Alita Cobb, Elle Goodall and Shannon Taylor.
Alita Cobb, Elle Goodall and Shannon Taylor. Contributed

Death threat pushes overweight man to make a change

"IF YOU don't do something, you're going to die."

It was those words that pushed Sunshine Coast man Shannon Taylor to make a change.

The 31-year-old has lost nearly 90kg and has turned his life around after hitting rock bottom last year.

Mr Taylor lost about 50kg four or five times but when he stopped dieting "it would all stack back on".

"I was at a point where I could hardly walk, couldn't run, I just got shin splints constantly and just hit rock bottom mentally," he said.

On April 19, 2018, Mr Taylor undertook a gastric sweep and 14 months on went from weighing 175kg to 87kg with the help and support of Alita Cobb and Elle Goodall.

The trio encouraged each other through their weight-loss journeys and are now working towards the Noosa Triathlon later in the year.

"The biggest transformation is mentally," Mr Taylor said.

"For the first time in my life I can literally say I'm happy because I'm doing things I enjoy, I'm doing things because I want to and I can do it.

"And I try to acknowledge things, like being able to bend down and tie my shoes without having to hold my breath."

Mr Taylor said a common assumption with weight-loss surgery was that it's the easy way out, which he thought was far from the truth.

"Weight loss wasn't easy, it's hard work and the surgery just took out the addiction to food," he said.

"It needs to be known that it's not a magic wand, it's not just going to make you lose weight.

"It's a great tool and some people do take advantage of it but the people that really reap the awards are the ones that change their lifestyle and take the opportunity."

For years, Mr Taylor would reward himself with food or alcohol and found it became an addiction over the years.

The surgery allowed him to break the addiction and gave him the freedom to create a lifestyle that wasn't based around food.

"It restricts how much you can eat, and because I couldn't eat much I became a lot smarter with what I put in my mouth," he said.

"I really focused on food that would give me good energy."

He said the real key to his success was the support from Ms Cobb and Ms Goodall, who also undertook the surgery.

"Find someone you can exercise with," Mr Taylor said.

"I've met other people who encourage me when I don't feel like getting out.

"It's about having the people that push you and then you reap the rewards together and it just makes the journey so much more enjoyable."

Mr Taylor said this was just the start of his journey, and had a goal of one day completing an Ironman competition.

"For me it's the start and that's the lifestyle I've found that I really enjoy," he said.

"I would be suffering hardcore now if I didn't get it."

Follow their journey's on social media at @elles_journey_to_good_health, @finding_lita_x, @shannons_story

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