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A truckie’s transformation
04November/2016

A truckie’s transformation

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A truckie’s transformation

Giving up KFC for chicken breast and his truck driver’s seat for the gym, in just 10 weeks James Royal shed more than 30kg and turned his life around. 

WORDS KIRSTIN CUTHBERT 

STATS

Name: James Royal
Age: 45
Occupation: Transport Industry
Location: Gold Coast, QLD

James Royal has worked in the transport industry for 30 years. With a sedentary lifestyle full of takeaway and soft drink, he was feeling flat, had ongoing knee issues and weighed 123.8kg. His lifestyle was catching up with him.

He would be on the road driving 24/7, going from the Gold Coast to Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Townsville and Brisbane. On the road, there was little healthy food available, so James would rely on KFC, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, Coca Cola and Lemonade. He was focused on his job and his health had taken a backseat.

“I think everyone’s really busy with their own work and life; they get a little bit concentrated on money more than their health,” he says.

“In the truck, you’re always doing for other people and you’re never doing for yourself. You’re always working for your boss and making sure he’s got plenty of money in his pocket.

“You never get a reward for it. The only reward you get as a truck driver is big and fat.”

Feeling particularly low on energy, James went into ASN Robina to get something that would help him. He had been in a few times before and had talked with Tristan, the owner and manager of the store.

On this visit, though, Tristan told him there was a 10-week challenge happening soon, and it sparked James’ interest.

“At the time, I’d just finished work,” James says.

“I’d had enough. I wasn’t getting any better. My knees were flogged out, you know, with the extra weight on; they copped a lot of stress.

“I also had a hernia. I had massive shin splints constantly, so I had to bind and ice my shins. My back was always aching, as well as my neck.

“I was restless, like when you go to sleep but you can’t sleep because you’ve had so much sugar in the day, you get sleep deprivation. Not a healthy style.

“When Tristan mentioned the challenge, I just went, ‘Okay, I’ll give it a go’. I just thought I’d lose five or eight kilos.”

James got some supplements from ASN, including a pre-workout, L-carnitine, Pyro, DeFine8 and protein, as well as advice on what to eat and do. And with that, he began the challenge.

Going at it “100 miles an hour”, James struggled initially, but still gave it everything he had. The weight began piling off him, and at the five-week mark, he’d lost 19kg — and 13 of those kilos were pure body fat, according to a body composition analysis.

As James began to see and feel the changes, this pushed him to keep going.

“Every day that went by, I could feel I was getting more energy, more motivation,” he says. “I liked the feeling I was experiencing, instead of sitting in a truck, driving and doing nothing every day.”

He dedicated himself to turning his life around in those 10 weeks. He only ate clean food and educated himself on calories and nutrition.

Training for two hours a day, four times a day, James would do cardio and isolate one body part per session through weight training.

All this training was certainly not easy for him and he would be in constant agony. He’d bind and ice his shins when they were in too much pain from his shin splints but he never stopped. He truly tested the limits of his previously sedentary body.

“My body was just … you have no idea … it was killing me,” he says.

“I kept collapsing, but I still kept picking myself up. I broke my body and kept breaking it and breaking it until I came through the other side. The spirit, the will, the sheer determination, it’s good. I pushed it every time.”

James not only got through the 10 weeks and turned his life and health around, but he also lost 32.4kg, finishing at lean 91.4kg. His body fat dropped from 50 per cent to 18 per cent.

Plus he was the male winner of the Australia-wide ASN 10-week challenge. While he did give the challenge his all, he says he never did it for a prize.

“I wanted to do this for myself,” he says. “I was just going to get in there and have a go. As I said, I was only going for 5 to 8kg. I thought, ‘I can do that’. And then it just turned into a life-changing 180 — from a bad life to a really healthy life.”

While he won the challenge, James explains that even if he hadn’t, he already felt he had.

“I had lost all this weight,” he says. “I’d already won. This was a challenge for me to see if I could change my life, and I have certainly done that.”

During the competition, all James did was train, eat and rest at home. He never went out to dinner or deviated from his plan; he had a vision and nothing was getting in his way.

He says he is incredibly thankful for his fiancée, Yuqi, who he credits with a large part of his weight-loss.

“If I didn’t have the support of my lovely fiancée, none of this would have been possible,” he says.

“She has done everything for me. All my meals she cooked and made sure I ate. She got me to eat clean. Without her support, it wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t have lost this weight.”

He is also thankful to Tristan for suggesting the challenge to him and feels he too played a large part in the transformation.

“Without him, I’d probably be really big still,” James says.

“I can’t thank that bloke enough. He’s been a mentor. He’s been such an ambassador to me. Without him, I would have still been in the truck.”

Another factor behind James doing the challenge was his family and the current circumstances they’re facing in their lives.

“The family is going through a little bit of a tough time at the moment,” he says.

“My brother is only 58 and has leukaemia. My mother is 82 and she lost her leg. I’m dealing with all of that and all the stress of life and what it throws at us.”

His brother’s diagnosis made James think of what he could do to help and now James has put himself in a much better position to do so.

“My brother has got a fight on his hands,” he says.

“His bone marrow is starting to go down and I want to get as healthy as I can just in case I need to put my hand up and put my life out there for his life. So the healthier I get, it will benefit him.”

As for the future, James is focused on continuing to get healthier and healthier. He is doing two or three gym sessions a day, rather than four, and is planning on dropping this back to just two a day.

“I’m just staying on track,” he says. “I’m going to train for myself, to improve myself the best way that I can. And look fantastic and feel really fantastic.”

In 10 weeks, he has truly turned his life around and shows that if you really set your mind to something, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.

“If someone gives me a goal, I’d like to achieve that goal,” he says.

“I don’t just sit around doing anything anymore; I go for it. Whatever comes out of life, whatever life offers me, I want to grab with both hands. I don’t look back now; I just look forward.” 

JAMES’ ADVICE FOR OTHER GUYS

There are so many distractions in life. A lot of people are concentrating on what they shouldn’t be doing, and they should start to concentrate on what they should be doing. Once you do that, your life will change. Facebook, Twitter, texting, gossip — once you can get rid of all that and stop concentrating on that, and start concentrating on yourself, that’s when you can make the change and your life will turn around. Too much negative energy is used on all that sort of stuff.

JAMES’ DIET

Pre-workout: 1 litre of water with L-carnitine and Pyro
Post-workout: 60g oats with 1 scoop of protein and half a banana
Lunch: 200g chicken breast with brown rice, 6 almonds and broccoli
Snack: Lean protein shake
Pre-workout: Fish and sweet potato
Post-workout: 200g chicken and rice

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