Exercise, diet better - slimmer

Updated: Apr 24

The New Zealand Herald


Damien Martin used to weigh 215kg but now weighs 113kg. Photo / Jason Dorday

Obesity survivor Damien Martin grew to 225kg before losing half his bodyweight by eating less and exercising. He can't fathom why large people would want to use a stomach drain to lose weight.

"It's pretty ghastly," he said of the idea adopted by Middlemore Hospital to treat severe obesity. "It's a very dramatic way of dealing with things." It seemed to give people licence "to eat whatever they want without thinking of the consequences". He agreed with his former gym nutritionist David Hill that it was akin to the eating disorder bulimia.

Mr Martin, 38, said the early, obesity-related deaths of his mother at 48 and brother at 31 motivated him to deal with his own weight. Overweight since childhood, he is now down to 112-113kg. He finds it a daily battle "to make the right decisions about food. Some days I win, some days I lose." But he loves the way his life has changed.

"It feels great. I have done so many things I wouldn't have done. I'm very active, I play a lot of sport, I've done a lot of travelling around the world, all the stuff I just couldn't do, or was too ashamed to do. It's definitely given me a new lease on life."

Martin Johnston