A personal trainer from Glasgow has told of how he lost a huge 12 stone in weight after he was unable to go on a ride at the Irn Bru Carnival.
Zahid Javed was so embarrassed when staff were unable to secure him into the seat on the ride that he vowed to come back a year to the day and fit in with no problems.
And, reader – he did exactly that, returning a year later and seven stone lighter.
21-year-old Zahid was a law student when he completely overhauled his diet, and started working out.
He had struggled with his weight for years, saying he had always been known as a ‘big boy’.
But after losing his 12 stone in weight, Zahid changed his life even further by setting up his own fitness company called Z1 Fitness, after thinking he would work as a lawyer.
Zahid, now 31, helps other people to ditch the weight and embark on their own fitness journey.
Speaking to our sister paper the Daily Record, Zahid said: “I was always a big boy as a kid and into my teenage years. When I left school, I just got bigger and bigger. My highest weight that I got to was 158kg.
“People have always made comments on my weight but when you’re that big, you tend to laugh it off or make fun of yourself first so that no one else does.
“I went to the Irn Bru Carnival with friends on New Year’s Day and went to go on a ride. I was sitting there waiting for the guy to come and close the safety catch and he couldn’t get it closed due to how big my stomach was. He was struggling so much.
“As you can imagine, you’ve got all these people there, particularly little kids and teenagers, who wouldn’t understand and were laughing at me.
“It was the most embarrassing point in my life and I realised that I needed to do something. I literally made a commitment that day.
“I said I was going to go back there in one years time and I was going to make sure I fit in that ride. That’s how I kind of dealt with it but at that point I decided that enough was enough. It kind of took off from there.”
Zahid, who now weighs 12.5 stone, admits that he made several mistakes in the first few months of his weight loss journey by following fad and unsustainable diets that lead to him falling off the wagon.
Eventually realising he needed proper help, he enlisted the support of a coach who helped him drop almost 100lbs in just one year.
He added: “I remember, even though I lost the weight, I was still s******* myself to get back on that ride because of the flashbacks that happened last time. I was sitting there and the guy put the safety catch down with ease and it was just like a sigh of relief.
“I had done it. I’d made the commitment and had been able to fit into the ride and things spiralled from there. I would never have thought that I would be helping people on their weight loss journey.
“I always thought I would graduate from uni with a law degree, become a lawyer and work a 9-5 job and that was it. I never thought I’d be helping people lose weight.”
Now a qualified personal trainer, Zahid revealed that the key to success is consistency, patience and a positive mindset change.
Zahid explained: “I’m all about making sure that people still enjoy their social life and eat the foods that they like while still getting the results. They don’t have to take diet pills, shakes, powders or any of these other fads out there.
“People need to realise that they’re going to have bad days. They happen to all of us. The key point is not turning that bad day into a bad week and then a bad week into a bad month. It’s a mindset thing.
“Once you flip that mindset and realise that having one bad day isn’t the end of the world and that you’ve always got the choice at your very next meal or snack to get back on track.
“If you eat good, wholesome food 80% of the time and then food you enjoy in moderation during the other 20%, you’ll still see a difference.
“You can have a bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate and not feel guilty about it. People who want to make a change can get started by doing something small – it doesn’t need to be anything major.
“It can be a ten or 15 minute walk to begin with and build it up from there. If you regularly eat a sharing size chocolate bar, swap it for a standard one instead.
“It took me just under four years more or less to lose the weight. I think if people were patient, consistent and realised that it does need to be a lifestyle change rather than six or twelve weeks of change, then eventually they will see results.
“It might take a year or two depending on how much weight they have to lose but you don’t need to diet for the rest of your life.”