I write a weekly column for my local paper; The Torres News. The column is called Ailan Yarns (translates to Island Chats) and it focuses on sharing positive stories from within the community. It also shines a light on local issues to give the community a chance to voice their opinions. Enjoy.
Published in The Torres News
Printed: 8th June 2018
Author: Kantesha Takai
When I asked Karim Yorkston what he weighed at his heaviest in 2015, he answered “I wouldn’t know because most household scales only measure up to approx. 220kg.”
Today, Karim is not the man I remember. His mentality has shifted, his perspective on life has changed and he now maintains a healthy weight of 110kg – 115kg. He is a new and improved Karim, and I couldn’t help but be inspired by his story and his take on health and life.
“If I didn’t do what I’m doing now – if I didn’t change and lose the weight – I wouldn’t be here today. I know it’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth.”
Karim lost 110kg in just 11 months. He didn’t have surgery and he didn’t use any supplements. He dieted and exercised daily, and his only aspiration was to compete in one amateur fight. To date, Karim has fought three amateur fights and is continuing to exceed his and others’ expectations.
But, his journey wasn’t easy.
“When I was at my heaviest and I asked people for help, they laughed at me. Only a few people and family members helped and supported me.”
In 2015, Karim wanted to take up boxing to lose weight, so he bought a boxing bag. But, his mindset wasn’t right, and he wasn’t committed. His first attempt to lose the weight didn’t work.
But, Karim’s wakeup call was his daughter. Karim took his daughter to the park one day and couldn’t keep up with her. He wanted his daughter to have a great time, but he couldn’t chase or play with her without losing his breath.
This was enough to motivate Karim to take things seriously. He began to portion his meals and exercise in his garage. Once he felt comfortable, he took to walking around the block with his cousin.
“I couldn’t even tie my shoes, that’s how big I was. And when I started going for walks, people stared, and I couldn’t get very far. But, every time we went for a walk, I’d walk further and further.”
Karim booked his first amateur fight in 2016 and used it as a goal to make the weight cut. It was this heavyweight bout that made Karim realise how much needed and wanted to lose weight.
From then on, Karim trained and ate well, and he started to lose up to 8kgs a week!
“I stopped spending money on partying or on food and I stopped drinking alcohol. But, I found myself spending more money on clothes because I kept losing weight and couldn’t fit into anything I owned.”
Karim took to social media and documented his weightloss journey which helped keep him focussed, and as a result he inspired others to get healthy as well.
“Seeing people’s positive comments and encouragement was very motivating for me. I’ve even had people reach out and ask me for advice and tips. But, all I can do is share my story and what worked for me.”
When it comes to health and fitness, people are riddled with excuses on why they aren’t doing more. Karim was the same, but he didn’t let that stop him.
“People say that they work long hours, but that’s an excuse. I’ve been there. I work 12 hour shifts and I can clock 100 hours a fortnight, but I find the time to go to the gym.”
“When they say that they have an injury or something that’s stopping them, that’s an excuse. I’ve been there. I have a bad hip, people know that.”
Karim doesn’t let anything stand in his way and he encourages others to do the same.
“You just have to make sacrifices and plan ahead.”
Today, Karim listens to his body and he still doesn’t follow a meal plan or take supplements. He is just very aware of what and how much he eats, and he finds the time to exercise twice a day.
He doesn’t believe in checking the scale daily either. Instead, he prefers to look in the mirror and see the progress.
Karim’s journey has taken him around the country where he has met health and fitness experts, body builders, boxers and athletes. He has learnt so much from the industry which he uses in his training and diet.
Karim’s new aspiration is to compete in a boxing state championship, and after hearing the passion and drive in his voice, I know he’ll get there.
When it comes to achieving his goal, Karim said:
“No one can help me get there. I have to help myself. And I will.”
Eso Karim for your incredible story. Keep it up bala.