Nathan Robinson is well on his way to losing 100 pounds over the three months of the Times Colonist Health Challenge.
The 39-year-old father of two plans to eventually lose 200 pounds from his six-foot, six-inch frame.
He came into the challenge weighing 495 pounds, and has already lost about 30 after four weeks of working out and following a low-fat, high-energy food plan.
It will come as no surprise that Robinson once played football for two Lower Mainland teams, the Richmond Raiders and Renfrew Trojans. He stopped playing football at 22, but kept eating like an athlete, putting on 10 pounds a year since then.
He currently has a desk job working in collections, but he previously worked as a bouncer and some people around town still call him by his bouncer nickname, Tiny.
Now, he’s a father of two — Quinton, who turns 13 today, and two-year-old Isabella — and he needs all the energy he can get to keep up with them.
The self-described workaholic is now making time to work out nearly every day.
“I’m exhausted, but I know the weight is coming off,” Robinson said this week.
Robinson has already inspired Quinton to get more active, and father and son plan to do their workouts together starting next week.
Quinton, who attends Colquitz Middle School, is happy his dad is getting fit, and said it will be cool to work out together. “I think it’s great,” Quinton said. “Last night, he said he was going to run four kilometres, and he ran five.”
Robinson’s wife, Katrina, is thrilled with the workout plan. “I’ve been with Nathan for 11 years and he has always been heavy,” she said. “I tried to get him to lose weight and it’s been an up-and-down, yo-yo cycle.”
Katrina, 35, hopes to join her husband for aquafit classes once she can overcome the emotional challenge of leaving little Isabella at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre’s daycare.
Robinson has always put so much into his work that he hasn’t taken good care of himself, she said.
“Now he’s finally doing something for himself and I’m trying to back him,” Katrina said.
Robinson said one big change, aside from the exhausting exercise, is how he eats.
“I’d say I’m eating the same amount, but I’ve changed what I’m eating — now it’s more fruits and vegetables.”
He doesn’t skip breakfast and lunch anymore, either.
“I feel I have more energy,” he said. “My body is getting used to losing weight.”
Strangers often approach Robinson at the gym to offer encouragement and support.
“They say, ‘You’re doing well — you look good,’ ” he said.
Such support galvanizes Robinson in his desire to succeed: “I don’t want to fail,” he said. “I’d feel heartbroken if I failed at what I was doing.”
He has entered a five-kilometre run in March and plans to finish in 30 minutes. Then, on April 28, he’ll be participating in the Times Colonist 10K.
“There’s nothing I can’t do,” he said. “I’m introducing a new me to the world.”
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