Truckie sheds 90kg to take on next challenge
JUST over a year ago Jason Van Stam was so big he couldn't tie his shoelaces and puffed when he tried to walk to the letterbox.
The resident of Cranbourne a suburb on Melbourne's South East , then an interstate truck driver, weighed 210kg.
On his honeymoon to Thailand people had to check chairs for him to make sure they would not break underneath him. He was tired all the time and had high blood pressure.
When a doctor told him he would be lucky to last another five years, he decided to make a change.
He had gastric sleeve surgery and learned to eat smaller amounts of protein-based meals to bring his weight down.
He joined Menners Health and Fitness in Braeside, which he now attends five or six times a week doing weights and other exercise with help from a trainer.
On his 40th birthday in August 2016 he set himself a challenge that would have been unthinkable a year ago: to complete his first 'Half Mudder' endurance and obstacle course.
Mr Van Stam, who now works as a garbage truck driver, said he was always large, reaching 185cm when he was 12, but at that time he was active in sports and it was "all muscle".
He said it was easy to gain weight as an interstate truck driver on tight deadlines and didn't notice his weight until it stood in the way of his life.
"It's much easier to pull into the roadhouse and get a pie and a potato cake and a spring roll than it is to wait for them to make something healthy," he said.
"Driving interstate, by the time you get to Sydney or Adelaide you might have been driving for 10 hours and you do not feel like going for a walk or exercising, you just want to have a shower and go to bed - it's a vicious cycle.
"A lot of people are very judgmental as well they do not know the full story behind things."
Mr Van Stam, now 120kg, is fundraising for Soldier On as part of his Half Mudder challenge, saying he came from a big military family and the charity did a lot to support returned service people.
He said his aim was to do all the obstacles in the course, even if it took him a long time.
Originally published as : Cranbourne man who lost 90kg is ready for his next challenge: Tough Mudder