As we continue our training for TriYAS 2016, a fellow triathlete shares his inspiring weightloss story to help motivate others
“I feel alive,” says Allan Duran.
Those are powerful words from a man who used to be overweight, was borderline diabetic and struggled to breathe.
Allan, 46, was living in Jeddah when he made a drastic lifestyle change.
The Filipino father of three says it all started in 2010 when his daughter wanted to learn to play tennis. “I hired a coach for an hour and he asked me to play as well,” Allan explains. “I was sweating a lot.”
At the time Allan weighed 92kgs.
But after a friend convinced him to join a running group, Allan found himself on the road to fitness.
“We started running on a daily basis and I continued playing tennis twice a week. Then I changed my eating habits. Before I was eating half a rice cooker full of rice for one meal. Then over the weeks I cut it in half until I was no longer eating rice.”
Allan also cut out coffee and spicy food, which were triggering migraines. After noticing that red meat caused him to gain weight, he switched to a mostly vegetarian diet, too.
Eight months later, Allan has slimmed down to 58kg. Since shedding the pounds, he has maintained his weight by eating healthy, hiking, running, playing tennis, cycling and swimming.
But the journey wasn’t always easy. “When I moved here three years ago, it was a challenge because suddenly I didn’t have my training group or my family.” So to keep fit, Allan started cycling and took badminton lessons, but he soon became bored.
“I joined a group called ONEndurance, and they were talking about triathlons. When I saw the first ITU in Abu Dhabi I thought, ‘I’ve found my love’.”
After conquering his fear of swimming, Allan went on to compete in his first triathlon, the 2013 ITU.
“In the middle of the night I [used to] sit with popcorn, Hershey’s kisses and two sodas. Can you see the change? Even I can’t believe it.”
Along the way, Allan’s wife, who was also overweight, and his three children followed in
“That’s very important to me. My children know how to eat properly, they swim, and play netball, rugby and gymnastics.”
With a new lease of life, this humble man now wants to share his story with others and advises people to be slow and consistent with their training efforts.
“It’s always in the mind. Even triathlon people are scared of running, cycling or swimming. Remove those fears and focus on training for it, doing it and that’s it,” he adds.