A man has revealed how he transformed from ‘obese into beast’ after a difficult break up spurred him on to change his life.
After his ex walked out on him at 26st, Phelim Stack, 29, from Bristol, hit the gym, losing almost half his body weight in just 18 months, completely transforming his physique.
Phelim joined his local gym the day after his partner walked out and has since overturned his eating habits to lose an impressive 12 stone.
The aerospace engineer said: ‘I decided to make the change instantly the night she walked out. I just wanted the weight gone like literal baggage consuming me and my thoughts.
To transform his unhealthy lifestyle Phelim changed his diet so that he only ate one 1,800-calorie meal a day and did a cardio workout daily
Phelim Stack weighed 26 stone (left) when his girlfriend dumped him. Determined to get in better shape, he ditched junk food and hit the gym and managed to lose half his body weight in 18 months (right)
‘I was in a very bad headspace. But I decided: “My story isn’t over yet”. If I had carried on eating the way I was, I would have been dead by the age of 30.’
His five-year-old is proud of his father and even calls him ‘Muscle Daddy’.
Phelim was a slim 14 stone when he met his ex – but long work trips and greasy takeaways saw him pile on the pounds fast.
After the break-up Phelim was desperate to change and began to combine periods of fasting – eating just one 1,800kcal meal in the evening – with cardio in the gym every single day. He was often seen on the treadmill at 2am.
To keep his healthy habits going during the coronavirus lockdown Phelim did one hour of weight training and one hour of cardio every single day
‘Nothing was stopping me,’ he said. ‘I was on a mission. I was always told by mum that I’m a very good looking man.
‘I have a lot to offer the right person, a good job, morals, family respect. I just needed to sort my physical self out to become the best version of myself.’
Depressed, and wanting to avoid drugs, Phelim found that exercise started to help his mood, particularly after hearing that his ex had started a new relationship just a few weeks after their break-up.
‘The break-up was possibly the worst experience of my life. To have your entire bubble burst, and not see it coming, is a very uncomfortable place to be in.
‘I avoided medication and decided: “I’m going to use exercise as my anti-depressant”. Free endorphins and dopamine was the better option for me than medication from the doctor.’
Phelim’s diet before
Breakfast – Monster Energy drink, sausage roll or pasty.
Lunch – Wrap/sandwich with chicken or prawn mayo, chips or potatoes.
Snacks – Cakes and chocolate bars.
Dinner – Takeaway kebab munchie box, Indian or Chinese including rice or noodles covered in a sauce.
Drinks – Cider or gin and lemonade
Phelim’s diet now
Breakfast – Skip unless there’s a heavy morning weights session
Lunch – Wrap with three tins of tuna and light mayonnaise.
Dinner – Seasoned chicken, green beans and 100g of pasta with a tomato sauce
Or white fish or beef with potatoes or white rice depending on training schedule
During lockdown he stayed on track by doing one hour of weight training and one hour on his bike every day.
Phelim began to overeat as a child and when he got to secondary school he was bullied for his size.
‘My weight started to really balloon in my mid 20s. I believe the stress of working away in my job and long hours led to nights consuming highly calorific foods.
‘I would typically eat wraps with chicken and mayonnaise, cakes, chocolate and almost always when working away I’d get a kebab or Indian takeaway. I did no exercise then, it was painful and extremely hard on my body and breathing.
‘My state of mind at my largest was a very blurred and horrible place to be. My only concern at that time was providing for my family and looking after them. I thought I was in a place of no return.’
Now Phelim, who is single, is a changed man. He can be found strength training at the gym six times per week and adds cycling and running to his routine. One day he dreams of competing in an Iron Man competition.
‘I want to see the look of pride on my son’s face,’ he said.
Now that he’s in good shape, Phelim trains strength six times a week and also runs and cycles to mix his exercise routine up
‘My food choices are conscious 24/7. I’m fully aware of nutrition and the impact of foods, I always hit my protein target daily, it’s non-negotiable. At the weekend I don’t track and relax more with food.
‘Now my lifestyle is all about nutrition, exercise and keeping fit. I’ve self-studied so much and now having the understanding of calories and macros has made life a lot easier.’
Phelim even helps others who reach out through his Instagram page @obese_into_beast.
‘I have people all around the world messaging me for support with eating habits, food choices, fitness questions, and exercise support. I give advice where I can from my personal development and my own factual research. I believe I need to give back to the world as I made it to the other side.
‘If I could give the old me one piece of advice, it would be: “Stop eating recklessly. It will cost you more than you think. Stop buying the next size up. Don’t think that buying up to 5XL is normal, because it’s not. Don’t neglect yourself, you only get one life”.’