen with me in public. They called me names and made me feel like an outcast. They could not accept me due to my appearance.
Traumatic Event 5: False accusations as an adult.
I have been falsely accused of very serious things by people in authoritative positions. I was accused of being a thief, adulterer, stalker, mentally unstable and satan’s worker. I rejected these ideas, but was shocked that people could see me as an immoral person.
I have gone through other painful experiences due to being morbidly obese. I have been fat-shamed numerous times. I have been mocked and teased by many people during my childhood and their words and actions strengthened the lie that I was worthless, irrelevant and weak.
The effects of my traumatic events.
I was battling depression throughout my teens and 20’s. I was suicidal during various stages of my life. I had regular anxiety attacks and feared dying of a heart attack. I believed lies such as: nobody will hire me looking like a whale, a woman will never find me attractive, nobody loves me, I am a weak man, I am irrelevant, my opinion doesn’t matter and God made a mistake creating me. I always felt something was wrong with me due to these lies told to me.
I was a big binge eater.
I needed to feel sick before I would stop. I would overeat when I was fat-shamed, hurt, depressed and even when I was happy. I only desired unhealthy carbs such as white bread, sweets, chips, chocolates, biscuits, pastries etc. Food was my medicine, best friend and comforter. The biggest issue to me was dealing with other people. I used various defence mechanisms to protect myself from getting hurt. It was hard to trust and relate to people. I rarely left my comfort zone and preferred being hidden from the world.
I needed a miracle, because I was giving up on living.
My Spiritual Breakthrough: An encounter with God.
My mother encouraged me to attend a new church in Somerset West and I reluctantly went with her. My Pastor preached a sermon that changed my life. His message was about, ‘’ Speaking life.’’ He mentioned that Proverbs 18:21 says that, ‘’Life and death is in the power of the tongue.’’ He asked us to monitor what we’re saying about our own lives and then he taught us how to renew our thinking. It was almost like God was speaking to me. God is amazing!
I went home, took off my clothes and stood naked before the huge mirror. I looked at the man I loathed for many years and said, ‘’ You’re no longer obese! You are healed from food addiction in the name of Jesus Christ. You are a strong man. You’re a powerful man.’’ Something inside of me changed the moment I said a positive confession and meant it.
For the first time I wanted to change. I no longer desired obesity. I decided to fight for my life!
Three months later at church, a preacher from the USA came and prayed for anybody who was broken inside. He told us to stand and give your pain to God. I was hesitant and scared. I slowly stood up in church and spoke to God about my obesity. I closed my eyes and forgot about the world around me. I started thinking back to the painful moments in my life and said, ‘’Lord, help me.’’ In that one moment, I felt the pain I had buried. I had to sit down due to severe chest pains. A few minutes later I was calm and at peace. I had a spiritual experience that changed my life forever. Praise God!
It is 2 years later and I lost 75kg’s thus far!
It was not easy! Sometimes I wanted to throw in the towel. Sometimes the old habits sneaked back into my life and for a while I allowed it to win, but deep down I did not desire the old lifestyle and fought it. I learned how to deal with my emotions in a healthy manner. I either pray or talk about it! This time I knew the transformation would last forever! The transformation is astounding! Yes! Let’s look at a few ways in which I have grown as a man.
The effects of losing a substantial amount of weight.
I have accepted who I am for the first time in my life. I finally found my purpose for living. I love God, writing, counselling and education. I decided to be a Christian writer. I started blogging and is currently writing my book about childhood obesity. I also enjoy writing novels and plan to publish over 20 books in my lifetime. I cannot wait to see some of the sleekgeeks at my launch party!
My physical transformation shocked me! I am becoming aware of my bones and loose skin is forming all over my body. My chest is developing and finally these moobs are starting to get smaller. Hallelujah! I went from size 56 to 42 pants and from 6xl to 2xl shirts. My shoe size went from size 11 to 10. My physique goal is to reach the 10% body fat mark. I will be working towards this goal for the next 5 years. My transformation process is a work in progress. I am excited to see the ‘’thin me’’ for the first time in my life. Please keep me in prayer sleeks!
