Vegetables didn’t exist in Ricky Japp’s world earlier this year.
Neither did a balanced diet or walking.
Not until a potentially dangerous fall at his Fairfield home in January – the latest in a string of falls in recent years – served as a trigger to turn his health – and weight – around.
His weight had ballooned to 187 kilograms. The product of years of low motivation following a stint in hospital in 2000 for a severe blood infection that resulted in him being in an extended coma after five mild strokes.
“I was sitting in the chair or laying in bed 95 per cent of the time watching television. I would be lucky to take 200 steps a day,” he said.
“I was very lazy and my diet had no vegetables and I would have bacon and eggs for breakfast. I would replace meals with a bag of chips, lollies and nuts.”
All that has changed thanks to his involvement with Hit 100 – a social enterprise that provides healthy dietician-designed meals and nutrition coaching to people with a disability through the NDIS.
Since February he has lost 39 kilos.
His cholesterol and blood sugar levels are down; his vegetable intake and walking steps are up.
“I walk five minutes every hour and take 6000 steps a day,” said Japp, who is now mobile enough to get out to see his beloved West Tigers play.
“My diet now consists of a lot of chicken, fish and vegetables. The meals are nice and I feel great and I am sleeping better.
“Every time I open my eyes I feel like it’s a brand new day. Let’s strive for another half a kilo.
“My goal is to be 100 kilograms by Christmas.”
The 55-year-old has been recognised for reaching his health, nutrition and weight loss goals by being named a Hit 100 Hero.
The Hit 100 Hero program recognises individuals who have transformed their lives through food and nutrition, and are a great example and inspiration to others.
Mr Japp is an active member of the Hit 100 client Facebook group where he supports and encourages other people working on similarly challenging health and weight loss goals. He regularly posts weight loss updates and shares before and after photos of his journey.