Father makes stunning weight loss transformation just in time for his 40th birthday
If you've ever thought about changing something about your life, whether it's giving up smoking or cutting down on the amount of alcohol you consume, getting the motivation to actually do something and stick to it is the most difficult thing. However, as Kevin O'Connor's recent transformation shows, it's never to late to put those words into action.
When he was 11-years-old, Kevin spotted a fitness magazine that read: 'Even at 39 you can still get a six pack'. Something about it stuck in his mind, and he always kept it in mind that one day he would make that change - he just had until the age of 40 to do it.
Over the next 25 years, he tried various diets and exercise programs, but nothing really took. So when he saw his middle-age on the horizon, he knew it was now or never.
"In February 2017 I turned 39. No six pack. No lean body and now I had my baby girl. I'd become a daddy. Now I had to do something about it.
"I needed to make my commitments and stick to them. I decided to make it into a challenge. I was going to get motivated to go to the gym and eat well for 30 days - long enough, I'd read, that it will form a habit.
"My hope then was the habit would take over where the motivation faded and that would keep me going. I decided to weigh myself daily and track everything I ate good and bad."
It turns out that this particular tactic, along with his motivation to be a role model to his now-one-year-old little girl, was enough to keep him going. He has now lost five stones, a third of his body weight, and finally has that six-pack he always dreamed of.
Despite dropping to 63kg from 95kg, a 36-inch waist to 28, and a drop in body fat from 21 percent to seven percent, Kevin claims he has done "nothing revolutionary". Kevin, who refers to himself as a "calorie sniper", recently spoke to the MailOnline about the change:
"I didn't find it difficult, nor did I starve myself. I simply counted my calories, ate a balanced meal and worked out regularly
Whilst there's nothing inherently unique in this approach, why had I never been able to get in shape, despite having been to the gym over the years? What I think happened was the reason, or my why I wanted to get in shape became a driving force that was a pushing factor."
He began to see his weight drop after he paid attention to the calories and having daily weigh-ins. He restricted his daily calorie intake to 1,700 in March last year (men are allowed 2,500), but still treated himself to a cheat meal of pizza on the weekends as a reward.
"I made a promise to myself and I needed to stick to it because I've had 27 years to do it. If I didn't, then I would have really let myself down.
My daughter was just born and I wanted to pick her up. I don't want her to have an old fat dad on the playground picking her up. There's enough of them already.
I want to do this for her, be a role model for her, and because of the promise I made to myself as a child."
His usual dinner has remained quorn sausages, cottage cheese and broccoli. His breakfast was walnuts, raisins, a banana and a yogurt pot. And for lunch, he would have a fried egg and mushroom sandwich, for which he would use a low calorie spray to cook. He tried to have vegetables with most meals, but doesn't stress if he couldn't do it that time.
Developing a 35-45 minute workout routine to put into action throughout the week, he got on track and finally became what he wanted to be. He has since put together 'Kevin's Challenge' - a 30-day free programme that helps people get motivated for long enough to make it a habit, with support from him and other clients on message boards.
If there's anything to learn from Kevin's story, it's that it's never too late to reach for your goals.