It is better to give than receive (Acts 20: 35), thus I will share a few things I have implemented to overcome food addiction.
1.Work through your pain.
The most important step is dealing with your heart. There is a specific reason why you’re overeating. Please go see a councillor or someone you can trust to help you through this process. My root problem was toxic shame and lies. Once I worked through my trauma in therapy, I stopped overeating. Forgive your offenders and forgive yourself. Sleeks, please work through your pain and begin the process of healing.
- Speak life: Speak the things you want to see manifested in your life.
I fill my mind with positive words and images of the things I wanted to see manifested in my life. I spend 5 minutes a day doing my confessions. On my wall you will find scriptures, biblical confessions, quotes, writing schedules, a huge image of 72kg’s and a vision board. Before bedtime I do my confessions and pray about it. Renewing your mind is one of the most important things you must do! Remove the weeds and plant new seeds!
- Follow an eating plan: Find a healthy plan and make it your lifestyle.
I follow a ketogenic plan, which is a high fat, moderate protein and low-carb diet. At certain periods I do a vegan diet or water fast for spiritual reasons. I am the healthiest I have been due to continually eating this way. I also believe in the 90/10 rule introduced to me by Sleekgeek. At times I do carb-cycling, but the most important part is getting back to eating healthy immediately.
- Do exercise: Start with low impact exercises such as walking and weight training.
I started walking at the sports track. I also do low impact aerobics and beginner dumbbell workouts. Please do not attempt the more advanced exercises and stick to safer workouts in the beginning. Please ask advice from professionals when it comes to starting a fitness programme. It is of paramount importance.
5: Spend time with God.
The first thing I do when I wake up is pray! Spending time reading the bible gives me strength for my day. It is the food that keeps me strong. Hallelujah! God is the most important person in my life, thus I make Him my priority.
6: Follow successful people.
I immersed myself in healthy living, thus I filled my mind with the ideas and resources from successful people in various fields. I visited their websites, joined their email lists, bought their books and watched their videos on YouTube. I also discovered that some of the information could be incorrect, therefore I consulted multiple resources. If you’re not a bookworm or avid researcher, then please consult coach Eric and Elan. I believe it is important to grow as a person. Invest in your personal growth!
- Find an accountability partner and support group. Do not do this alone!
The Sleekgeek Facebook Group is a great place to share your struggles and victories. Your online family will be the spectators cheering for your victory! If you feel you need human interaction and accountability, then find a support group in your area. At this point in your journey, you need the encouragement and support from others. Find someone to monitor your progress. Evaluate what you’re doing regularly and make regular adjustments to your plan.
It has been a privilege to share my story with all of you. Thanks Coach Elan and Eric for providing an amazing platform to share our healthy living journey. I always had spiritual leaders, thus having health leaders was a new addition to my life. Thank you for being an example in health. I value the videos, informative articles, gym selfies (Reminded me to leave my books and go workout), positive attitude, affirmation and support. Keep on inspiring the world!
Many thanks to all the sleek heroes! Reading your stories inspired me. All the best for the year.
Sleekgeek is like a river. It is constantly flowing with great information and inspiration. Please contribute towards the vision so that more people can be reached with this powerful message. I believe in the vision, thus Sleekgeek is on my prayer list.
A million thanks to God. Without You my life would be meaningless. I have to honor my mother! She has always been my biggest supporter. You’re a blessing to me and I promise to make you proud, mom. Thanks to everybody who have played a positive role in my life. Thank you for accepting and believing in me.
Sleeks, you are capable of being mentally, physically and spiritually healthy. Gardener, remove the weeds and plant new seeds and your life will be changed forever. You are a champion! You can do this! I believe in you. I look forward to reading your success story on the Sleekgeek website! Be blessed.
Dalton: Son of God, Writer, Sleekgeek and an Obesity conqueror.